Extreme Dialectic: Spinoza and the Term (revisited).

“AS men are accustomed to call Divine the knowledge which transcends human understanding, so also do they style Divine, or the work of God, anything of which the cause is not generally known: for the masses think that the power and providence of God are most clearly displayed by events that are extraordinary and contrary to the conception they have formed of nature, especially if such events bring them any profit or convenience: they think that the clearest possible proof of God’s existence is afforded when nature, as they suppose, breaks her accustomed order, and consequently they believe that those who explain or endeavour to understand phenomena or miracles through their natural causes are doing away with God and His providence. They suppose, forsooth, that God is inactive so long as nature works in her accustomed order, and vice versâ, that the power of nature and natural causes are idle so long as God is acting: thus they imagine two powers distinct one from the other, the power of God and the power of nature, though the latter is in a sense determined by God, or (as most people believe now) created by Him. What they mean by either, and what they understand by God and nature they do not know, except that they imagine the power of God to be like that of some royal potentate, and nature’s power to consist in force and energy.” – Baruch Spinoza.

We do not simply read because we are taught how to do so. If there is an innate ability that merely needs to be awakened in a person then we do not know what it is beyond the Idea. This is because we are creatures that are prone to a type of knowing that I call conventional. As a child we are taught to read but then as we grow into adults we stick with the innately typical, childish orientation upon things and appropriate it into what an adult reality is. We forget that we forgot that we were children, and we remember at some point we remember that we were children; that is, at some point. What do we remember of our being a child? We remember that we were a child, the child that was ‘me’, only through our ability or capacity as adults. We forget that as a child we only behaved, wanted, needed, and appropriated what we were told in whatever manner through our being now being adults. One’s orientation upon the Idea reveals his faith in reality.

Adults then show their children the proper way to read as if it is a way that was innate to being human. What is innate in this way is thus not innate but rather conditioned by a particular manner of coming upon reality. The understanding of this feature of conventional reality is what has allowed conventional method to see and define such terms as ‘ideology’, ‘hegemony’, and the probably most significant term, ‘colonialism’ (please see my previous essays). Similarly for reading (and discussing, for that matter) what has occurred for reality is a colonization of the child by the conventional adult, a colonization that occurs by praising a particular kind of feedback from the child; it is due to this kind of mistake upon reality that perpetuates itself through childish desire for the world, that philosophy is typically misunderstood and misapplied, leading to the marriage of philosophy, ideology and science for the sake of maintaining a particular structure of knowing and power, that is conventional reality. This is the object of history.

We need understand the obstacle created by such a conventional orientation if we are to move beyond the modern-post-modern repetition, as ‘neo-‘ modernism, or whatever new term may be applied to our current philosophical-ideological ‘turn’, is merely a restatement of modernist idealist materialism. Aphilosophy attempts to reveal how this power structure, this particular orientation upon existence, hinders the human being from its actual innate potential.

This essay shows how reading and thus the understanding of the philosopher Baruch Spinoza has been commandeered for the conventional effort.

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To approach the entry excerpt, we should first see that the functioning or operation of existence is inclusive and consistent at all reaches, but that this is all that can be said of existence itself. Nevertheless, we can extend and explain the meaning of this situation. The statement goes like this: Given a universe, all that exists and is real comprises an effective containment. Every thing, all in its most inclusive meaning, taken together as a totality, is the universe. The universe operates or functions like a grand machine; every element of the universe is interactive with every other element. Nothing is excluded (by definition). Matter is a result, energy is a result, yet if these are not, then they are essential basics. Everything of the universe arises from the same universal substrate. Life arose and or has arisen in concert with every other thing in the universe; no matter how small the linkage, the linking between any separate operations is there, a grand symphony. In this way, distinct objects or elements function of themselves complicitly and intimately with every other object. No essentially segregate object exists. In short, the universe is a closed system. Human beings are also life. Therefore, the activity of human beings likewise exhibits nothing extraneous to the universe’s inherent operation. This represents the basis of the existialist, post-modern dilemma that brought about the late twentieth-century tribulations of angst and crisis; it was a crisis of conventionality, a misreading of the proposed problem that advocated a particular, mistaken, solution.

The problem is just this: what is ‘knowing’? Or more precisely, what is this thing that human beings are capable of doing, that is able to treat and address the universe, that we call thought, concept, problem and solution? The typical answer is the apparent ability. We are capable of analyzing objects or aspects of the universe and discover or uncover true things, if not also basic laws of the operation of the universe.

My answer is another question, which seems an epistemological question but is actually a logistical question: how do you know? By this I mean, how is it possible for you to be or become separated enough from the universe to know these true things, or, the truth of these things?

As reconciliation between the problem and the answer above we have the usual possibilities. One can be called the religious reconciliation, or ‘creationism’. It says that we are created ‘first order’ entities, meaning, God created the universe of an established order of things, and human beings are at the top; we have dominion over the universe as decreed and evidenced by free will. Another can be called the ideological reconciliation, called ‘evolutionism’. Here, human beings are at the top of the order that developed through processes of natural selection; human cognitive ability is merely an adaptation to particular pressures exerted in particular environmental niches. Aside from that polemic; a current scientific notion suggests that our knowledge may not reflect anything of a true universe, and that the question of some essential or absolute basis of objective, universal truth is non sequitur with the real question of truth. For these modern thinkers, truth is a man made item, as well ‘universe’ or ‘objective world’, a formulation of the mind inept for grasping any ‘actual’ or ‘objective’ truth, that therefore merely resorts to practical models based upon solving problems that are presented to the mind. Such problems and solutions are particular to the mind’s ability or capacity, or even purpose in the universe. The assertion of any one of these approaches, even the model of the model, is supposed to limit one’s sense of truth to an either it is this or it is that position.

While these three approaches, and maybe more (these just came to mind), appear to argue with each other, when we begin to think critically about the initial question, we must come to but one solution: the answer is all three. It goes something like this: (A) god created the universe accorded to a particular order that is evidenced in the mind coordinating its own manner to achieve a reasonable development of staged priority in reality, itself as the center to top. While this appears to suggest an actual ‘god’, but really only shows that the idea of ‘god’ is a necessary element in our knowing, if only by the fact that we can consider its truth or falsity, here is a possibly better rendition: The implication involved of a mind coming upon its own ability in respect with its view upon the world is one of a certain effective ‘creator’ imperative, a precipitative aspect of a mind developing along lines that validates its apparent prolific survivability as privilege, even if this privilege asserts its own limited ability to exist through models. If we only come by models, then equally such models comprise the totality of the truth of the universe, as these models describe also their lack as ‘unknown’, and so far as we can know, then argues that what we know thereby these models is necessary for the universe, which means, the idea that we merely know by models is itself not a model but an absolute truth of the universe, which is contradictory to its meaning. For this essay, the attempt of the presentation of these statements then is to release one from the insistence of an either/or truth, and to invite a thinker to view the reality that is actually presented to their knowledge.

But such a comprehensive view of the truth of the matter cannot be achieved without establishing the basis that accounts for human knowledge as the manifestation correspondent with the operating of existence. One cannot hold to an apparent ability without compounding the problem the apparent ability beholds to solve. In this there can be no Hegelian ideal historical consciousness nor a subject-agent of it that moves as some sort of evolutionary spearhead. Neither can there be an ideological backlash that can accommodate or mediate the tendency for such big-headedness. At least, but at most, we can not be ‘inspired’ by some ‘intuitive’ element, some intuited transcendence or some immanent moment that is revealed of our selection, and this is to say, we do not learn from the past; the situation of knowing that is these cases informing the decisions of the day result necessarily. They are correspondent, inseparable.

The problem of resting in the apparent ability is thus located in that tendency to want from these situations. This ‘want’ is a determination of ideological truth that claims a true object. The ‘overdetermination’ of meaning that takes from the meaningful category and establishes the true object, finds itself in the determination of tomorrow as it separates itself from the past as meaning ‘the individual agent of free will’. Currently the history of the overdetermination is written as the process of discovering what this ‘freedom’ really means, a process that cannot help but resituate the vulgarities within a progress, but never really accounts for the supposed ‘progress’ that never saw itself as vulgar before the atrocity. There are other ways overdetermination may manifest, but the functioning of it is always the same: progress justifies the overdetermined state, in our case, freedom. This forgetful disposition defines the conventional Idea, and it is the denial that reveals that convention is not a ‘modeling’ of an unknown totality, but rather is an orientation upon the true object; the overdetermination cannot be an accident; it likewise mist be absolutely necessary in the operation of the universe. The question then is less what freedom means, than what freedom is, or is not.

If the universe is a closed system, this then also means, quite counterintuitivly, that if there is anything that is not of the universe then we cannot know of it, we cannot think of it – damn! – we cannot even think it, in fact – damn! damn! – we cannot even know it. We cannot know that there is anything extra-universal, for if we knew it we would be situating the universe as not the universe, but only a universe – which completely shows how terms do not identify any particular true thing, but only reflect momentary conditions of existence.

One so keen might see this idea in practice as a reiteration of a type leading to an absurd theatre. In one sense they would be right: in the conventional sense; in another, more significant sense, they would be wrong. The conventional orientation for reality is thus the issue that is treated aphilosophically; what we have to breach is the insistence of the conventional orientation upon knowledge.

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To proclaim that such a statement of existence (inclusivity) defines or otherwise implicates a one universe merely adds upon the first statement and does nothing but limit the meaning of that statement to conventional knowledge. Such a move can be called transformation. What otherwise would be truth has been transformed into conventional reality; the process of conventional knowledge coming to positive terms with its own reality is evidenced in history and its philosophical counterpart, and ‘ends’ with non-philosophy. The process of coming to terms with the truth of the matter is called irony; it includes the critique or rebuttal of non-philosophy (as non-philosophy is a critique of philosophy) that will be called aphilosophy, and the appropriation, which is to say literally: an appropriate- tion, of non-philosophical methods accompanied by an aphilosophical response, that which addresses the point of contention as solution, we shall call metalepsis.

This is to say, knowledge manifests always in human consciousness as a complicity of ‘known’ and ‘unknown’, but that conventional knowledge would unite these ideas in a polemical potential that thereby establishes the true (one) universe against what is ‘not the universe’, or what is absolutely false, its physics and theoretical ideas, with all its accompanying parallel or multi-dimensional possibilities, the individual of free will, past and future.

Furthermore, what should be understood as true is due to this very nature of existence. Terms, being but another procedure in the operation of existence, an operation evidenced as human beings are likewise merely an operation, must necessarily reflect only a present existential manifestation, where substantial elements, elements (not to be confused with the Periodic Table of Elements – we will discuss the appropriation of mathematics and philosophy later) that comprise the functioning of existence, of the universe remain constant while the terms, as a loci of meaning, ‘float’ or are transient labels of momentary significance. The route of the conventional static-metamorphic term (see below) that identify particular true objects must be seen as merely one manner of coming upon existence that is also necessary, but in that it asserts its total omnipresence, it thereby lacks.

The problem presented by Spinoza concerns this feature. All men have an idea of what is Divine or transcendent, or not explainable, in relation to what seems natural, or explainable. It follows that what is extraordinary or contrary is deemed to be stemming or otherwise caused by a transcendent. But this is not so much a statement of his times, as if there are,as an absolute category, people who are ignorant, or ‘superstitious’, in a relation to people who are more ‘knowledgeable’, rather, it is a statement that says human beings are only capable of ‘knowing’ in this manner, that what is not explainable is put off into a transcendent category for knowing.

The point to become aware of is of a differend in knowing. Even today our rationale of reality configures knowledge of the explainable into a category of itself to justify our ‘enlightened’ ability to know. In this manner Spinoza’s argument is placed in a temporal category of ‘past’ that confines the term of his theses to particular absolutely true objects, this is to say, the context of historical progress that sees Spinoza as addressing an ideological or religious situation of his time where superstition and irrationality, or even love of power, still held sway against rationality and truth. Indeed, Spinoza was addressing these items, but in so much as the terms themselves are variable momentary identifiers of existential elements, his argument says much more and actually situates eternal truths concerning the existence of human beings.

We can further situate Spinoza’s in the following manner, as we begin to get a grip on the matter at hand:

{from the introduction to the sixth chapter of “Tractatus-Theologico Politicus”, in italics.}

“AS men are accustomed to call Divine the knowledge which transcends human understanding, so also do they style Divine, or the work of God, anything of which the cause is not generally known: for the masses think that the power and providence of God are most clearly displayed by events that are extraordinary and contrary to the conception they have formed of nature, especially if such events bring them any profit or convenience: they think that the clearest possible proof of God’s existence is afforded when nature, as they suppose, breaks her accustomed order, and consequently they believe that those who explain or endeavour to understand phenomena or miracles through their natural causes are doing away with God and His providence…”

For our current ‘enlightened’ atheistic or agnostic temperament of truth, ‘God’, the term, can be seen as or could be called the unquestioned base of, what I call, ‘conventional’ knowledge. But see, this is not to argue that there is a god or God at root under everything; rather, it is to say that conventional knowledge functions upon a given that is put into the impetus of the ‘potential of the future’ to hold that which is only not yet understood by its method (see also my essay “Aphilosophy, convention, God and faith). The method (conventional methodology), in this way, proclaims the truth of the universe by its universal ability to ‘uncover’ truth (the general rational ‘scientifical’ method). Such as this situation is, the truth of conventional knowledge is most clearly displayed as it ‘discovers’, explains or ‘develops’ things that were thought impossible, especially if it brings people profit or convenience, but also, when convention breaks with its accustomed order, for example, when people kill for the sake of killing, or the Law lets a guilty person go or imprisons an innocent. Exceptions to the rules allow the rules to be refined, more efficient and effective, and thereby enforce the reifying of conventional omnipresence and omnipotence.

The juxtaposition to see concerns how convention is oriented for reality. As indicated above, convention founds its truth in a historical progress of absolute categories, where terms of those categories maintain integral meaning to its object through time, and where terms change, the metamorphosis can be traced. This method sees that the categories ‘nature’ and ‘God’ of Spinoza indicate static elements, and that Spinoza’s argument concerns a critique of the God of miracles and by extension, an argument against the more superstitious rendering of God. His argument thus marks a moment of the progress away from religious hypocrisy or superstitious fantasy toward the more true or real scientific inquiry of nature. Conventional method thus sees itself as the motion and path of truth that has foreclosed the need for superstitious belief through open-minded investigating and explaining natural causes of before-seen miracles of God. In this way, though such superstitious belief is still around, convention has basically reduced all reality to a truth that is, can be, and will be found of nature; in the same motion, God has been pushed to the margins of incorporation with conventional reality; the workings of God are put into rational categories that are readily and easily adjusted for what science explains. In the most liberal of ideas, God is the relative unknown that resides into consciousness by the loose ends of science and psychology. As an effective unknown space, God can help, influence or be persuaded to move with a person and their life; God can comfort as well as create purpose out of misfortune, and of course God can be the inexplicable force behind good fortune. Similarly, God can be a sort of universal energy, still unexplained in its essence, but which can be used for a persons benefit; God in this manner is the basis of spiritual practice such as healthy living, meditation, tai chi, yoga, the 12-steps, and the like. Yet through all of these practices and concepts, God is no longer a truly active agent, but is more an involved element, a reason or result of conventional ideas and practices, all of which have a natural and rational basis of explanation that accounts for them. Furthermore, a necessity of God is not demanded, belief is an individual choice, since everything will have a natural explanation. Conventional reality thus accounts for all that can be explained by including within its potential, within its method of operation, that which is unexplained; nature and God are thereby brought under a general theory, so to speak, of methodology, where all that is explained and not explained is included in its dominion by its potential to make everything (at least, eventually) explainable. Nature as a category is inclusive to God, as creation, and God as a category is inclusive to nature as ‘a god’s’ effect concerns natural elements. In sum; convention has brought ‘God’ into itself, it has done away with a need for God by putting itself in that place. Convention, in this way, has encompassed ‘God and nature’ such that it sees its domain as total, as comprising all that is true, real, and existing.

Consequently, the conventional agent believes that those who explain or endeavor to understand phenomena through their ‘non-conventional’ causes, are doing away with the conventional methodology and its providence. The fact is, though, conventionalists have really no idea what it is to propose true and false, and has no standards but its own arbitrarity by which to place its standards. The nature of this method then corresponds with the next clause of Spinoza:

…They suppose, forsooth, that God is inactive so long as nature works in her accustomed order, and vice versâ, that the power of nature and natural causes are idle so long as God is acting: thus they imagine two powers distinct one from the other, the power of God and the power of nature, though the latter is in a sense determined by God, or (as most people believe now) created by Him. What they mean by either, and what they understand by God and nature they do not know, except that they imagine the power of God to be like that of some royal potentate, and nature’s power to consist in force and energy.

The point Spinoza is making, though he could not know it for the terms of our time, only his, is that the stasis of conventional terms prevents convention itself from falling prey to Spinoza’s formula; such conventional method typically distances itself from Spinoza by calling his position ‘pantheist’. in this way, through conventional progress, reality is presented to have included previously excluded ideas; for example, whereas resort to superstition used to be usual and accepted, now superstition has been debunked. To reiterate; convention thus disclaims God by its rationale, and affirms God so far a conventional method is activated in its considering of the possibility of God. The problem is revealed when what is ‘outside’ or ‘unaccounted by’ conventional reality is brought to bare upon conventional truths of method. The conventional response to this addressing, of elements devoted to the ‘God-ness’ of conventional reality, the ‘unknown’ outside conventional domain of the conventional ‘soon-to-be-known’ method, the effectively ‘miraculous’ or incredible aspect of conventional reality, is to view such non-conventional endeavors to be “doing away with”, what has now to be seen as, conventional ‘God-and-nature’ truth and its providence. Conventional method, offended by the revealing of what it cannot account for, sees the non-conventional or aphilosophical explanation as doing away with what is true, and thus reacts, as methodology usurps or commandeers what should be its true meaning, thereby making it a part of the conventional reality, for ideological, political or religious agendas, or plain calls it non-sense or false.

These are the facts of the matter, the discussion upon the point of contention, aphilosophy, and how it relates to conventional reality; it is the attempt to explain “phenomena” or “miracles” of conventional reality that is and or has been supposed within or by the conventional methodology to be natural, which is to say for much of it, sought in psychology. The irony is in the conventional orientation of itself dealing with nature, when it now must be seen, due to the aphilosophical explanation, that conventional reality is really a religious cosmology, a reality “formed in the mind of its God” that avoids what is natural existence by its very nature of avoiding is own existence. It is the conventional offense, its instilled fear of losing power, that reacts by redistributing true existential meaning onto the real map that is the conventional scheme of meaning that designates and corresponds true objects and their terms. Such conventional methodology would then place aphilosophical description in a particular category of either/or to for the truth of its faith in its own objects. And it is this feature of human existence that then speaks polemically, not relatively, of a universal ethical situation as existentially necessary – a discourse that modern theoretics will find quite distasteful.

The Problem of the Dialectic: Convention, Reality and Irony.

The dialectic, as I have said earlier, cannot be taken too seriously. For when it is, the break that has perspective finds the levity that brings the truth of the matter over the impending doom. Yet when things have become so serious, it is only because I have been presented with my self and the truth and I wish to hold to my faith, my salvation of true things. When I try to suck from the matter something so thick with seriousness, the moves I have reduce the possibility that I have come wrong, and I am squeezed with apprehension. It is then what I do with it is significant; but the state of affairs often shows that what is significant does not matter, so what is really significant is that I proceed even when no one is looking or cares. If I had a choice then I would probably care and the whole thing would become a circus; but perhaps I’m not realizing just what a master of ceremonies I am, or have become.

*

One problem in reading a true critical exegesis of reality and truth through the dialectic, has to do with the tendency of people to read argument as if there is an absolutely true object to be discerned, that this discerning must be of an ‘either/or’ nature, that indicates a decision. This decision occupies, or is situated within a singular and particular horizon. The difficulty, then, in reading essays such as this one, but any writing really, is that the meaning taken is offensive to this orientation. The situation is this: The points I bring appear to contradict what is apparently obvious, and so the individual either sees the points as exteraneous to their activity, interest or ability, like I am involved in a division of labor, i.e. computer science speaks a certain jargon that has nothing directly applicable to mowing lawns, and so I leave what involvement their talk has to do with me in their capable hands, or, they see what I am talking about as complete nonsense.

I should point out that there is no manner of speaking that can remove the reality of, say, a rock. I can of course, as I suggest in an earlier post, talk about how there is no amount of descriptive talking that will ever gain the rock. These two statements show how the problem of the previous paragraph takes place. People want to find either the first or the latter as true; if both are included, then the assumption is that the operation of the first is accounted for by the second and the second involves a division of labor. Yet, if one is taken as true, then the other must be not true, or ridiculous nonsense. In both of these meanings, the nature of facts is misunderstood. The fact of the rock is that it is there; another fact of the rock is we cannot know of it in-itself. The orientation that involves facts with the discussion founded upon a division of labor is of the conventional methodology, of conventional reality.

Reality is real. There is no more or less real reality, and what is not real is real in so much as what is not real is really a part of giving us what is real. There is nothing more or less real than reality but that which is real. Within reality (we cannot but move within reality) situations are presented. Outside of what is presented is that which has meaning, and this meaning discerns what is real and not real. Meaning is not before or after reality, but reality cannot but involve meaning. In so much as I then have been presented with something not real in this regard, i can only situate it by real terms. It is confusion or mistake that excludes by virtue of what is real, the true and false by absolute measure. This is all also to say that situations are posed, or posited, or are posed as they are presented but we do not know what is posed until they are posited. This situation is situated by Immanuel Kant as having to do with ‘the Idea’, ‘intuition’, and ‘the concept’.

Perhaps, a little Kant primer.

I will admit, right off, that mine will be a quite brief synopsis of his formulations, one that considers what is pertinent to this process here.

Kant was attempting to reconcile what he saw as superstitious ideas to what might be called more rational thinking; he was attempting to develop a more true metaphysics. His “Critique of Pure Reason” lays out the problem as well as the conventional solution in its title. His base is that there must be a type of reasoning, or ‘reason’ as in rational thinking, that is ‘pure’. There must be a type or way of thinking that discerns what is actually true of the real world, and he presents this ideal idea as “pure reason”. Keep in mind that his intent as a writer exhibited no particular consideration of irony in his theses, and this (ironically) set the stage for the possibility of convention, as I develop the term. Nevertheless, his ‘Critique’ can be read from opposing camps: (1) Kant was critiquing the very notion that there might be a ‘pure reason’. This stems from the apparency that every one has an aptitude for ‘reason’, though it may seem ‘irrational’ (for now, we set aside the more current ideological, modernist and post-modernist assertions that developed after Kant), and that everyone has a ‘pure reasoning’ behind their assertions of truth, even those ‘irrational superstitious’ ones. In this respect, he can be understood as bringing into question this assumption not only as it might be understood of unique individuals, but more so as the capacity of individuals might be captured under an umbrella of a common human capacity or ability, an ‘absolute’ Pure Reason. (2) The basic presumption of ‘rationality’ is upon a ‘Pure Reason’; his theses can likewise be a critique from this rational ‘purity’; he is thereby staking a true world upon refuting the ‘superstitious’ reasoning. See also that the term ‘reason’ can mean purpose, as in the reason we are discussing… as well as ability or capacity, as in listen to reason.

All of these approaches in reading his “Critique” includes his analysis, at least what is necessary; what is sufficient of his theses reveals his limitation, which is the noumena. The noumena is proposed as the object in-itself; his thesis sufficiency is a reconciling of the noumena and knowledge.

His proposal that is relevant here; If there is a ‘pure reason’ of any sort, then we human beings must have access to it, for if we cannot, then there is no speaking about it. Such access can be implied in experience and this, for Kant, is ‘the Idea’. Because such an Idea is only intuited, he brings in another notion, that by which we can infer the Idea in experience ‘through the senses’, which is then ‘intuition’. Then, the inferred and the inference comes together for knowledge in the ‘concept’. He proceeds to critically explicate the implications of meaning upon this base. He develops what ‘a priori’ and ‘a posteriori’ can mean involving also ‘analytical’ and ‘synthetical’ modes of knowing. The analytical has to do with ‘analyzing’ what is already given, supposedly by the ‘pure reason’, through the Idea, intuition and concept; the synthetical has to do with ‘synthesizing’ what has been derived from analysis of the given, the logical consequences of merging two ideas. Kant situates these activities through possibilities of their arrival ‘prior to’ or ‘after which’. Eventually he comes upon ‘imperatives’ that can be ‘hypothetical’ or ‘categorical’. A categorical imperative amounts to ‘what can only be done according to the pure reason’; a hypothetical imperative are those situations in which we may have an option, such as if I am thirsty I may get a drink of water. But, we come upon his limitation as his qualifiers of both these imperatives is contained within moral contingencies of activity, which is to say, of choice. The Idea is then that which is inferred by the intuition, which are then implied retrograde by the concept. The (small ‘i’) idea is that everyone has something ‘inside’ like a thought, but these thoughts do not come into actual play, in the real world, the ethical world, until they form a concept. The whole world thus concerns the object, the thing, the concept thereof, and so far as this world is an ethical world, that is, a world that exists as an interplay of activities but primarily as such activities involve behavior, such activities of human beings concern moral qualifiers of what one does or how one situates knowledge.

As an individual in the real world, it is not difficult to understand Kant’s motives nor his conclusions. It is commonplace that we have thoughts, these thoughts can be localized in ‘me’ or ‘you’, ‘I’ have thoughts that orient me in reality and the world; it makes sense that there might be a intangible Idea that has to do with an object, that I know of the object through an intuitive aspect of the mind that forms thus concepts. But part of the problem lay in the overdetermination of his (our) presentations, which is particularly conventional. His intentions were based in a type of brutal honesty that is not too often seen; he was not afraid of the potential that might contradict his preconceptions, and so his product ended up serving existence more that reality. The conventionalist – and I mean to point to the ‘philosophers’ of Laruelle, the conventional methodologists, the ‘philosophy of…’ people – would have Kant be giving us a method by which to dissect the ‘true objects’ of reality. Like learning math, they carefully and studiously learn how to discern analytical a priori statements from a posteriori synthetical statements and likewise hypothetical and categorical imperatives as if (1) the statements are really reflecting possibilities of true ‘out-there’ things, (2) that the mind is limited by its also being founded of an object (the brain or body), that knowledge is an aspect of information of an object, and (3) that the truth of reality (the true organization of the universe) can be found through applying Kant’s methods and other critically formed methods, such as the method evident with Lyotard’s ‘phrasing’ (see below). This latter application, by the way, was (maybe still is) responsible for much post-modern nonsense: the conventional misunderstanding of the point of contention activating catalyzing the intentive activities involved in discovering the truth by application of the method.

What Kant achieved though despite himself, is a cleft, a break, a ‘scandalous’ destruction of the world he was attempting to (re-)build. By undertaking a critical project based upon ‘conventional truths derived from Pure Reason’, he revealed that ethics is insufficient to establish the truth of the whole world through of the possibility of that world reduced to discourse itself. Hence, his critique that was intended to establish a particular rational base for activity in the world, not only disrupted the very Idea of rationality (pure reason), but did so through the assumption of a common rationality that ultimately lead to the disruption. This feat of existential motion that disrupts what it establishes in its establishing is called transformation, but for reality, it is called irony.

*

The issue lay exactly here: there is indeed a thing there, say, a rock, and I cannot but speak about it. Lyotard goes even further by saying that even a silence speaks, he thus reduces the issue to the phrase, that even though a person may not actually vocalize about the thing, something about the thing is still being ‘said’.

Hence, we can situate Kant’s Idea, intuition, and concept. The problem inherent with his proposal had to do with thought, as thought is seen to be prior to, a priori, the world. A whole priority of ordering is thus established of reality, as what is real also designates the true world. Thought is central to this world. Thought, by this situation, appropriates all reality (this statement in itself is problematic, but), the inner and outer, and reality, due to this orientating placement of the individual subject, is thereby set in a true real duality of the ‘thinker’ and the ‘world’, a duality that calls for ethics and morality.

Now; it is just this type of stating of the facts that results in a reader being offended. It says to him, “here is the problem of the situation”, and the ‘problem’ means something must be wrong with the object of the situation, or the conclusions I state. In this case, I am taken to be saying that there is in reality no ‘thinker’, let alone ‘thought’, and no ‘world’ separate of the thinker, as well that the call for ethics must be somehow incorrect. But I am not saying this; I am saying that such an orientation, that is offended of this case, is real, but it is not true. By this I mean that reality is determined through a conventional methodology; conventional methodology is not ‘wrong’ but is absolutely necessary. What is mistaken is the placement of the idea of thought within the conventional scheme of meaning; the placement is real because the scheme says its necessary for there to be thought in such a manner in that placement, that thought can only be so in this way to be true. This necessity is then exactly what presents its fault – because, how could it not be necessary? The mistake of conventional reality is to answer: The methodology relies upon no knowable absolute base, and because this base is unknowable, the methodology that addresses or seeks the ‘ability’ is absolutely true, though through the methodology we can determine if the results of the method are false. Significantly enough, the conventionalist would deny that there is any absolute method, and would point to particular methods to show this, i.e. the mathematicians’ method, the plumbers’ method, the teachers’ method, the dialecticians’ method, the surfer’s method, the surgeon’s method, etcetera. But the base that is conventionally ‘unknowable’ is merely a situation of the term, because convention would have little problem with ‘knowing’ that the unknowable base arises with the human being existing in the world, indeed, that it is existence that allows for our ‘seeking’ as well as our ability to ‘seek’ – the seeking appears to have paid off with the absolute truth once again, as neuroscience, psychology, astrophysics and other sciences have determined and are determining, beyond a reasonable doubt, to know things beyond our ability to know (exactly: the true object of faith, the true relation of subject and object).The aggravation here is that these statements are typically read through one lens, so to speak, the conventional lens of truth, as Plato marks it, ‘of the greater position’. So we have a conventional situation where what is real is equivocal with knowing about an unknown, where a term (unknowable) is designated as real, which is to indicate a condition of reality, through the meaning of another term that is knowable (existence); together they form a conventional truth, to wit, existence is what informs humanity to what is real because reality accounts for existence. Another redundancy is found if we continue: Reality is that which allows for our knowing of existence, as existence unfolds in process to grant us reality. Knowledge, here, is always seen as a conducting catalyst of identity between the individual and the true object. The containing operation that equivocates reality with existence poses its limitation as ‘not-limited’ through designations of ‘true/false’, ‘either/or’, and this very limitation can be exhibited in many if not all real situations. The greater truth is founded in limitation, which, when addressed by the “phrase”, reveals only a conventional context.

This is not confronting any necessary context of meaning, since that by which context has meaning is the necessity of conventional method; the operations of the method have no necessary base of relations but that of the world, its object, and the world is real. So long as context is limited to a particular meaning of an object, to a particular (absolute) way of coming upon what is true, we have the redundancy that occurs with the ‘phrase’, that then necessarily moves into a specific temporal context, i.e. the ‘true universe’, that becomes, in one instance, the explication of the present existence, often known as ideological structure or a ‘meta-linguistic’ analysis, but can also at times venture out into the ‘spiritual’ or ‘scientific’ realms of matter, particles, waves, minds, souls, parallel universes and planes of existence (metaphysics and mythology), and in another, cultural critique that seeks to explain a proper course of activity, both thoughtful and behavioral, which then is the moral world that Kant Begins and ends with. Since ‘what is moral’ likewise is made into an object in this way (non-philosophy’s philosophical object), the individual becomes caught in an eternal negotiation of intent and motives based in momentary circumstances. The problem thus becomes intensified and increasingly localized as one attempts to circumscribe the world within these psychic and behavioral (discursive) realms. In the last conventional resort, the problem persists as a ‘world’ that perpetuates the transcending and immanent operations that was or is first proposed to be overcome.

Hence, we have problematized, again, duality, but reduced to its significant bases: the world or universe, and the method by which we engage with it, that is, the object and the subject, respectively. More so, we have reduced this duality to another duality (the non-philosophical quadripartite?), where the only object that exists is one confined the the dictates of an ethical situation. What this means has to do with what I have called the ‘subject-object’, the human being centered upon a true world that is discerned through thought, and ultimately the differend that is indicated by the division of faith from knowledge. For what we mean when we speak of the subject cannot but exclude or include the object in question. We cannot reduce the whole world to a single rhetoric of reality (ah, but we do!) and this is to say, where reality is reduced to a one universe, there we have exclusion, faith, and where there is at least two realities, there we have knowledge. But knowledge then can be that the subject is the meaning of the object as well as the topic of discussion, and as these conflate, the individual human being. Therefore, in so much as we have distinguished the significance of reality, we also find that knowledge tends toward an establishment of the truth where it might lack (of these realities), and is then again usurped by convention.

The issue is not about discourse as a bracketed phrase or context; Lyotard is speaking less of method and more of existence, of the necessary categories that extrapolate from any situation; which is, in his case, as well as mine, the point of contention. The dialectic is crucial here: Where the phrase may be operative for any reality, by contrast, context is a relation of meaning that defies convention while using it as a means; the point of contention can be said to be that base from which meaning springs out of context: the term. Lyotard offers us thus a rendition of the point of contention, reducing ‘reality’ to the present within or of or to discourse itself, showing how the ‘phrase’ can either encompass or lack its supposed subject, but including these motions into a proposed ‘non-lack’ or truth of reality (singular); his point thus presents convention. He leaves the differend to itself with reference to discourse, as discourse (the phrase) implicates existence. As a motion before the court, I beg to differ, and submit that, though Lyotard has fully explored conventional reality, its existential destructive motion, he comes very close but misses irony; the issue concerns the term, and a person’s orientation upon its reality.

* *

For those who might be where a full understanding of the issue begins, I wish to admit two things:

(1) Nothing has been discovered anew. In the same way that any object can begin the reduction to the same issues at hand, every ‘good’ philosopher worth its salt deals with the point of contention.

This is why I do little citing or relating of ideas; every other sentence I wrote would be filled with at least another sentence if not paragraph of citing and bibliography. Of course, this blog is mainly a working space, and future books and essays will most probably report the redundancy of authors’ ideas.

(2) Where I may differ is where every thinker differs in the discussion after the point of contention; but where I go further, I do so only upon the necessary results of the premises given in time.

It is not so much then that I may discover a new synthesis based upon a considerate analysis of the ideas of other authors, rather, it is that such authors deal with the point of contention, and so in reading I find out what has already been said of it, that in repeating, reiterating or ‘re-phrasing’ it, I may thus present something ‘new’. This motion can be said, thus, to be of the differend of the dialectic, which is, in every case, ironic. The reader, if s/he is keen, will then inevitably proceed to ‘throw out the ladder’.

Thoughts of God, the Dialectic of Faith and the Conventional Bias.

As we move into the process of constructively undoing the presumptions of method that present to us the problem-filled world of reality we all know, for which we recourse to hope, it may be well that you need not venture into that heart of darkness all alone. Otherwise, at minimum, you should see that it is only on the precipice that the abyss seems endless; we need no longer cringe back into the bliss of faith. One may proceed as in a liturgy, but where the call and response of priest and congregants are removed from any hierarchical or proper structure, the hymnal and ‘Good Book’ consigned to discourse, the priest extraneous, its voice from the outside, an unnecessary element, and the congregants likewise lose their imperative compulsion to supplicate. Neither does the arrogance of righteousness cloud the firmament of heaven.

Considered much, and ventured far from civility, it is often difficult not to speak the truth; I am sure it is with you. Bias is only mitigated through faith, so we have first to deal with situating the conventional bias.

The truth exists through the dialectic, as one is thereby placed within it. So, we should situate what is meant here by the dialectic; here I tend away from Aristotle, more toward Hegel. I call into play here an idea developed by Jean-Francois Lyotard: the differend. We might see that his is an extrapolation or possibly re-presentation, a re-iteration of what Hegel presented; yet i would go so far to say that most, what is called, Continental philosophy, if not all philosophy in general, is merely a re-presentation of the point of contention.

Lyotard’s moves and layout of the necessary reprecussions of his designation are not entirely pertinent here; this is because his project exhibits problematic limitations (which I will more thoroughly address) that can be discerned by his situating the dialectic as part of a total phrasing by which he poses the differend. Breaking with his inherent boundary, a boundary that forces significance in polemical fashion ( a differend of itself), I shall call the differend that aspect of discourse that cannot be accounted for within conventional discussion, but nevertheless is involved ironically. It is not a basis of such discussion, nor a given, nor a ‘decision’ of the like of Francois Laruelle; in fact it is the converse of the philosophical decision, and not un-akin to the non-philosophical method, so to speak. A differend is that which stands ‘in the way’ of discussion; it grants the discussion from the person that reaches out to an other in order to establish a common ground. A differend is that by which a discussion about the nature of reality and existence may take place and have credence beyond the division of labor. It is also the assumption of what is common between participants where the assumption carries no weight for the discussion due to the differend allowing for faith by its absence. A differend is a means for accounting for truth; it is a way ‘I’ can account for ‘you’ as well as you, I, as well as we, the world. Thus, complicit yet skew to Lyotard’s situation, we should see that a true dialectic occurs, not between two parties in an attempt to locate or discover truth, the process based in faith (bad faith), rather, it occurs of the first party in relation with the differend of the presented discussion, such that the differend is the only ‘thing’ that remains constant through the real scheme of negotiated truths, that which brings the discussion of two parties indeed to a common ground. In this way or effect, the differend is what likewise presents, in relief, what I have termed the conventional methodology for truth, that which supplies the ‘true object’.

“Be not discouraged” is operative. In the dialectic, we come to terms with this, for an object is an obstacle that brings in its relief the irreconcilable damages that then require the reasonable doubt for which faith is demanded, the judgement of the court.

The philosopher Bertrand Russell has given us a pretty good rendition of the issue of the ‘true object’, but I shall attempt my own. I present an object, and ask, “what is it; that thing there in front of us? How shall I define it?” Maybe I begin by describing its functions, then its characteristics. Have I succeeded in granting what, say, a chair is? The person next to me says, well, you have given me qualities of that thing there, but im not sure you have conveyed what a chair is; I know what it is, but i wish to communicate what it is. So then maybe I go to a dictionary, maybe an encyclopedia. Still, the person is not convinced. We are looking at a chair, we both call it a chair, but I have not succeeded in granting to him what a chair is, beyond an incomplete description of that thing that somehow is common between us. In fact, I can continue to describe aspects of that thing and I will never get to a complete description of it. Then, besides whether or not the thing ‘the chair’ can be described enough to grant it, there are also questions that bring into question that there is really a thing that corresponds with the label ‘chair’. For example, if I say ‘a chair has four legs’, one may ask if a table qualifies as a chair, and I could say, yeah, if I sit on it then it could be a chair. But if you don’t sit on it, can it still be a chair?

This is the situation of every object. It is not a situation of subjective, personal or individual realities, but neither is there an absolute qualifier for what a ‘chair’ is beyond knowledge. This is the idea Kant expounded upon when he concluded there is no knowable object “in-itself”, that objects exist entirely within or of knowledge. His analysis goes much further in depth, situating terms and discussing the outcomes of the apparently logical ordinances that then arise, than our discussion here requires. Yet, we should see that his analysis involves a differend that implicates at least two ‘things’, an object in-itself, the chair in our example, as well as a ‘brain’ or ‘mind’ (a subject, un-problematized) that is deduced as incapable of overcoming the epistemological wall (the object problematized); this situation, then, presents a fundamental duality, a given that then allows for its own denial, a forgetting, so as to allow his presentation. Though his effort concerned establishing a ‘better’, less superstitious, metaphysics, he succeeds ironically in perpetuating the same (see my subsequent post).

The key to breaking this epistemological nightmare, though, where what surely appears to me as a true thing is actually not so true, at least, in so much as I might want to convey it to another person, is the third party. In the third party lay the responsibility of truth, there resides truth’s criterion. It is the problem of the third party that reveals one’s orientation upon the object. Orientation concerns the differend. In contrast to the dialectic as I situate it above, but projected toward what Lyotard calls “the referent”, what can be called the object, where the thing or object is taken as self-evident, as containing aspects of itself that human beings through some method can then know as true (for example, the proposed objects of conventional dialectic and discourse in general) as well, where the subject is localized by the individual for the sake of the substantiation of the individual – in other words, where there is no deferend worth mentioning – we have then the ‘true object’. Where the situation of knowledge concerning communication is mitigated or denied for the sake of having a true thing, due to the ‘displacement’ of the individual into reality, there we also have faith.

The overlay of ideas that accounts for the dialectic of faith concerns the subject as the subject no longer is distinguished through the conventional methodology as equivocal to the individual. What then emerges through this differend is a real assertion of the priority of the individual that henceforth can be called the ‘subject-object’.

Hence; what we deal with can be understood through the following possibilities:
(1) Faith: The relation between transcendent-immanent (God) and human involving a total reality of the created universe (of objects);
(2) Faith: The relation between (1) and the subject-object, which is to say, the individual of conventional reality;
(3) The effective differend of (1) and (2).

* *

With the foregoing in mind, I begin with a quote from an ongoing discussion of comments for the previous post “Issues and Existence”:

– “For example: I discover I have terminal cancer. I have heard that God loves me, and I have heard that God is all-powerful. Given these “truths,” I can’t imagine why God would not cure me of cancer, so I ask him to cure me.
Why does a request like this not get answered with a cure 100 percent of the time?

If I understand The Bible’s rendition of our story, this world is no longer the world that God created or intended. God has a plan to restore creation, but His Death-to-Life Project moves directly through death.

So, I think a short answer to the question is that God is leading humanity on a difficult — but hopeful — route through a ruined world“.
.”

Since the idea of faith is so tied up with Christian ideology and cosmology, I’m gonna give a list of ideas mentioned in the excerpt that I have difficulty with:

– god intends.
– god loves
– god restores creation
– god is leading humanity through a ruined world

These above statements present most poingnoantly the problem I’m treating. The statements indicate one statement. I’m going to skip over that it relies and implicates a ‘Divine Power’ (obviously), and go to what is most significant: It exactly ‘presents’ a proposed absolutely true object, God, and beckons the human being away from the world. It confirms the problems of humanity, that a human being cannot but have problems, that is, that the ‘problems’ are universal (again, a proposed ‘true object’) and so all human beings deal with problems the same way; which is to say, they have a common mode of psyche that defines humanity as such – saying this without a speck of irony. God thus ‘intends’ better for ‘all’ humanity because humanity is taken as another common true object amoung other objects of a true universe (God at the ‘top’ as creator of true objects) with absolute definitive qualities and having ‘difficulty’ being such because it is human nature in-intself, as human nature is defined by the ability to choose out of thier (problematic) sinful condition through ‘repentance’ and belief, this idea being totally misconstrewed in the idea of free will. The correspondence between these two true objects (the ‘equal’ and common true object called the human being and the true object ‘God’ that intends and tends for that humanity) must indeed be one of faith as I have described, and bridged in Christianity by belief in Jesus, instead of relieved through knowledge of what is said of him. I would suggest reading, or re-reading Nietzsche.

I would prefer to say “God is love”. If there is a heavenly or divine aspect that human beings can be involved with, it must be love. But this has nothing to do with “why God would not cure me”, except that one is involved with an orientation upon the world that requires of him (the individual), for the sense that one can have of it, to think of oneself as partial to oneself essentially, that is, as having elements of themselves that can be separate from other parts, such as, my self, what people like to call ‘ego’ (which is a most appropriate idea here), separate from God. Only through this type of denial can ‘a God’ love, and by extension or retraction, love the individual.

We can begin to situate how conventional reality lacks in irony by considering what
Slavoj Zizek has said about love:

(You can also google ‘Slavoj Zizek on love’, if the link doesn’t work.)

In listening to Zizek, one should see that how he frames his bit is the same that frames the differend with its referent, so to speak, that the universe is contained or accounted for as a totality in this framing. Thereby, if there is a ‘good’, as one might inscribe a whole universe, ‘inclusivity maxima’, where all is ‘come over’ by a total ethics, where the impetus (non-impetus?) is toward or completed, resolved, in ‘goodness’, then it is what can be understood as a ‘beginning-and-but-end’, or perhaps, a ‘creation’, and ‘good’ is the purpose or reason in a ‘returning to’ (reckoning). Love is then the proposed motion of this return. Against the ‘beginning’, as what has begun thereby separates what has set out from its beginning, and what at one time began is now separated from, Zizek says, “love is evil”.

We are situated in a world that we supposedly all know. Some people who proclaim themselves as a sort of activist, or maybe spiritual advocate for whole-ness, of a whole world, say they love the world, while others of a more pessimistic nature might say they hate the world. But these postures reflect the very position of ‘being set out’, of having the inherent ability gained by their being ‘not whole’. By the fact of the phrase, as Lyotard might put it, such sayings present the world as separated, as ‘not good’, as ‘evil’. By the sayings or assertions of position (presented presentations: representations), those seek to overcome the discrepancy involved in the having to say ‘I love…’ or ‘I hate…(the world)’. The sayings present thus a ‘longing’ that cannot be resolved – except through faith. Thus Zizek is saying “We do not love the whole world…(rather) we pick and choose what we love” through the phrases as they indicate a referent (the true object); the condition of such referent is, though, insolvent, and is thus termed expressions of the evil that resides in the world.

*

If ‘creation’ means its most exstistant meaning, as opposed to its existing meaning, then there is nothing to restore; rather, every moment restores what was lost through itself. This is the dialectic, the truth found within. To bring in ‘a God’ destroys so it might redeem; when one reads many Gnostic texts, we get a glimpse of how they situated this possibility in discourse. (By the way, Laruelle attempts to reiterate this meaning without reifying the Gnostic dogma or the textual form of analysis {hermeneutics}.) In most religious-type systems, such ideas typically are found in ‘secret”; this includes Judaism. The God who creates the world or universe is seen to have revolted from an earlier ‘God’ from which the ‘creator’ came. If I recall, at least in one Gnostic text, this creator-god is seen to hold the world in a lie, and proclaims upon his creation “you will have no other Gods before me”.

From another angle, if you think about it, one must ask, why would a god who created all the heavens and the earth need to make a law, to command his creation not to have any other gods?

The ‘ruined world’ must be that human situation where such a commandment is necessary. So it is that with the presentation of the commandments we have already the ruined world. But there has been no ‘progress’. There has only been the situation of the ‘one and the others’: the one, such as Moses or Jesus, who has knowledge, and the others, who need or have faith. The ones of knowledge need no faith, they know the truth; creation is manifest; creation exists. Only for those of faith does creation need to be restored, because ruination is their own, but denied for the sake of faith. The restoration never occurs because the situation is the situation of existence, not of conventional history, not of the true past toward a fulfilled future. The movement of such history is entirely of knowledge, spoken synchronously, the subject separated from the individual projected into humanity and extended as hope in time. Thus the movement of history is the movement of humanity involved in this dialectic, the discussion founded upon the responsibility of the third party, and how this is situated for meaning; there is nothing beyond this aspect. This is to say, the movement of what is beyond is ironic; so much as history is extended in time as the discrepancy and dynamic of knowledge and faith, what is beyond is beyond distinction in this way: It is contradiction in truth and paradox in meaning. It is that which contradicts while affirming that is existence, and in this way, is offensive to conventional truth: the truth is absurd. That which contradicts and is offensive to conventional faith is that we merely are meaning-making creatures; what is absurd is that this reduction allows for meaning that arises from such meaninglessness, the truth of reality in faith: the double voice.

What we can have of the differend is the distinction between knowledge and faith, instead of the relation that is revealed of knowledge and faith that tends toward a speculative metaphysics of conventional reality. The difference is located in whether all the facts are accounted for without offense or not. What is not offensive to the conventional method, the reason why metaphysics is so alluring, is that it is involved with, indeed, making progress. Whether such progress is marked by technological, scientific, economic, emotional, mental, religious or other objective genres makes no difference because they are all motions of the conventional methodology of reality, of the individual of objects, all motions posited in faith. I submit that humanity, the conglomerate or constituency of human beings, of faith is being lead nowhere. What is ‘difficulty’ is being free and alone in a hostile world, and this then beckons a faith in hope as purpose. But likewise, what is difficult is the knowledge of what is true against the multitude of faith. The one of knowledge thus is not alone in a hostile world, but free against the hostility founded through the ones of faith. His difficulty is that he knows the truth and thereby is lead; the problem then is how to come to terms with the people of faith. The problem here then, is how the differend is situated in reality. The differend has to do with absolute presentation of the situation, not so much the phrase or its existant or substantive role in context, but rather as i have said, the issue is the term.

*

Direct Tangent 6.9: A Word on Faith: An Appropriate Rendition of Francois Laruelle’s ‘Sufficient Philosophy’; The True Object, A Moment with Pierre Bourdieu and the Practice of Process.

As a close to the Direct Tangents and segue to the next, this essay is a simple and direct stating of a basic series of the matter at hand. By ‘series’ i mean to refer to the structure of argument: points that must be understood as true in order for there to be an discussion; what are called ‘premises’ usually do not have to be true, but only sufficiently understood for an argument, but then communication may not occur. I would say that it is the insufficiency of premises, and thus argument in general, upon which conventional reality is manifested. A practice of process involving a statement of series is the condition of truth; here, I cannot, that is, am incapable of coming upon a concept already proposed as if it should not be or not have been, as if i were then jealous or offended, against which i would then argue. In the process of truth, there is no exceptions. The issue is not so much about finding truth; it has to do with the situation of terms. What is the object?

We deal in two possibilities. If i am stating my position by my opinion, i can call it an argument, and I can start anywhere I please as long as I develop sufficient premises. Yet, because, here, we deal in truth, I may not approach as if I am speaking within a conversation already developed (considering my whole blog is really one essay). I must start at the beginning, not in the middle, every time. I thus do not ‘disguise’ my target through addressing what then appears to be particular arenas of discourse, though I may use such discursive objects as an occasion for what I have to propose. The tact that is taken by many writers, whether acknowledged by them or not, of opinion, is often deceptive at best, a type of withholding, and derailing for many who would otherwise be interested.

Though Francois Laruelle appears to come very close to being ‘honest’, a reader has to be somewhat informed as to the particular meaning of what terms he presents, cloaked as they are in a type of conventional-institutionalized deception (what I have designated as ‘jargon’), to be able to appreciate what he has to say; indeed, Laruelle produces his own “dictionary” of non-philosophical terms, an effort that i see as unnecessary. It is sufficient to convey his meaning, and necessary in that he could propose it in no other way for himself and be in line with his intent, but it is not necessary by virtue of the insolvency of the true object (see below). In his attempt to be transparent and approachable (I must grant this to every writer, at first), he ‘auto-excludes’ much of his potential audience, and demands of his audience a certain academic effort. In previous posts, I have addressed this by suggesting he is in bad faith by his presentation, since – is he not supposed to be speaking upon ideas that concern everyone? And if not, why not? I, on the other hand exclude all but none in that I approach through an intent to be clear to everyone as well as myself; my exclusivity is found by choice, as there is maybe barely one who would have never chosen to come upon my work. (Nevertheless, one should note: Laruelle’s manner is indeed appropriate, since he is attacking what can be seen as the ‘head of the beast’, the effectively institutional-religio-ideologicracy of conventional method called “philosophy”, the ‘bastion of the sacred method’ by which he is a self-proclaimed “heretic”. Just as Martin Luther, and just as noteworthy, Martin Luther King Junior, among many others, challenged the prevalent institution of their times by advocating and practicing what can be seen as the antithesis of the institution’s pro-motion, Laruelle confronts the similar element of our time, but in a ‘radical’ manner. Reader, please keep this in mind as I occasion Laruelle in this discussion. I am left to wonder if in his assault on the boarder gates he has become a citizen of his own pillaging and continues to build and climb an ever renewing ladder, or whether in his proposition he has thrown away the ladder.)

So, whether or not his intent is to also confront the greater reality, I see that when he says ‘philosophy’, and proceeds to address and direct his activity upon and through a supposed institution or discipline called ‘philosophy’, he is also talking about how people in general may have ‘philosophies of…’ the various aspects and circumstances of life and existence. In contrast, I suspend no presumptions; I am addressing and treating of truth, and nothing less than what it seems a life of experience has lead me to see of how myself and other regular people (including theorists) deal with life. What is ‘rigorous’ is the critical undertaking of experience, and less so, the experience of learning how I might approach an analysis of it and thus so to speak of it. I thus approach from a proposed basis of ignorance, because that is how I came upon the world, through doubt, and through a transparent process that shows frustration and contempt as well as assuredness and askance upon the issues (Constructive Undoing is a process) as most anyone earnestly interested would, attempt to shed light on the significant issues concerning reality and existence. Hence, I hope it helps with this purpose to say that Laruelle and I are parallel in our presentations, but moreso involved in a basic parallax upon the same point of contention.

To this end, a have located a (another) specific occasion. Laruelle’s “sufficient philosophy” suggests that philosophy sees itself sufficient by itself to indicate what is true in-itself, what is true of truth. Where Laruelle has coined this idea, appearing as proposing as he is addressing a specific discipline, as he may or may not be, I coin ‘conventional methodology’ to make explicit that I am indeed taking on truth and reality of the everyday sort, the ‘ordinary method’ of coming upon reality pertaining to agreement with accepted standards, and in this I submit that I step to where Laruelle avoids, as he has been invested in a (slightly) more conservative effort, a conservation of the clause – ironically, at least in appearance.

*
*

Here is an excerpt from Pierre Bourdieu’s “The Logic of Practice” with my clarification comments in brackets, not italicized:

One has to escape from the realism of the structure {the true object}, to which objectivism…necessarily leads when it hypostatizes {makes, sees, understands or otherwise develops as foundational} these relations {true relations of conventional methodology} by treating them as realities already constituted outside the history of the group {an object ‘in-itself’ or ‘out-there’ as opposed to the individual thinking human being} – without falling back into subjectivism, {the individual thinking human} which is quite incapable of giving an account of the necessity of the social world { in so much as reality or the world can be argued as originating from the individual human being (subjectivism), it fails to account for the apparent arbitrary agency of random events and other conscious subjects}.” [1980 Stanford University Press; English translation, 1990 Polity Press. Pg. 52]

One cannot assume a common understanding. This is why there is discussion. But a discussion must find a common ground before there is true communication. This is the initial problem. The meaning of the terms of the issue have not been sufficiently disclosed, and it seems for our discussion, here, we are up against a very large obstacle: faith.

What I mean when I use this term is also part of the problem; through Constructive Undoing I have been attempting to indicate how faith is to be situated so communication might then occur. In this post I have presented the above excerpt because it describes the situation in a pretty good and clear manner, such that I might be able to elaborate and thus promote and get at a sensible, understandable and productive communication. In short, I turn the conventional meaning of faith, as having to do with belief and choice, on its head, or rather, back upon itself and its proclamations of truth, proposing that the conventional effort itself is based in faith, yet more precisely I propose faith as the containment that allows for the individual and conventional reality due to its ‘having’ choice and belief, but that the truth needs no faith.

Here is a more fluid reading (my rendition appropriate to ‘faith’) of the excerpt above:

One has to escape from objectivism, the idea of the true object, where objects exist ‘out there’ in the world and where the human being is likewise an object among objects of a true universe, the meaning of which allows for and maintains an absolutely true scheme that relates objects and establishes conventional reality. But also, one should not respond by falling into subjectivism, or the idea that reality stems from the individual thinker, or that whatever one believes is thus true, for this idea also fails to account for much of the aspects and activity of a social world.

Please note that Bourdieu is involved with a critique of anthropology and sociology, their theories and practices of approaching and analyzing cultures. Though his presentation is quite profound, I will not go into his particular argument here, except to say that his proposal is that one needs instead to look at practice, hence his book “The Logic of Practice”. At some point in the future I will discuss in more detail the relevance of his and others’ positions and activities. For now, his is a sufficient occasion to talk about faith.

In as much as Bourdieu proposes a solution of ‘practice’, I extract from his proposal and develop ‘faith’. The situation that he describes above, that one must “escape” from, represents how faith is constituted as reality. For my occasion toward meaning and in a manner of speaking, he is suggesting that what is necessary for truth is to relinquish ones faith in objectivism and subjectivism. It is not difficult to understand what a usual or common object is; we see them and interact with them every moment of our lives: the tree, the lamp, the box, the shirt, the person. What is not so easy is to see that these objects are not solute in knowledge, meaning, though they might be presented to knowledge, and may be re-presented by knowledge, such knowledge does not contain or correspond with any true object except that what is ‘true’ is likewise qualified or quantified to a ‘true’ meaning. What this means is that knowledge reflects only knowledge; it also means that what is at issue is where or how truth finds its ground, or its fundamental basis. Knowledge cannot, does not, ‘reach’ some ‘out there’ object, nor does the various qualities of such a true object (what can be known as an object “in-itself”, or what I call an “absolute true object”) influence knowledge or yield up information of itself that knowledge then ‘apprehends’ or ‘gains’ of it. Knowledge is not ‘knowledge of…’ so to speak. Admittedly, though, this concept seems to defy common sense, but it is apparent when one attempts to convey a truth without sensory confirmation, and without faith; hence, what is ‘common’ sense.

What we are dealing with here is a necessarily advocated separation of things in the world; we are dealing with what we see actually occurring in life and ones perception of life and the world. The method of theoretical reduction of reality to some ‘more real’ idea, such as Laruelle’s “Real” or “vision-in-One” as opposed to “reality”, is merely a situating of meaning based upon a presumption of the true object, and this yields nothing but a mythological ideology, as if one mythology might be better or more advanced or progressed than another. How is it possible for there to be a something more or less real? Despite all discursive gymnastics, only through relativity can we have a Real and then a reality, only in a world where terms are able to indicate something better than or worse than, ignorant and enlightened, essential as opposed to mundane: only in a world determined through a conventional methodology. To be more more precise, the issue is not of a discerning or discovering of (true) things based upon phrasing, clause or context, but quite the converse. It is not a mis-definition that gives us the mistake of belief in the true object, it is something infinitely more subtle and insidious: it concerns ones orientation upon the term; the issue has to do with a situating of terms for a designation of the object.

Bourdieu does an absolutely amazing job at putting into words the situation of reality as it pertains to this idea, how theoretical assertions fail, how exactly terms interact meaningfully, and how these issues resolve in, what he proposes, practice. Here, though, I am not so concerned with the particular discursive meanings of practice since we all practice every day. Our ‘inner’ thoughts and ‘outer’ physical activities are the manifestation of existence; so far as I am concerned, the world of practice just “Is”. The contemplations of what I shall do to day as well as how I actually do it as well as the thoughts about all this is commonplace, well worked and though interesting, not very significant. Things get done, I have my attitudes, my opinions, others have theirs – life goes on. But it is how one is oriented upon such ability to “practice” that is significant: it reveals ‘faith’, or how one is oriented upon reality.

Where it is possible for an absolutely true object to be correspondent with, or signify itself as, a person’s thought of it, there is faith, but also conventional reality. The theoretical reduction that would remove the incidence of meaning intended here, that would rebut again to reveal how “there is no absolutely true object”, has not grasped reality, but has asserted it; indeed, in that theoretical move, conventional faith has been restated. Such a faith is not of reflection, it is of direction; conventional faith is of the naive past toward a knowing of truth revealed as such, a superstitious past toward an ‘enlightened’ future. The direction is the conflation of sense and knowledge; the sensation combined with what ‘makes sense’, knowledge, amounts to the true object; so it is also with the ‘sensation’ based upon a ‘proper’ theoretical argument. The reflection that understands that the sensation only confers meaning through knowledge, and not along side of it or conspiratorially with it, is not in play for conventional reality: a TV is a TV, a doll is a doll, a tree a tree, a car a car, cells are cells, bricks bricks, a bird a bird, a dog a dog – a theory a theory – the assemblage or ‘world’ of such true objects, I call ‘conventional reality’, or simply ‘reality’. We should be not so concerned with some fundamental, more real, reality, which is to say concerned with how to describe (the true object called) reality for what it ‘really’ looks like, for this amounts to a metaphysical proposition; rather, our discussion here has to do with what is practical, what emerges as a result of ‘practicing the process’ life.

Absolute true objects rely on and are found by the possibility in equivocation of thought to the thing out there that is sensed and a subsequent negotiation with things out there or other; such objects rely not only on knowledge but on an indication – i say “tree” and i point over there and the person next to me sees the tree or touches it or smells it and nods “yes, i agree, that is a tree” and thereby we know that thing there is a tree in truth absolutely. By the term ‘absolute’ I mean to indicate an orientation one has upon reality, but this is difficult because in our discussion of faith there is no objective referential like a tree to point to; i can only describe situations from the occasioning of objects ( such as this ‘discursive’ object called faith). Again, even as I would argue the position that there are no absolutes, that such ideas gain their meaning as relation, which is to say, in the negotiation of meaning, i am arguing not only a truth, but i am asserting an absolute nature, aspect or thing of the universe, as if the universe has given me some piece of data or information of itself to my knowledge, as if the true one universe has relinquished or revealed itself to my knowledge. The irony of this situation cannot be overdetermined.

Conventional reality that rests upon the possibility of the absolutely true object is not true, but only true in knowledge; the reality that mistakes the ‘object of knowledge’ for the ‘knowledge of the (true) object’ is of faith. Only through knowledge can we know of what may be sense; the sense that orients sensation, as from the physical senses, that would distinguish it (sensation) from thought to show how they involve separate elements of stimuli and process, also uses such ideas to develop and reinforce the incorporated individual who is manifested, a human being, as a result of these elements. The idea is that thoughts can be distinguished from raw physical senses but the sense can influence thoughts and thoughts the senses, but that in fact they are intimately intertwined. The real human being is defined in reality and in this way is real. Hence, what i say is not real of the human being is that none of these situations can be recognized without knowledge, and thus knowledge is the total situation of being human. But, as pointed out, we should not take this to mean that we should look to subjectivity for the truth, as subjectivity usually denotes belief, not so much because, as Boudieu puts it, subjectivity fails to account for and actually avoids social contingencies, but rather because the rhetorical-theorietics of subjectivity is also informed by a particular orientation toward the true object, what I call the subject-object. We are thereby concerned with, and revealed unto, not the real subject, but rather, the true subject.

*

I coin the phrase “faith makes true” to emphasize the difficulty of overcoming the mistake of (conventional) reality. Reality is qualified as such, as designating the arena of true things, because it is so prevalent and common: it is reality, the relations of things in reality are real. It seems frivolous and presumptuous to make a counter-distinction, as Laruelle does, and call his ‘the Real’, as if it is somehow more real than reality; it seems more consistent and logical to call a counter distinction “not real” – and this sensibility thus also re-emphasizes the difficulty of escaping the “realism of the structure”, as Bourdieu puts it above, since one inherently and apparently is bound to what is real, to reality, because the conventional methodology deems it real and true. Also, the ability to come upon ‘what has been chosen’ informs reality inso much as ‘one chooses’ of what may be come upon. In this the object, inanimate or animate, may behave and be interacted with the human being through the free act. Reality thereby confers upon the individual his situation as real in reference to what he may or may not have chosen of himself; thereby he may have illusions based in the choices he made and be brought back into reality. So it is that the conventional agent of faith is incapable and unwilling to relinquish what (to her or him) is true, because of his faith in the true object. Faith is sufficient for reality, but not for truth, and what is more real is only likewise of faith; nevertheless, the terms of reality are sufficient to convey the truth, but are not sufficient of themselves. The non-philosophical method itself is a sufficient philosophy, and can thereby pose some ‘more real’ reality (the Real), but it is insufficient to reveal the truth.

How can this be so?
What we have is a meaning of basic duality that precipitates from conventional duality, that is found through a simple doubting of everything; a precipitate that I call the conventional bias. The sufficient non-philosophy that would recourse to offer some progressed state of reality is rooted in bias. When what is needed to bring about such progression is needed, there is faith, because the hope is that what is sufficient for logic will be sufficient for the truth of progress; but alas, it is so difficult to relinquish ones faith.

Direct Tangent: 3.14

Somehow we have to get to the point of this whole matter. Physicists,I understand, have discovered the Higgs boson particle; which is, if I am correct, the ‘Higgs’ boson, as opposed to some other type of boson; I figure some guy named Higgs predicted that there should be this particular kind of particle – and now they have found one. It has something to do with being responsible for matter.

Now, I am no physicist, but I do understand one thing: I cannot possibly understand what a boson really is unless I’m a physicist. I can only estimate for my thinking – but I should be careful because any further postulatizing I might do about the boson will be based upon my near complete misunderstanding and so would be most likely false. As far as I know, there are particles that have no qualities about them except that they have a sensible effect somehow, and that these particles ( I have to keep in mind that though they call them particles they are in no way like a grain of sand or a cracker crumb on the floor) combine in such a way as to allow for parts of an atom that eventually (in theory anyway: in the theory that involves me using the term ‘eventually’ as if to imply a temporal movement that occurs out of time and only in the logical linkage of thoughts) become particles in the way I typically think of them: having mass and energy, occurring uncertainly as a wave in one instance and a particle proper in the next – but really at the same time.

*

Now, I’m using this example to attempt to indicate what Laruelle is proposing. He is proposing that there is something beyond our ability to have particular knowledge about, as to quality, of which we can only have knowledge about that it must be there. He is saying that there is a knowable aspect, if you will, of being human, that informs ones ability to know things, and because this aspect informs what can be known, it is not knowledge of the same quality as that of knowledge proper, that is, what we typically understand as knowledge and the object. By this move, Laruelle is indicating a distinction of knowledges.

But in order to make this distinction, one has to speak very carefully – and even then we still get the more keen observers who do wade through his rhetoric and ask him: ” how do you know this”. In as much a Laruelle is framing the possibility of reality by his distinction, he simply answers: “because it is real”.

Who is being the smart-ass? Is it the question or the answer ?

See, the question is asking: if knowledge is knowledge, is what we know, then how can you know of something apart from knowledge ? In other words: isn’t then such knowledge merely more knowledge? So they say: ” How do you know this.”

But then Laruelle’s answer, part of the postulates of Non-Philosophy, is the distinction; he proposes it by the evidence that knowledge ( which he limits and delineates as ‘philosophy’, in order to specify and example by confining his attack to a noticeable and specific target) never gains its object, in fact, it keeps arguing and asserting the same premises, objectives and conclusions under different terms. So, for one, there has to be something else, that can only be called knowledge, that is able to notice this fact: This noticing must be of a knowledge that is somehow apart from the rhetoric which it recognizes. Laruelle thus says: “Because it is real”, meaning because it makes sense logically, but also because he knows it prior to logic.

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If one does not see Laruelle’s argument that philosophy repeats itself, then that one will rebut to Laruelle: how do you know this? Because such a one is caught up in the progress that is asserted by thoughtful problem solving, he thereby sees that there is nothing outside of knowledge and so Laruelle’s proposition too is but a situating of knowledge – and a situating that is incorrect, to boot, because it indicates a contradiction of terms, and contradiction indicates fallacy, falsity. Yet, ironically, it is the veracity of this argument that gives Non-Philosophy it’s credence.

* * *

For now, I will let the irony try to work its magic, and will return with more later.

Direct Tangent 3.1: Appropriation of the Rhetoric of Power, part 2

There is a book called “Castes of Mind” by a man maned Dirks. It is an historical analysis and critique of 19th century English colonialism through an overtly cultural difference, caste, and how this feature of Indian culture was dealt with both by the English in an attempt to rule, and the Indians attempting to assert cultural autonomy and agency. I do not remember what his argument is beyond a picture of this interaction, but what I inferred from his presentation was this idea of appropriation of rhetoric, what feminists and modern theorists and activists call, but from a slightly but significantly different view, ‘hegemonic discourse’. Dirks is giving us a picture of how ideology asserts itself through a process of discourse, where those who have the power, in the case of colonialism in India: England ( but colonialism in general), dictate the terms of the cultural negotiation upon the colonized, namely, the indigenous Indians. The scheme or group of terms and their definitional relations are seen as a mechanism or tool of asserting power (read: violence) upon those who are colonized, and, as a very light definition, this is called ‘hegemony’.

What this means is that those in power bring the terms by which those not in power may be allowed to exist. And this is literally the case. Dirks paints a picture of how this really means for us that people are permitted to exist through discourse. One example (keep in mind I am not doing a research paper here; I am merely recalling the book from memory – one can easily look up the book for themselves if interested) he gives is about some Indian ritual. If I remember correctly, Dirks is drawing his analysis from written material of the time of the events, from various sources. The significant point here, is that the English there had trouble making sense of it. When they would ask the locals what was going on, or their feelings about it or the reason behind it, the English had no context by which to understand them. The Indians were effectively silent; they could not be heard: they effectively did not exist. Because of this, the English could only act upon the events through the understanding they had, which was total misunderstanding. The English, because of their position of power, were righteous in their view, having little or no ability to understand that they perhaps did not understand the Indian context: the Indian context was exactly what the English thought it was. Thus, the Indian context, the reason and meaning of the ritual in this case, was ultimately written by the English. The Indians, in an effort to establish their cultural legitimacy thus, in various ways and circumstances, developed a position in relation to what the English were saying, and doing, and in this way the Indians began to exist, for if they did not respond to such rhetoric in that fashion, they would in effect ‘remain silent’, and would thus be forced, physically, existentially, out of existence.

This is the typical feminist reading, analysis and comment upon such a situation; there are many such analyses upon various cultural contexts. The feminists propose to reconcile this hegemony, to balance this abuse of power and infringement of human autonomy and rights, by advocating that the colonized people, whether it be women, blacks, Hispanics, Argentinians, Koreans, hair dressers, union workers, or what, raise their voices, as the Indians did, by asserting themselves actively into the discourse, what one could call, the priority discourse, or the discourse of power, what i call a ‘rhetoric of power’ for reasons I will develop later.

What I am saying is a critique of such feminist rhetoric. The Feminists say that one needs to appropriate the hegemonic discourse, so that there is enacted thereby a shift in power, so it loses its effective hegemony. See, hegemony is read to imply agenda that is not recognized or approved of by those who are the subjects of the hegemony. But I suggest that what occurs is not that the people are empowered to their agency, but rather, they themselves become subject of the rhetoric of power such that they then too get to partake in the spoils of – what has developed out of – the hegemony, of colonialism. The people who appropriate the priority discourse lose their identity as individual cultural agents, and instead become, as Paulo Freire might agree ( maybe, but his was not at this level of critique), oppressed: involved in the game of oppression, both the oppressor and oppressed likewise caught in play. The oppressed, who learn the ways of the oppressor, become acculturated such that they are rewarded for their complicity, and thereby sustain the game of oppression. Neither have enacted a true free agency, neither have come upon praxis; both are oppressed.

* *

This is the position Laruelle appears to be presenting, the position I present here. Laruelle has appropriated the rhetoric of power, the priority discourse, in order to present his minority view, which is exactly silent – but as opposed to the movement of feminist-colonialist theoretics, which present the possibility of pushing agencies out of real existence by virtue of the establishing reality of the hegemonic (priority) discourse. And, it is because of this feature of his proposing Non-Philosophy within or by the priority discourse that he appears to be in Bad Faith.

It is thus the explicating of this appearance that is my task at hand here. The existence Laruelle proposes is exactly real opposed to the reality of the rhetoric of power.

Direction 2.28: Appropriation of the Rhetoric of Power

The impetus of this blog page “The Direct Tangents of Constructive Undoing” concerns the question: In the explication of his project called ‘Non-Philosophy’, why is Francis Laruelle so bogged down in high-speak jargon?

Now, be prepared; this series of essays is gonna drop some super bombs on your ideal reality. Granted, probably next to zero people are following along ( though I write as if some one person is), but the explanation is simple, as I said earlier: people care nada. Most people do not care about anything but their own idea of what is correct. If I can coin a term I just picked up from another blogger: the sheeple make up 99.99 % of the population, the cattle-people, and of that .01 that may care, hardly another .001 of those will be able to burden themselves with such a weighty, hard-hitting conceptual explosion. They only want to do their skill set and proclaim their ethics upon the world from their porch while they drink margaritas and bar-b-que steaks on their days off. There is no getting through to most people.

OK. Now that I’ve alienated what audience I had left, as i eat my steak and drink fruit smoothies, you fraction of a minutiae, you one people, you zero-percenters, get to see if you can hold on, because I am speaking to you. It is among you that the point of this discussion may find root. What I have to offer should be heard by academics, but I’ve probably insulted them too much already and their career typically doesn’t allow such boldness. One must remain timid, pliable; which is to say, conventionally acclimated.

* *

One might be easily drawn to the conclusion that Laruelle is an academic, and has been involved in academic circles so has been long acclimated to such linguistic weather. Sure. I am sure that this is the case. The idea behind this, though, is that academia hold the path to answers and that these answers, as well as the route, can only be understood through jargon. This is one explanation: it was the only language he knows/knew ( he is still alive at this point in time).

Yet the nature of his non-philosophy belies this explanation, for its message, the message that necessitates the ‘project’ aspect of his proposition, is saying as much as I am. Whether he sees it or not, there is a contradiction involved in his using the jargon to speak, or attempt to convey a reason and a proposal for action, against the proposal that is implicated by his use of such jargon. Hence, non-philosophy and philosophy, respectively.

The point of his project, though, is exactly that he sees the contradiction, and is in an effort to make it consistent. This is his project. To be clear: he must assert the project because it has to be more than a theory because the theory contradicts itself in its presentation.

* *

What we are seeing here is a trick of mirrors. See, what I am offering here is a description of what Laruelle is up to all the while showing through my description what he is actually saying; I am presenting a picture of what he must mean by not only explaining his ideas, but presenting the moment of understanding as the process of reading this essay.

What we have with non-philosophy is a juxtapositioning of rhetoric, as this juxtaposition thus indicates the rhetoric of power. One would not be wrong in calling it also a discourse of power, but more so its significance is found in a particular rhetoric that usurps meaning unto itself.
In the same way feminists speak of hegemonic discourse, such as, colonialist discourse, or as Paulo Freire might call the discourse of oppression, Laruelle’s proposition is based in the notion that there is a manner of speaking that appears on the scene as reality, as if it is indicating a true reality, but that it really is indicating mere one particular reality. By his non- philosophy, he is saying that this particular rhetoric is the only way of speaking that can be used, but that indeed, it is being used (by non-philosophy) in the attempt to convey another reality: one that is not subject to the rhetoric in power, but one that has no other rhetoric to use for its conveyance.

Direct Tangent 2.9

Right now I am attacking (ooops, I mean critiquing) the thinker-(non) philosopher Francis Laruelle, and I have to admit that what he is saying is a somewhat difficult concept to convey in words, so, I have to figure that he must have seen that no one else has said what he is attempting to say, and so felt he compelled to say it. And he says it pretty well; I just am geared that way – that way of being able to grasp philsophical jargon – indeed, I had never heard of anyone saying what he has said either, and if they have then they didnt say it well enough – I suppose thats why Laruelle had to come out and say it.

But I am not so geared into desiphering jargon. What I mean by this is the discussion should not be presented as a puzzle, not in puzzle form, as if in reading the essay that is proposing to have disphered a particular puzzle, I have further to disipher the puzzle of the proposition itself; I feel, as a reader, I should be given the Rosetta stone from the start of the proposition, one that concerns not only the probelm but also the problem of how I am being presented with the problem. If the point of offering something significant is to be significant to all humanity then at least the majority should be privy to its meaning without having to invest too much time/money/education into its contruction or presentation. I disagree with the idea that explanation needs be complex or for only those so invested and learned in the jargon (read: discursive technology); I say: leave that to science – and a philsophy attempting to be (modern, contemporary, 2013) science either should be overtly presented and admitted to be a “philsophy of…{fill in the blank}”, in other words a technology and hardly Philosophy, or it is just a mockery of the human potential; it screams, anymore: idiocy. Of course; I have already (in another post) pointed to those people who seem to be writting to a priviledged few, that I think they largely really could give a crap about humanity and they are mere giving institutional lipservice to such an idea: they are really concerned with how they are preceived by others and not so much concerned with benefiting humanity in any way: the capitalist faith keeps them in line and justifies their activity a priori. If the capital investment at UCSC over the past 10 years is any indication, the departement of philsolphy better be being a science – or else!

To make myself (hopefully) a little more clear: I came accross a post-paper that talked about whether propositions exist in space-time, or something lilke that, or maybe it was discussing how propositions are manifested in space time. (I could be wrong for this particular essay because I admit I didnt take the time and read the whole thing, but Im sure there are many many discussion which proceed in just this way.) I couldnt really get into it – I guess because I dont think it is saying anything significant: it is a word game, in the very Wittgensteinian mode. But I gathered it was addressing the question of whether all propositions refer to things in space-time, and in what cases do and do not refer to things in space time; I expect also that such things in space time can also be defined as physical things, as opposed to mental, psychical, metaphysical, ethereal, imaginative and the like things. Now, I gotta say that anyone who is framing possibillity within the realm of space-time is not really being philosophical in the sense that I understand philosophy: they are being methodological: they are playing a game – and not only that: they are playing a game for which there are definitive rules for how to proceed, how to look, what the purpose is, what the goal is (we wont get into the discussion of hegemonic ideology here!). They are merely reworking logic as if logic can find out what is real, and these real things, the group that contains those categories just mentioned, thus are true because logic has do to with truth. Then I have to wonder if they understand that logic is a tool, not a determiner of criterion. Logic does not find for us what is True so far as true may be real, but logic finds what is true given a set of conditions, and the conditions are always presented upon other conditions that are supposed true for the set of conditions that are being questioned. This idea is what Wittgenstien offers us; but just as existentialism has come to be a buzzword that totally misses the meaning of existance, when Witt. says ‘language games’, most people -indeed, many many supposedly learned people – completely missed the bus, and in fact were huffing on exhaust fumes attempting to reap a career out of erudite dellusion.

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It is here that Laruelle find his purchase for what he has to say. The ‘given’ propositions behave as invisible qualifiers for what is being considered or addressed. He presents this by suggesting that the method of philsophy is one of dividing propositions into a condition of either/or, and working out the reprecussions of this primary division along lines of further division until one reaches a point of contradiction. The contradiciton then indicates what must be true. This process is what is ususally known as the dialectical method. The philsophphers have taken the givens as static, as previously presented in the past, different ideas presented by different authors contributing to a progress of knowledge, a cumulating progress, presented now in acedemic learning, so as to allow a further development. But since, I’d say, Kant, everyone has been addressing the same problem and saying the same thing about it using different terms. (I will elaborate upon this some other time.)

Larualle has also found this, (as well, Kierkegaard did too; Zizek I will give the benefit of the doubt, considering he is actually a ‘cultural theorist’) that what occurs through the process known as philosophy, over time, is that the same problems are addressed and answered, but under different terms. The philosophical method does not, and is incapable of, keeping an eye on the ball, so to speak, because the eye itself is moving as the ball moves. Because philosophy is mainly concerned with solving the problem of reality, which is known as a positive solution, terms are taken as being capable of detemining actual things in-themselves, but what occurs over time is that the terms lose integrity for such particular identification and then this situation elicits new terms that are then applied as if to clearify the previous mistakes. The new terms are said to better indicate the actual thing in question, but what occurs in the effort to nail down terms to things, the conditions by which the individual is considering such fixed ideas have also changed; in other words: philosophy proposes its method to be like science, having particular static items for consideration.

Real things are not identified within a static space; which is to say, it is only within the idea of a static universe that an identification of a thing may be presumed stable. Real things are come by because of an economy of meaning that reflects the givien condition of any time. Though one can say ‘keyboard’ or ‘rock’ and have a definite and distinct idea of what that actual thing is, a ‘keyboard’ does not exist in reality in empty space apart from all else: it can only exist in context of meaning with other things. It is thus the philosophical process upon positive things that proposes to find a ‘total’ context, and thus find the True universe. The fact that through such positive philosophical rigor, for probably at least 400 years if not longer, we have found no conclusive truth reeks of a necessary precipitation: this is where Laruelle finds purchase for what he has to say. In fact, it is the complete misconstrual of Sartre’s ‘freedom’ and ‘revolt’ that we have the situation of what I would call ‘Neo-modernism”, or in other terms, the ‘New-materialism’, as if we ever need a ‘neo’ in front of any of these labels for the ‘new’ ideas: another positive assertion of true reality: faith in the true object.

Against this movement Laruelle proposes a project that attempts to find the authenticity that is routinely missed in philosophy; he thus finds “Non-philosophy”, a rigorous application of confronting the truth of existance and being in reality.

My issue with him is why he has to be so damn jargon filled.