Differential Philosophy: An anthropological Approach?

Professor Levi Bryant has been posting a few words that are refreshing.
Here is his latest:

A friend of mine, who presumably didn’t realize I was witnessing the discussion, recently wrote the following: Nah, he’s (Timothy Morton) a sort of post-modern shaman of the academic treadmill: he was a Romantic Scholar originally at Rice University doing the Shelley thing… Then got into Ecology, then attacking Nature, then found Harman and OOO, […]

via Philosophical Adventures — Larval Subjects .

The reliving of tension can be the flowering of inspiration. In reading Mr. Bryant’s posts I was allowed that sort.

To wit:

The philosophies of ontology, what I generalize as conventional philosophy, are philosophies that are always concerned with the Being of things. And due to this imperative of their route, they must present arguments of view within the common metaphysical realm that they are constantly debating and discussing as to its formation and establishment.

What I am proposing marks the end of such conventional arena was, or more properly is, the Postmodern arena. And the authors of philosophy that brought what we can generally call the Enlightenment debates to a close are indeed Derrida, Lyotard, Deleuze and Guattari, perhaps amongst others; Foucault, perhaps Levi-Strauss too and maybe others, could be said to have opened modernity to that aspect of itself which brings about a more thorough ideological hegemonic inscription of itself. If there is an intrinsic mythology at work within every real paradigm that cannot be viewed, then what we generalize to call Postmodernity is the mark that tells us that the mythology is in process of becoming extrinsic, which means, ineffective; as centuries pass, we know these ideologies as upholding myths, having mythological ideas about the worlds and the universe, beings within it, etcetera.

This is to say that once the effective mythology begins to argue itself in a reverse kind of manner, critique itself, we find that the cosmology is seeing itself. As though called to man the front lines of an approaching enemy, it’s casts itself as that enemy in an effort to stave off that which amounts to its demise; it now must argue itself out of existence to there by maintain its mythologically intrinsic stature. But in so doing is effectively at war withitself. catalyzing its own end under the flag of essential ontological  difference, it finds its truth is based in nothing by filling  out the whole knowledge of its world as merely groundless and empty postures. It must now deny its basis so another may find establishment; that is the Way with the development of all religions. 

So it is with ontological arguments: The counter-partial aspect of Modernity (post-modern) argues difference, and begins to rip itself apart ontologically by setting itself within contextual rather than essential elements. So it is that which precipitates out of this vacillation of truths, on one hand relative and ironic, and on the other hand, definite and real, we find the effective teleology of the mythological project. Since what is real is concerned with Being, identify and justification, its teleology is always subordinated to its ontological practice (or maybe praxis). Once the ontological status begins to reveal its fault (that it is merely mythological), then the teleology may be viewed. Belief falls to the truth. 

This then might be called a differential philosophy. Of the solution between the given possibilities, of application and observation over argument and status, we may begin to view conventional philosophy for what is does, how arguments function, how the same proposals occurs over and over under different terms to reify and maintain the mythological paradigm. For example, my previous posts about Anslem and the proofs for Gods existence. 

This therefore does not mark a definite point in time that we can ‘turn’ our ideas upon, but instead marks a situation whereby what was not visible, so to speak, can now be viewed. It marks a moment rather than an historically empirical time period or era. Ontology as a route, as a teleologically intact motion, remains along its methodologically tracked semantic, forever weaving the continuity of reality through historical reckonings while the truth remains filed in its lawful prohibitory ‘blind spots’; the most cardinal of these, the nil subject, the argumentative space of transcendence that allows for the ‘count’ to be maintained. 

Since such moments defy singular and specific time-space manifestations (they are on the event horizon the ‘hole’ that is transcendence) that we typically know as normative of culture, practice, we cannot say that this activity is properly anthropology. I distinguish it from what we typically understand as philosophy making it a category particular to ontology through the adjectival ‘convention’, because what has to do with Being necessarily must include as a totally inclusive category the assumption of common elements as an exclusively functioning whole (myth) namely humanity (a founding term). No shifting of ideological definitions can remove the ontological imperative involved in its role. Due to this ontological imperative described often by Guiles Deleuze but we can also see it with  Nick Land, we are able to come across a type, at that the category that is inscribed by a typical theology and concordant apology, i.e. conventional philosophy, to thereby derive this teleological view of concern, this differential philosophy. 

We should note, though, that the reduction or reabsorption of this notion into another ontological situation is expected and routine. This is due to the nature of consciousness, its inherent resitance to the dissolution of its world that we call faith. What is differential  concerns ontological facts that have already been established through, what we could call, the unnoticed philosophical science of metaphysical ontology.  (Whew! what a term.) And we should see Descartes did not merely ‘decide’ that his ability to use ‘logic’ demanded that modern empirical science must arise. On the contrary; the universal operation was already in play to allow such logics to be viewed as sensible.


The question should also arise as to how I knew that Delueze should be a commentator upon what is differential when I have never read anything by him that mentions this. The question should arise as to how I might know what Deleuze might say when I have read actually quite little by him. This situation should make notice, then, if you are paying attention, of the possibility that he is not making any arguments, (Deleuze did not make any arguments) but that he is merely describing facts about human existence despite what philosophical arguments want to dispute*. We are subjects to our moment in time, and now is the time when people must more closely identify with their identities. And by this calculus, we should then note just how correct Jean-Francois Lyotard was when he described how knowledge no longer is knowledge for its own sake, but will be qualified as to its use-value, its efficiency, and this is of course to say and describe our time (40years later??) where people must use knowledge to establish their real identity. So it is that what may be understood in this differential requires an understanding of knowledge that does not derive its vale from identity. Which is indeed, in our society, quite difficult to gain. Such is the nature of faith; One does not choose to have faith: Kierkegaard “faith is the leap”. Definitional categories used for the purpose of finding real being and identity is necessarily of an effective and intrinsic mythological imperative that cannot be ‘thought’ or reasoned out of. This is the Postmodern condition despite the contextual re-contextualizations.

* Deluze was himself caught within the Enlightenment temperament, such that the response he might get necessitated him a further response. This is why he said discussion has no value (Im sure that is a paraphrase: It is as I say: Once you understand the premise, the rest follows automatically); maybe someone could correct me with the actual idea he expressed. Anyone?  (Terrence Blake, I know you could !)

2 thoughts on “Differential Philosophy: An anthropological Approach?

  1. Anthropology has known that its all metanarratives and stories we tell ourselves for awhile now! The only problem is distinguishes that argument from your run of the mill atheism, in that atheism is also a metanarrative. Postmodernity…as Nietzsche, we are now just astray in the universe, with nothing holding us down, not even Reason

    1. Yes. But I tend to look at it as these metanarratives indeed do function very well for supplying reality. In fact, I think they function so well that I am inclined to stop referring to them as metanarratives, as though they present some illusory being, and simply call them ‘real’. 😜

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