Tangent: Bad Faith, part 2

So what is really going on? According to the lowest common meaning, everyone is in bad faith until they realize that they have nothing to lose and so then they get on with maximizing their potential to basically do what they want, or exercise their passion. While this may seem a great out for ‘living the dream’, I say that if this is a great summary of what Sartre took many many more words to say then Sartre was small minded and hardly deserving the credit given him as a big name philosopher – moreso, if we can truly agree with the adage that the more popular something is, the more likely it is of low significance and value and probably really sucks, then maybe there is something behind his big name: he was telling the world exactly what they want to hear, and backed up by the great academy to boot! (Or, he said exactly what only could be said at the time!)

One could say that such an existential take is nothing less than another conventional religion. Another system by which to classify and justify one’s placement in the world. Another out, another excuse to avoid the fact of existence.

But now we are getting somewhere. When we begin to understand the confining and ubiquitous quality of religious type propositions, of un-analyzed ideas by which we support our identity as human beings, we just might be coming upon a glimpse of the issue here.

Laruelle is indeed onto something; he has called his project ‘non-philosophy’ and it has to do with an indicating, a designating of philosophy. In my last post, I dared so much as to imply that the effort of philosophy is in bad faith; in fact, I do not exceptionalize philosophy, I call it what it is and include it in the motion of the general idea of thought itself as represented in human communication: I say it is part of the general human rhetoric: I call it conventional methodology. Yet here is Laruelle claiming a non-philosophy – and I say ( unflinchingly ) that Laruelle, too, is in bad faith by his proposition.

I must be some kind of nut. I have said earlier that the problem I have with Laruelle is his excessive use of jargon. As well, the reason why I decry his is not his proposition: it is that he cloaks it, apparently for a select few of jargonesque status. And this is because I can say as much in simple terms. What is significant in this exchange (albeit one-sided at this point) is that my ability to know what he is suggesting did not arise through any intensive studying or deciphering of philosophical or cultural critical/ theoretical texts. ( I admit that, at this point at least, I gather he has been a career academic and that I do not really know what his process has been.) I know what he is saying because it is apparent to me. There was no organized class of information or presentation by which I was informed of the issue: I found the issue because of my experience. I comment and/or rebut authors because I understand whether they understand the issue by seeing how they organize their terms.

The truth of the matter is not then, any longer, the issue, but the putting into terms the truth of the matter. So when we begin to comprehend what is occurring in reality, we begin to get a grasp on the bare fact of existence, and this is where I find purchase to speak.

– By now, if anyone has been able to hang on or be interested or keep reading, there must be some who are saying to themselves, if not out loud, ” we’ll, get to the damn issue; what is you point?” And to them I must reply “Why in such a rush? Where are you going so fast?” For if we are to be clear we must take our time. Part of the problem is that everyone is in such a hurry, everyone wants the punch line before the setup. Everyone wants to know where to start so they can take it from there and “make a name for yourself”. No one wants to start from the beginning. No one has time. No one cares, and no one cares to care – but somehow those same people have an idea of ethics: they do not want to be pointed out as the hypocrite, they’d rather hang onto their feeble idea of freedom and agency, and live in denial, the whole time proclaiming their righteousness. They would rather hang their personhood on conventional religion.

Well, I have time; so you’ll just have to be patient. Besides, for those who are getting an inkling of what this is all about, I haven’t even begun yet, but I’ve said exactly what needs to be said to be clear. The problem is the problem itself: how does one reconcile duality in the objective real world?

Tangent: Bad Faith, part 1

In an earlier post, I suggest that Francis Laruelle, by his Non-philosophy, is in bad faith, ala. Jean-Paul Sartre. So I might do well by explaining what this means.

One could easily come to a close idea of what bad faith might mean by comparing it to ‘good faith’. I would say that good faith is a kind of trust one has in another but before the other person has really earned it: the trust is given in good faith. And this can be closely associated with plain Faith, as in, I have faith in you, or, I have faith in Jesus.

Sartre comes up with the idea of Bad Faith in reference to what may be common to general human experience; so far as what may be real life, people tend to take it on good faith that it is real, or at least tend to take experience with the benefit of doubt. Even things that seem odd or disagreeable are still taken as an occasion for a plausible judgement as to what may be real or not.

Now, Sartre is making a claim against such typical experience, that such realities taken in good faith are actually of bad faith. One avenue of looking at this is to see that he stakes his claim on the possibility of freedom. In an extended analysis, one comes upon the peculiar confinement that reality places upon a person, that freedom is defined against other qualifiers of reality such that freedom itself is designated and so does not qualify itself to its meaning: freedom has no essential meaning – and this means that we are not really free.

Here we get to what is meant by existential angst. We want to be free; we feel free but upon consideration of what this means we never find any more freedom than what we want or what we feel. What has been termed an ‘ existential crisis’ is a moment when we become trapped in our existence; whatever the actual circumstances or events, we come to a point where a sensible decision into action becomes impossible, a catch 22, where the definers of free choice crowd in upon us and blur and do not allow us clearity. The decision, then, that is ultimately made is one of pure event, of pure experience: we are thrown into existence, the inevitable movement of existing itself. In response to this moment, one thereby makes sense of it, and thus comes to real freedom. Sartre says we make a choice out of the inevitable, what he calls the abyss of freedom, back into true agency where we find real freedom in our new found ability to choose truly of ourselves in reality, we ‘revolt’ against the abyss of freedom. Bad faith is the condition of the usual events of living before such crisis. This is the typical existential reading.

But this reading is wrong; it is a superficial reading that justifies freedom by denying basic existence for the sake of reality.

We cannot stop at feeling like everything is ok, because soon enough everything will not be ok again. Bad faith indicates a situation of denial. I contend that it is due to this denial that all problems occur – and if this is the case, then we will find that philosophy, and rhetoric in general, speaks of a maintenance of incorrection.

So what am I really saying when I say that Laruelle’s Non-philosophy is in bad faith? This is the issue at hand.

Direction 2.18

I have to start somewhere; I cannot, like most, start in the middle and expect to get anywhere but to an aggravation of the problem. I could start anywhere but I will begin with a few statements of what truth cannot be. Truth cannot be located in a real world, except as that world constitutes a reality. Truth cannot be found in discussion; only in reality can agreement be deemed as true. Truth cannot be relative because then we are left with an infinitely spiraling truth that there is no real truth but only a truth that we call truth, which is, in fact real. There are no terms which indicate nothing real.

What is serious has to do with death. Everything that is serious tends toward and responds from a tendency, or implied or inferred implication, of threat – and no threat is taken serious that is not linked to an idea of death. Death, while it may have something to do with what is true, really indicates what is false, and thereby we infer what may be true by the limitation set by our idea of the truth of death. If this manner of dialogue is not serious enough, it is because it speaks of death but is not offended by it, which is to say, I may have a natural response to impending doom, but I do not live life according to whether I will die today or tomorrow or ever: in so much as as I may die one day, and death, for what we can know for sure, ends all human relation, death must be true, but absolutely true, as opposed to just true in reality. What may be actually true, that is, not really true but absolutely true with reference to death, must be that which is most seriously false.

So, now that we have begun to spin some wheels, I will begin at a more definite beginning.

***

Thought.

The primary, that is, first and most basic, issue of thought has nothing to do with topics; or rather, it has everything to do with the subject. All problems are based in a fundamental misunderstanding of reality, a misunderstanding that is kept in place and indeed enforced because of an offense. The offense is so great that it effects a denial of what is true of existence. Such a denial thus allows for the establishment of the true object. In this way, reality is a misunderstanding of the truth of human existence. Reality is a method of negotiating true things, or real objects, that are created through denial. Though an object may exist, we can only know it in reality as meaning, and meaning is founded in knowledge; therefore, all objects are created as real through an agreement between human beings who misunderstand the truth of existence and reality. If I encounter an object on my own, I have no relatable knowledge of its truth except inso much as I have entered into a negotiation of knowledge with another human being. This may be said to be a line of communication but such a moment is really part of the question we are addressing. Also, If I know of a true object by myself, I have no need to refer to it as true or false. We cannot address the possibility of a human being alone in reality for such a pondering is entirely defined and contained in knowledge given prior to the consideration.

The matter of offense is a more involved issue that will arise and be made sense of as we continue.

For now, one should see that what I have to offer is merely an accounting of all the facts and that I am not attempting to convince anyone of anything. I have no strategy, no deceptive jargon by which to uphold a privileged mystery nor create a mystique. I have no hidden agenda, no career motivation, no deadline or line to tow; I have no reputation nor identity to maintain. I merely present the necessary conclusion given all the facts, and one of the facts that precipitates out from this giving is that no one will be convinced because very few people have the personal integrity to want to or be able to consider all the facts. Only those who already understand what I present will be able to see that it is true. The issue has always been the putting clearly into words the truth of the matter at hand.

The first and most basic fact is duality: there is no real reconciliation of duality. This is to say, there are only two types of such reconciliation: what i call, the ironic and the conventional. A conventional reconciliation of duality is ‘religion’, or a hoped-for truth, or a truth based in faith.; an ironic reconciliation is called (actual) ‘truth’.

The conventional reconciliation calls for or to a uni-verse, that is, One. Religious truth is, by definition, a conventional reconciliation of the apparent duality of reality in oneness. It avoids diversity and plurality by asserting that it all can be recouped in reality through some promoted method.

The ironic reconciliation is what will be developed as we continue.

For now, I’ll let you chew on what has been offered so far for a little bit.

Direction 2.18

I have to start somewhere; I cannot, like most, start in the middle and expect to get anywhere but to an aggravation of the problem. I could start anywhere but I will begin with a few statements of what truth cannot be. Truth cannot be located in a real world, except as that world constitutes a reality. Truth cannot be found in discussion; only in reality can agreement be deemed as true. Truth cannot be relative because then we are left with an infinitely spiraling truth that there is no real truth but only a truth that we call truth, which is, in fact real. There are no terms which indicate nothing real.

What is serious has to do with death. Everything that is serious tends toward and responds from a tendency, or implied or inferred implication, of threat – and no threat is taken serious that is not linked to an idea of death. Death, while it may have something to do with what is true, really indicates what is false, and thereby we infer what may be true by the limitation set by our idea of the truth of death. If this manner of dialogue is not serious enough, it is because it speaks of death but is not offended by it, which is to say, I may have a natural response to impending doom, but I do not live life according to whether I will die today or tomorrow or ever: in so much as as I may die one day, and death, for what we can know for sure, ends all human relation, death must be true, but absolutely true, as opposed to just true in reality. What may be actually true, that is, not really true but absolutely true with reference to death, must be that which is most seriously false.

So, now that we have begun to spin some wheels, I will begin at a more definite beginning.

***

Thought.

The primary, that is, first and most basic, issue of thought has nothing to do with topics; or rather, it has everything to do with the subject. All problems are based in a fundamental misunderstanding of reality, a misunderstanding that is kept in place and indeed enforced because of an offense. The offense is so great that it effects a denial of what is true of existence. Such a denial thus allows for the establishment of the true object. In this way, reality is a misunderstanding of the truth of human existence. Reality is a method of negotiating true things, or real objects, that are created through denial. Though an object may exist, we can only know it in reality as meaning, and meaning is founded in knowledge; therefore, all objects are created as real through an agreement between human beings who misunderstand the truth of existence and reality. If I encounter an object on my own, I have no relatable knowledge of its truth except inso much as I have entered into a negotiation of knowledge with another human being. This may be said to be a line of communication but such a moment is really part of the question we are addressing. Also, If I know of a true object by myself, I have no need to refer to it as true or false. We cannot address the possibility of a human being alone in reality for such a pondering is entirely defined and contained in knowledge given prior to the consideration.

The matter of offense is a more involved issue that will arise and be made sense of as we continue.

For now, one should see that what I have to offer is merely an accounting of all the facts and that I am not attempting to convince anyone of anything. I have no strategy, no deceptive jargon by which to uphold a privileged mystery nor create a mystique. I have no hidden agenda, no career motivation, no deadline or line to tow; I have no reputation nor identity to maintain. I merely present the necessary conclusion given all the facts, and one of the facts that precipitates out from this giving is that no one will be convinced because very few people have the personal integrity to want to or be able to consider all the facts. Only those who already understand what I present will be able to see that it is true. The issue has always been the putting clearly into words the truth of the matter at hand.

The first and most basic fact is duality: there is no real reconciliation of duality. This is to say, there are only two types of such reconciliation: what i call, the ironic and the conventional. A conventional reconciliation of duality is ‘religion’, or a hoped-for truth, or a truth based in faith.; an ironic reconciliation is called (actual) ‘truth’.

The conventional reconciliation calls for or to a uni-verse, that is, One. Religious truth is, by definition, a conventional reconciliation of the apparent duality of reality in oneness. It avoids diversity and plurality by asserting that it all can be recouped in reality through some promoted method.

The ironic reconciliation is what will be developed as we continue.

For now, I’ll let you chew on what has been offered so far for a little bit.

Direct Tangent 2.6

So lets back up a little. Francois Laruelle is a contemporary thinker – I cant really say ‘ philosopher’ because – who is known for his ‘project’ called Non-Philosophy, which is proposed as distinguished from the thus framed traditional discipline of ‘philosophy’. It is a philosophy, but Laruelle rightly presents the implicated end-run of philosophy, the platform upon which the proposals of philosophy are founded, and thereby finds that he cannot present his idea as philosophy; since he has discovered or revealed or proposed philosophy as a thing in-itself by his idea, his idea then must lie not within philosophy but without it. This is his premise. Why he must disgise it in such supra-vulgar language is the question I answer through rebutting his project.

See, non- philosophy must be a project; it cannot be merely another theory. What he means by ‘project’ is similar to what we know as praxis, which can be defined as an authentic marraige in one’s being of thought and practice. It is not merely belief but belief that joins in the act as the act informs constructive learning; praxis, in this way, can be said to be existential because it it does not rise above reality in some ideal-theoretical fantasy of would-be could-be world, rather, it upholds the integrity of the human being responsible for its real world.

Yet, at its root, non-philosophy is a theory. Laruelle defines it as a project because of the contradiction that is presented upon the segregation and relagation of philophy to a thing in-itself. When he does this he is left with a necessary remainder ( did I hear Slavoj Zizek?) that if left there as an idea fades away in moot negation. So it must be a project; it must be something one does as well as thinks. But if this is so then his non-philosophy falls flat. It becomes nothing more than any other religion or philosophy.

The problem of non-philosophy, then, has to do with this problem of redundancy. Again, I am not totally sure why he has to dress it up in jargon; I see it as an indication of limit rather than liberation, and yet he apparently is talking about the latter. He has confused himself before he has finished his essay. And then, as I described previously, because he has manipulated the jargon so well, he has picked up other acolytes who have faith in his great gospels and attempt to develop the project and proceed to create what will inevitably be confusion, because they have began in a haze of religious confusion.

What I am saying is that while Laruelle has come upon the proper problem, his solution reveals that he is in what the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre calls bad faith.

Direct Tangent 2.6

So lets back up a little. Francois Laruelle is a contemporary thinker – I cant really say ‘ philosopher’ because – who is known for his ‘project’ called Non-Philosophy, which is proposed as distinguished from the thus framed traditional discipline of ‘philosophy’. It is a philosophy, but Laruelle rightly presents the implicated end-run of philosophy, the platform upon which the proposals of philosophy are founded, and thereby finds that he cannot present his idea as philosophy; since he has discovered or revealed or proposed philosophy as a thing in-itself by his idea, his idea then must lie not within philosophy but without it. This is his premise. Why he must disgise it in such supra-vulgar language is the question I answer through rebutting his project.

See, non- philosophy must be a project; it cannot be merely another theory. What he means by ‘project’ is similar to what we know as praxis, which can be defined as an authentic marraige in one’s being of thought and practice. It is not merely belief but belief that joins in the act as the act informs constructive learning; praxis, in this way, can be said to be existential because it it does not rise above reality in some ideal-theoretical fantasy of would-be could-be world, rather, it upholds the integrity of the human being responsible for its real world.

Yet, at its root, non-philosophy is a theory. Laruelle defines it as a project because of the contradiction that is presented upon the segregation and relagation of philophy to a thing in-itself. When he does this he is left with a necessary remainder ( did I hear Slavoj Zizek?) that if left there as an idea fades away in moot negation. So it must be a project; it must be something one does as well as thinks. But if this is so then his non-philosophy falls flat. It becomes nothing more than any other religion or philosophy.

The problem of non-philosophy, then, has to do with this problem of redundancy. Again, I am not totally sure why he has to dress it up in jargon; I see it as an indication of limit rather than liberation, and yet he apparently is talking about the latter. He has confused himself before he has finished his essay. And then, as I described previously, because he has manipulated the jargon so well, he has picked up other acolytes who have faith in his great gospels and attempt to develop the project and proceed to create what will inevitably be confusion, because they have began in a haze of religious confusion.

What I am saying is that while Laruelle has come upon the proper problem, his solution reveals that he is in what the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre calls bad faith.

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