The thought of Plurality came to be right now in coming across
Graham Harman’s plug for a couple new Object Oriented books. In particular, the ideas of Tristan Garcia, the “Life Intense”.
Now, I have not read hardly anything of Tristan; what I have read sort of left me pondering. Now, I just read the summary of his book, I think I know why it is weird: I do not agree with his premise for the book, and, I guess, then, his philosophy. Again, just judging from what little I have read of him and then the summary, his view upon the world is totally different than what I see; I simply can only relate in as much as a believe that he is reporting on something honestly.
This attitude of mine then is not about what argument he might be making. In fact, any argument he would make, I think, would be circumstantial, merely me considering how interesting it is that he came up with a philosophy on these equally interesting aspects of existence that I never encounter —
..that I may have already encountered. How could this be? It appears to me like he is reporting on something that I might have already reconciled. I can’t really know if this is true, though, because I will never encounter him except through his books, which already come to me as accounted for, on one hand, or, speaking of something that is merely interesting on the other.
So, I cannot discount his experience or his philosophy. It must be totally real and valid. Thus: whatever ontological proposals he makes is of another and different existence, one that is already contained in the proposals I make as a sort of foot note, a ground, if you will, but without the ontological argument. But further: That that footnote I might understand, is not a foot note in the condition of things for those who would see his proposals as significantly new. Hence: Plurality.
It is non sequitur to reduce his proposals to a necessity of mine, for, as Harman has suggested of things, that would be an overdetermination of the object at hand. His must then lay equally valid and real as mine.
OK, now that we might understand that strange coincidence…on to the significance of Ontological Equivocation…
“Even though there is something out there that is not the world-for-us, and even though we can name it the world-in-itself, this latter constitutes a horizon for thought, alwaysreceding just beyond the bounds of intelligibility.”
It seems I am beginning to give examples of philosophical analysis. Which is to say an analysis of philosophy, that non-philosophy has granted us but also my own work has seen an ability or propensity towards.
I got this quote secondhand from a re-posting of another blog (cite), and I’d like to point out some inconsistencies that indicate a religious posture and its attempt to bring everything under one philosophical ontological envelope.
One of the difficulties that comes with taking such a posture towards philosophy is that for other philosophers I would first need to establish myself as credible through their particular methodological paradigm; I am indeed working on getting legitimization to put some letter after my name for this purpose (right now it is: MACP:)) This is to say that the first defense of all philosophies that would be analyzed in this way would be to say that I do not understand what they are talking about. So in order to get to this point, a sort of ontological pivot (or break) has occurred such that there really is no ontology that I need argue any longer, As philosophers go, one first would have to believe that I understand the argument in question.
a further quote quotation from the same author is:
“The world-in-itself is a paradoxical concept; the moment we think it and attempt to act on it, it ceases to be the world-in-itself and becomes the world-for-us. A significant part of this paradoxical world-in-itself is grounded by scientific inquiry – both the production of scientific knowledge of the world and the technical means of acting on and intervening in the world.”
Indeed, the world in-itself is a paradoxical concept, but I do not think his conclusion necessarily follows. This is to say that due to the paradox, the confusion must follow one of two paths, his path being one of the two.
This is to say, that the moment we think about the world in-itself we are left with a choice as to what we want to use as criteria for what path we should take. Then, the main issue that we face is if indeed we see a choice, and the fact that most often no choice is understood to be presented. If this be the case, then we have the basis for a contradiction which usually follows philosophers into their mistake which then demands an assertion of essential identity over the plain existence of the thing in question.
In this case, the choice is presented as a question upon the traditional philosophy of the West; namely, that the tradition has voiced and presented the situation in such a manner that makes sense such that I have only to make a choice upon this sense. The basis of the sense is not there questioned; it is intact and intutively sound: We can make no choice upon it. So, when we have done our studies and find all the secret knowledge hidden in plain sight of our sense with reference to the tradition of the Big Names, we come to a necessary conclusion: In this case, as soon as we think of the world in-itself is ceases to be the world in-itself and because a world for-us.
The non-sequitur involved in this conclusion is not found in the direct argumentation but is indeed embedded in the conclusions that have been already gleaned from the traditional understanding of the philosophers, an understanding that I say is a mistaken understanding, or more correctly, a different orientation upon things. Yet, in fact, if we are to stick with the tradition of the philosophers, it is mistaken in a manner that no argument can reclaim. Due to this phenomenological misunderstanding, what occurs through this orientation upon things is a receding of thought –indeed a withdrawing of subjectivity — into what 20th century philosophers called ‘world’, such that eventually we have philosophers involved in the assertion of ‘their’ world of sense and logic as though it indeed reflects the actual existence of the ‘our world’ or ‘whole world’. This is the paradox discovered in the above quote. We have a complete myopia of thinking for the purpose of asserting ‘world’ over ‘world’ as we understand that the intuitive meaning of terms that I have gleaned should amount to an ability to create more terms and associated definitions that will one day prove ‘true’ about the discrepancy that I have noticed of my phenomenal truth as I have faith in the given method of argument. I submit, also, that this is a mistaken understanding of what Badou has called ‘fidelity’. It is through this mistaken kind of fidelity that we have the basis of the problem that ‘patchwork’ (cite) deals with; a taking to the absolute ends the problem of the 20th century psychoanalytical philosophical mistake but without the problemization of self-reflection which should accompany all philosophical endeavors. The analyses and proposals which stem and proceed from this mistaken orientation upon things follow necessarily, even as those involved cannot see beyond their ‘intuition’ of the truth of things to say that it is ‘new’.
The world in-itself is only paradoxical under certain conditions; it is not a paradox to knowledge itself.
I wonder if Graham Harman or Tristan Garcia will ever read this. I suppose not: Plurality. lol
Ok; here is the post I meant to put:
So we come to Bruno Latour, and his notion of the pass. What is it that allows for the repetition whereby self-fulfillment is denied? This is the question of ‘what happened’. We will never get to answer the question of what ‘is happening’ until we answer the question of ‘what happened’. This is because if we do not find out what happened, then it will happen again. We are then keen to Kierkegaard’s “Repetition”, for the question that most everyone wants to answer is the subsequent question, the question of Being, “What is happening”, why is there what is and not what is not? This question, though, denies its own bases and so asks upon itself without ever even looking for, let alone being able to see, what it lacks. What ontology always finds then is itself, or an other (an other and self are constituents of the real state). All is indeed vanity.
Further; philosophy as an ontological practice cannot escape the political, ideological and in general social dynamics. It is a simple thing to see the reason why I call such conventional philosophical method real. What is real is what is happening. But because thinkers, as opposed to Beings, but consistent with being real, take the products of themsleves as indication of the potential involved with other beings, and take this as evidence of not a whole, but actually The only whole, they thus always (1) take everything real as a product of some sort, be-caused of some thing or other, and (2) take as an automatic demand upon all things within their field their proof toward what is happening, and this, even to the extent that they demand that the question of ‘what happened’ must conform to the state of Being that is happening.
Bruno Latour begins his book “An Inquiry into Modes of Existence” with a description of what a pass is with an analogy. I don’t have the book right with me, but he writes about a mountain trail or path that goes from the base to its peak. Note that I will not here follow his description exactly; I am not putting forth a strict analysis of his book and what it means in this post. It is enough that he came up with a pretty good analogy, a good term that can indicate the issue and the way it is dealt with. What is significant with Latour, at least in his AMIE project , is that he sees the need for an opening. It is clear from visiting his webpage that he understands the problem of a multi-vocalized reality similar to the type that Lyotard suggested in the conditions of the post-modern moment . Namely, the problem of communication between worlds. The salient question of every significant philosopher worth considering is “Is communication taking place?” For it is from this pivotal question that the world manifests in its ways.
So, if we can understand what this question means, which is to say, if communication has taken place through this one phrase, then we have found a common pass (a given ontological base). It doesn’t really matter too much if we identify it with Latour’s scheme (supposedly he describes 15 types of passes, 15 ‘modes of existence’; hence the book’s title “Inquiry into Modes of Existence”). What is significant is that he saw the need not so much for another reconciliation, not another philosophical reduction to some essential truth for which the author is trying to gain traction for through their communion with the intuition god, but rather some way to relieve the reduction from being the responsibility of one authors’ intuitive argumentative assertion. What is significant is that he sees that the method is at issue, the philosophical reductive method and its associated (and invisible) givens are at issue, and that the only way to get past this method is to somehow poke a hole in it! Instead of giving into the nihilism that arises in conventional minds, we need to create an opening whereby people can begin to communicate.
In my upcoming book, we might get into the complicity of needs that relates François Laruelle and Bruno Latour’s works; I am getting off the track of this post. The upcoming book probably will answer all the stray ponderings and vectored analyses.
For now, it is enough to understand the simplicity of the idea. First off, ontological foundations must be admitted given. If a traveler does not admit to an already given ontological truth that has already been explored, then the significance of the pass will make no sense; the trail will be missed and avoided. In order to pass, we must set aside the want to apply redundant deconstructivist techniques to every clause. This is because only once we understand the ontological foundations of existence, only once we admit to that truth, can we begin to see the passes. While I see really only one effective pass, Latour sees this pass as expressed in different ways.
The first kind of pass (probably not in the same order or number that Latour notes) is just this: Where a particular methodological application accounts for all that is allowed, a pass has occurred in the scheme of meaning that accounts for real estimations. We might even call this kind of pass a ‘given’, because it functions to allow reasoning to grant reality despite the problem it poses upon that reason to attach to real things. For example: If there is a question of the truth of Being, for which a particular formula answers this question, whether is be God, or whether it be a series of philosophical arguments, such as Deleuze’s Rhizomes, or various ‘arrived-at’ states or situations that we can associate with metaphorical ‘plateaus’ – where such an explanation of what is happening routes all occurrence back into its logic or reasoning such that every event is account for or deflected within that scheme, a pass has occurred to ‘miss’ the meaning of an alternate suggestion. The person effectivly ‘passes over’ the situation where someone is expressing a different reality because everything is making sense to the logic of the first person’s ‘total’ explanation of the situation. This is the post-modern condition.
But lets back up. Latour uses the analogy of a mountain pass. The meaning of the forgoing paragraph is that first we have to admit that there is a mountain in front of us. I show you a mountain and say that we are going to hike that mountain, and I start to walk. But you don’t move; you stand there pondering whether or not there is indeed a mountain. I tell you to come on, lets go, there are great views at the top of this mountain. But you stand there and reflect upon the possible aesthetics involved in being at the top of an epistemoloigcal situation that we cant agree upon.
This is the very problem we face when a philosopher will not admit ontological foundations as true. But I am not going to go into all the ramifications of this discussion here.
Again, enough to say that Latour’s analogy is of a mountain and a way to hike to the top. There are all sorts of dangers on this trail though. We will have to cross some fast streams and climb some crazy rocks, some steep terrain, but it is navigable, we just have to follow the route.
Now; the problems that Latour comes across and discusses in his book are due to the issues of this same type; he is still justifying the situation ontologically and thus has to address, and or finds, 15 types of passes that represent 15 types of manners or ‘modes’ that account for reality for the various types of people (various people use various modes so reality stays ‘whole’ –for those of the particular modes). This is why his gets sticky; because as soon as he attempts to justify something that is passing ontological constructions, he then has to use a pass that somehow avoids any of the passes he lists, or incorporates. Ironically, the need he notices gets set aside as another ‘religious’ dogma, another philosophical reductive scheme, accepted by some and rejected by others.
The point that he himself misses (and we will discuss somewhere the duplicity involved with conventional significance) is that in order to be able to see a pass one has to admit that ontological justifications rely themselves upon a pass. Simply speaking, Latour is attempting to answer a teleological question through ontological justifications.
Another kind of pass, a good one, and I think one of the first passes that Latour notes, is: Say we have a map of the mountain and the route leading up to the top. We mark our progress along the trail by markers in the map that indicate, like ‘when you get to a big dead oak jetting out of a rock, then you go east for two miles until…’ or symbols or pictures that say just as much. How are we able to transpose or translate the actual mountain to the map of it or vice-versa? The map itself looks nothing like the mountain, and in fact is nothing like the mountain. Yet there is some sort of resemblance between the two, and indeed, provided that something has not happened to have changed or altered the actual physical landmarks that the map notes, we are able to stick to the directions on the map and get to the top. In this kind of transferal there is a pass enacted in our understanding of reality. While I am not here addressing all the peculiarities of the situation, it is a simple thing to see that there is an obstruction in the actual Being of things to get around or past, and this can be analogous to two Beings attempting to communicate. In order for us to be able to follow the map of the course up the mountain, there has to be a sort of pass that allows us to ignore the problem that occurs in between the actual physical mountain and the small paper drawing of symbols that describe how to get up the mountain. This pass thus marks a particular manner of coming upon reality, a particular ‘mode of existing’.
The significant point, though, of noticing this situation is that in order to get beyond the dead end that is the modern-post-modern obstruction where no communication takes place (again: what do I mean by this? Read my past posts and my books to find out!, (and maybe check out some killer tunes to boot!)) is that an opening is needed through which people can be free to describe, what frankly amounts to, the ‘insane realties’ that actually occur in the meaningful life, but without fear of judgment of reprisal. Yet, this is not so much some sort of auto-biographical non-fiction or something, nor some authorial-fantasy of artistic license. It is more a manner by which we might be able to find out some facts about what reality really is.
At least, this is the idea behind Latour’s vision.
While I do enjoy the idea and see the need for a pass, I am not so optimistic as Latour.
“…engage? You want me to enage with the texts? And which authors should i reference? Might i ask what you expected here? Isnt this the reason we called this talk? I guess we cant assume then that everyone here understands the point of all this, eh?… the conclusion of the great lineage of texts have showed us that they were wrong, that their method was incorrect…the conclusion of the project was nothing. What does that say to you?”
-Jon Johns at the 1 st talk “Concerning Theoretical Value”.
Some one posted a comment to this post of mine, to which I replied, but then I made it into a new posting.
You can check the comments of the original post here:
“We will find, inevitably, as a kind, that the only things that change are the objects of our view, and not any ‘essential mode’ of being human. Humans do not change; only its world changes. There is no’grasp’ that links these forms, but that of a present faith, a present sort of ideological religion.”
…and here’s my new post:
Yes. That is one type of essential reduction . Thank you . The furthering question is what is happening that this is not apparent; that is, as it often has to be taught. And more: That it sometimes doesn’t have to be taught.
The reason why I say ‘one type’ is because there is only a certain type of reasoning that would say that an experience has any essentially true relation to words, which is to say, terms. Where there is an essential linkage, there we find an essential agency, a sort of ‘central and foundational’ effect. But in truth, any word (term) can be found to uphold the same tenants of being. I can say ‘consciousness’, but any term could be used and find the same types of meaningful organization, a same typeof scheme. The example is the Copernican universe. It is not that the sun’really’ exists at the center of the solar system; this is just a mathematical convention that makes easy sense. In fact we could construct models that place any point-object in the universe at the center. Hence, this means that there are only objects.
The problem with saying ‘consciousness’ and or ‘awareness’ is that one usually tends to associate these discursive foundations as meaning actually foundational and essential things. Hence they are directed toward more a ‘use’ and ‘practicality’ than what should be otherwise an actual truth. For people who need or want a way to mitigate the mental and emotional issues such as anger, fear, and general life difficulty. It is proper then that we can say they are Real,because reality has to do with essential practical linkages of meaning.
But a more deeper sense finds that there was s no ‘foundational’ or central ‘thing’ that is ‘me’ or ‘my consciousness’ behaving in any way unto itself, that is, as a sort of ‘spiritual being’ that is sufficiently segregate from some world to be able to ‘have’ an effect upon or within some world.
The fact is s that in the consistency that is an unsegregated being, there is still the apparent world there, no matter how I might come to terms with it, no matter what experiences I have about some truth. Ina certain sense, this is what Samraj is saying about consiouness, but if we don’t stop there, we might find that it is not really consciousness at all.
This then brckons an investigation beyond the mere phenomenon. Because now, all that is left, is being here now, and the doing of it.
There is a return that occurs though. Once we get beyond that fantastic experience of some intervening deity, move past the awakening of the divine center, we are left with an experience that is somehow more than the experience, what can be said to ‘exceed’ what could considered human experience.
But we must be careful here: What most often and typically occurs with this move of excess is an impossibility of meaningful reconciliation. Rather; usually all one is left with is a back pedaling to either (now) Real Things, aka empirical science , ‘speculative’ imagining, or a kind of spiritual fundamentalism. But both of these as part of the same move, or the move of the same, mere reenact the repetition of the terms of theoretical discourse, and will end again at the same points.
Hence, what is actually excessive is a kind of historicity where two routes of the knowing human being are exposed, two routes that do not reconcile in reality for a ‘more real’ or ‘more true’ truth.