Tag Archives: Badiou

Problematizing Whiteness; Correlation and the Two Routes.

In my very early and preliminary reflections on whiteness and being white it seems obvious to me that two issues are present in the philosophical reckoning.

1) The theoretical postmodern maxim of discursive reality.


2) The fact that no human Being is actually white. At best, even an albino is not truly white.

If there is a reduction or a larger meaning between these two aspects then it must fall into one of those categories. While it is not properly truthful to say that they are mutually exclusive, it is, so far, sensible to see that any argument that would be made would have to get its footing in one of these choices, ie either the argument is making a point about discursive reality and the manifestation of power, or, it is not making an argument.

Not making an argument? How can that be? You say.

There is no tension. Rather, the tension is come upon when both statements are understood within a methodological axiom where they occur in equal stature, both in the same existential space to be or as a question, both equally allowable and accessible to questioning. For example, each term of both phrases can be looked into to find its specific meaning, and at each step of inquiry, the results themselves are allowed to be questioned. This is usually what is meant by philosophy; this standard method has brought about a historical-traditional liturgy of reductionary theory and philosophical systems put forth by various free thinking and inspired people.

Yet when there is no tension, then the statements are seen to be describing what is obvious: 1) the post modern condition has to do with the organization of discursive structures and the corresponding belief that these structures reflect essences and or basic and operative realities ; 2) no living human being has ever been truly the colour white.

The sensible question should be what is the purpose of asking into these statements. For (1), the method is implicit: In bringing out Postmodern there is a invitation into discussing and debating what the statement means and whether it is true. (2) is not implicit; questioning into this statement would be more like a philosophical exercise , yet one that would seem to point out how the philosophical method can sometimes be taken too far, or be used for merely pondering and wondering; like the speculation that our universe could be but a speck of dust under the fingernail of a inconceivably large giant creature.

But again, the distinction of these into categories like I easily explained above, has shown us how argument falls into one of the categories themselves: Either it is relative or it is true; the discussion that takes place in the category that contains all humans, within the common category of human mental ability, has therefore already fallen into the meaning of the first statement, which, due to this seemingly automatic motion, can be come to be seen as a kind of religious dogma. It can be understood as areligious dogma because the plain fact of the two statements have already been tested. We have already found out that they are true beyond what argumentative proposals might confront them: The arguments necessarily fall back into the meaning of those statements unless we adhere to a special condition of the first statement, a condition that we automatically understand as obvious, a meaning that usurps as it calls all meaning to itself to thereby negate any other possibility situation. Hence we have located and identified a true aspect about the human being, and have begun along a different road in the effort to discover what the human being is. The question that informs this finding is “why are we still arguing whether or not the results are true when the same result has arisen through multiple testings of the same experiment?” This is how Philosophy retains its religious privilege of failing to become a science: Such a privilege is imposed as it is asserted. Religion allows for the human being to be infinitely creative in avoiding its determination and thus control — especially once it has established its power to control.


What I mean by this is the same or very similar to what we mean when we point to the near impossibility of getting outside or beyond capitalist ideology. Discourse is understood as communication of identity, which always involves a processual excess (transcendence) which when communicated “properly”is called progress (communion), and capitalism is the exploitation of this excess, again progress in evidence (“God’s Plan”). Because at this point, this moment in which this post for example is being read, anyone that has any higher sort of education at all will very soon come upon the reality that the argument about there being no skin colour that is naturally actually white in colour is an assertion of a discursive reality; shortly there after with a little bit of reflective thought people will inevitably stumble upon the fact that there is a sort of power that is being implemented in the use of the word “white” to describe human groups, social and cultural and economic positions and systems, in various sectors and for various reasons.

And yet there is indeed a certain factual basis that tells us in an obvious fashion that there is no human being that is white in colour. The next statement that would depart from relative discursive realities is the one that would say that the fact of there being no actual white person is true beyond what the discourse might reroute into a discursive reality, that is, to be argued and negotiated.

The involvement with the philosophical arguments around this issue thus becomes the issue, the issue that falls outside of a certain self-evident scheme of ideas.

But not everything is of ideas, you say.

The point then, the usual point, is that there is no argument to be made about whether or not being white is a discursive reality: The argument to be made must have to do with power relations and so is automatically reflective of this real situation of postmodern multivocal realities. In other words, there is no argument that can be made in the ethical region of common humanity that can argue that arguments about the problemitzation of whiteness should not be discussed; Even as we might be able to describe a situation where the discussion about race, power, and privilege becomes a secondary concern, we cannot, in good faith, dismiss the discussion as merely some sort of Idealistic fashion.

The only real way to get back to the things themselves is thus to create or establish or, even more, recognize that there is a partition that must occur. Some will cry “foul”, though, seeing this partition as another means to install a justification for segregation. But such a reaction is not comprehending the issue, nor the statement. Integral to this partition must be the fact that there are not separate species of human beings (we know that race is not a description of genetic fact), that ultimately whiteness as an indication of a particular group of people as well as a particular power structure of systems which is ultimately an ideology, and that this ideology a particular type of scheme of ideas that is been placed there necessarily. Nevertheless, this necessity is uncomfortable and tends to rely upon arguments that only make sense unto the ideology they support. Hence if we are to get around the contradiction that arises of the bare fact and the ethics that sees the necessity as incorrect, then we need to be able to theorize about the nature of Being that gets outside what necessarily has been given us for such Being. We find the placement of the postmodern as a rejection of this necessity. The problematization of whiteness is a pushback of ideas based in a universal ideal of proper human treatment. The idea struggles with itself.

We then must acknowledge that we are not allowed to acknowledge that we are dealing only with ideas: ethics demands that we are dealing with something that arises outside of discourse. And this is because of the insistence and near impossibility of getting outside what is present of discourse and it’s meaning, as an identity in itself. We must adhere to what is ethical to the common idea of humanity and no longer argue about what is real and what is Ideal, or what is actual compared to what is merely an idea. All such arguments are hopelessly caught in what philosophers Have termed lately “correlational”.

The very idea that we can formulate some sort of discourse that is able to get beyond what is correlational is itself based in a real idea founded in what is correlational, which is to say, discursive. The philosophical efforts that attempt to give to us some sort of argument to get us outside the correlational cycle is then, ultimately, based in the ideal that discourse is capable of identifying another way of getting to some actual situation of reality, an actual discourse that will lead, through its linking, to what is outside of discourse. Hence the continuation of the postmodern idea: correlation.

I’m not sure how many more ways I need to say it: If the problem is not understood by now then we have just realized an actual situation that occurs outside of what is correlational.

We’ll let that sit in a minute….


Once this situation has taken hold, and is no longer an effort of building on quicksand, then we can begin to understand why identity has become the valued thing that founds real ability of human interaction with the world. We have to admit that what is real, while a discursive formulation, functions more akin to a religious institution on one hand, and a thing in-itself to notice and have on the other to thereby be able to use and discuss without worrying about whether what is correlational will suck it back into relativity and conventional philosophical speculation.

This means that we are able then to problematize whiteness without asserting or attempting to impose again a hierarchical racist structure. The issue will level out to become an issue of the human being because of the religious effect of a common humanity.


Everywhere is War…

Anslem’s Argument for the Proof of the Existence of God, the Disruption of Time, and the Categorization of Philosophical Behavior.

I seem to have found a significance for Anslem’s proof. It may be that it is not significance for whether God might exist, but, as I have said, significance for how I present ideas.

We will start with the rendition from Princeton’s site. I think they have a pretty good rendition there.

Without all the strict logical hoopla, I think the simple way to put Anslem’s idea is that God exists because we can think of It.

The significance of this notion appears to disrupt what we generally consider of time, it’s ‘natural and directional’ progress.

The Princeton site says that Anslem was addressing a particular issue that, actually, we still find totday in atheism. Basically, Anslem is confronting two ideas:

1.He understands the claim that God exists.
2.He does not believe that God exists.

Now, I have done only the most preliminary research into Anslem and his ideas. I am just taking the very popular simple version, and considering these two situations. There is no ‘hidden’; whatever Anslem’s results most probably are quite apparent, and the ones that are not – well, what point am I trying to make here? I have already said in my earlier post that there is no logical argument that sways me in any direction or causes me to believe something I didn’t before. So any extension of argument must be involving something else; perhaps I am attempting to get at what this something could be.

I think the main point Anslem makes is that, as Princeton puts it, this is an inherently unstable condition of being. What we might call the ‘founding essence’ can be understood to be responsible for this instability. Somewhat similar to a ‘thing-in-itself’, this founding essence would be a kind of gravity well, if you will, of mental activity. The instability arises because of the knowledge (the known-ness) of what something is able to be. The question arises: How can I know what something is if it doesn’t exist? The basic assumption in this question, what philosophers tend to lump into the category called ontology, is that existence is, that there is no need to discern what existence is because to argue for or against the being of existence does nothing to displace the argument except as much as it merely denies existence. The point of saying something exists thus should equate with what can be known, and so the instability of the situation is found in the human ability to choose on whether what exists is actually true. In this case, though, Anslem is dealing with the basis of all that exists as a category, namely, God; God, in this sense, as we cannot but apply our modern sense to consideration of it, is merely the name of the category that contains all that can exist as an active element, the element by which all else can be said to be. The extension in time to Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’ can be understood as a factual description of this situation, and thus, rather than an opening up unto Being, ironically as a closing of Being unto itself and thus a factual description of what human beings do: The identification of the in-itself of human Being. More on that elsewhere.

The resolution that Anslem posits of this unstable situation occurs because of the foundational nature of the knowledge itself. In this Medieval Christian context (which I argue is still a modern context), the resolution (the clarity, the definition) that must be referred to must be understood in a context not so much of mind, but of the essential God-inundated mind that is able to uphold and entertain knowledge, which for our context might be the mind that exists. In short, the condition of knowledge is/was such that all things referred or otherwise are established in existence due to an absolute situation, a situation whereby all things gain their status in the universe, what we usually index by the idea of an absolute ethics, in a manner of speaking. In this condition it thus appears that a reflective mind will naturally be drawn into the the contradiction involved in making a choice as to the (true or false) existence of something that (already) exists (in essence), and will therefore correct (or become the correction) the instability by virtue of their own existence (in the absolute universe, or the universe that is indexed by absolution). The question of whether something actually, or physically, biologically exists, such as a race of human beings that live in the midieval antipodes, e2c1fd0e8fc468d9d55d018231578e47

unicorns, dragons, spirits, extraterrestrial aliens, etcetera, has no baring upon existence because of the absolute reference and access of mind to God (existence). What can be incorrect of knowledge as to what is true of existence finds its resolution in the posited (assumed) basis of existence. 

The Medieval as well as Modern mind is consistent in this ideal of progressive understanding of the universe. What is significant of this orientation upon progress is the mind’s innate access to what is true of the universe with reference to an assumed basis of that truth, what we can say is an assumption of stability unto which all knowledge will inevitably resolve; despite whether we posit that there is no actual resolution or that everything is flux, or whatever conditional conditions we define, the result of any positing is always toward ends, toward a resolution. Even if we say that the universe and the knowledge of that universe is completely and utterly contingent, this contingency must be absolute; hence we say that the effect of such terms within any scheme of knowledge or organization of definitions is what we can call a “founding term”. 


Oddly enough, we are able to find purchase into understanding what human beings do by looking at what philosophy does. Not, as Graham Harman might have it, that everything we might do automatically falls into a subjective appropriation of semantics that defies our attempt to locate such philosophical behavior. Rather, at some point we should be able to locate a mark by which we are able to be dismissed from this correlational philosophy that wants to avoid any critical gaze upon its method.

Once we find this mark (which I do not go into here), we can extend this situation (of existence and deferment) to apply to everything that might exist: Within this situation, a person can understand and then decide upon it. There is no thing that escapes this formula, and Anslem is making an accusation about it: It is unstable, and it will eventually resolve itself to the conclusion that the thing in question exists, in his Medieval case, God, and in our Modern case, perhaps, the object of empirical physics.

The point he relies upon is the idea that God is the greatest being or thing that can exist, for, so long as we can conceive of something greater, then that is not God. Similarly, we can use this conversely and say that because we can conceive of ‘that which nothing is greater’, this greatest thing exists as a foundational ontological ground of Modern effort as well: The ‘greatest’ thing is the most substantial. 


What interests me is that this simple notice occurred late in the 11th century. Here, already, is a situation made notice that no one noticed until very recently, like 10-20 years ago with the philosophers such as Alain Badou, Francois Laruelle, an then for the younger folks (of the time), of the Speculative Realist Conference. In particular, the idea is that there may be something that exists outside of our knowledge (not necessarily our ability to know), and as for in this situation, that which is greater than the greatest thing we can know. This category has brought modern philosophy (again) to consider things like voidnothingnesschaos and such things, and the corresponding ideal that whatever works to create identity is all good. But if we are honest, we might be able to glimpse the same ruminations of Scholasticism (St. Anslem is said to be one of the founders of the Medieval Scholasticism), occurring in our Modern philosophies, but under different terms. Indeed; I argue (along with Jean-Francois Lyotard apparently) elsewhere that Postmodern scholarship is really a religious apology for Modernity.

In this post I confront the veracity of some of our current philosophical modes and arguments by asking what seems to me to be a most obvious and significant question, a similar question that Graham Harman asks of Heidegger’s “tools“: Why did no-one  notice what Anslem had opened up until now, some 1000 years later? We are able to understand Anslem’s argument to this day; no one proposes that the thinkers 1000 years ago were any less astute than our thinkers today. Why is it only now that we are addressing the possibility of what might be ‘beyond’ or ‘at root but not part of’ (Badou’s consideration of set theory) knowledge? And then we might even ask more confounding question if we find that philosophers during the interim of the thousand years also considered the same question over and over. 

I submit for consideration that we have gotten not very far in philosophy. We might begin to understand the vastness of time and how slowly and incrementally human beings, as a group, accomplish knowledge, and how it is much more like a science than philosophers are capable of arguing. Indeed, if we think into this situation, we can then find often the situation that we have already come across elsewhere; namely, that on one hand philosophy is the way we situate the conditions of our times, how we work out logistical problems of being in a semantic world, and on the other, merely reflections of people (the authors) in-themselves. But if this is all philosophy does and is doing, then we also might see that we are actually merely re-contextualizing not what what has already been contextualized (as thus a re-contextualization), but in actually what we’ve already done, making the same arguments over and over but under different terms. We are reminded of Shakespeare’s “a rose by any other word…“.

Upon this conclusion, we are careful to not move too fast as we might then jump to the conclusion that such an idea should negate the ontological status of what I am calling conventional philosophy, as though such a proposal should then move beyond what we have and what we get through philosophical method. This is not the case. It seems near ridiculousness to figure that we can commandeer reality by a stroke of the pen (or a keystroke) except that we might be involved in such philosophical endorsement; we should then ask how is it that am I to get beyond it merely saying something in a particular manner? No. We cannot ‘turn’ the truth of the matter; we have but to see the power that is invested in the leviathan of religious interests, of maintaining a particular formation and method to know that, as the philosophers have argued, I cannot escape it unless I wish to perform some magic, perhaps some discursive slight of hand. We should ask if we can be done with all this trickery of the ontological police. Then, all we have to do is speak of facts instead of the essential Being of things, to speak teleologically instead of ontologically. We can argue the conditional nature of real essence for the rest of eternity and never get anywhere further than circling back and forth away from and back into Medieval type scholarship. And thats fine, and thats the point: This is the factual nature of reality, the impossible aspect of what we have to deal with in reality. Of course there will be those who will argue that what the philosophers are doing now days is not Scholasticism and who will produce all sorts of argumentative and ultimately circumstantial evidence to support their claim. Great! Perfect! Does this sway me to believe something that I don’t already know?  The proper response, in this case then, is that this is not a proposal toward any popular or social change, and in fact it has little to do with how political ideology might be at any moment; we can of course use it for such purposes (identifying our moment from the past conditional moments of history, for example, etcetera…), thats what Badiou and Zizek tell us…

We are not so much learning anything new as much as we are justifying our limited manner of Being in the world, and this is an end in itself that should be heeded but not as a call for change, as though we can somehow transcend what we are — we can only transcend was we identify with as political and ideological subjects. Rather, we should see this situation as a mark of what is true of being human, as a mark of significance, which is to say, a mark of fact. So another of my indictments of philosophy: Despite all the great discursive gymnastics and the twistings of subtle argumentative semantic juxtapositions, philosophy works to avoid having to look at itself as a human behavior. Conventional philosophy refuses to allow itself to be seen as an indicator of behavior, perpetually argues itself as an exceptional incarnation of divine intuition and inspiration, a blank spot of Being, and then uses this fact as a means to absorb all activity under its purview back into the real political and ideological limit — to say that this is all there is. I see the constant and basically automatic referral of all things ‘thought’ back into this kind of philosophical pond is self defeating to the effort of progress, even as progress itself is routed back into this (touted) ‘speculative’, or ‘realist’, or  ‘post-post-modern’ maxim. It is no wonder outside of capitalism is so difficult to think!

As Amoreinblog has argued somewhere, perhaps anthropology is the way out of this philosophical conundrum; despite all the philosophical misappropriations of ideas involved with the AIME (An Investigation into Modes of Existence) project of Bruno Latour (even by Latour himself, lol), his book can be read as an argument for the need to open up a space (perhaps, in his terms, create a pass) whereby we can avoid this modern philosophical whirlpool that we have been involved with for at least 1000 years. It seems that only now, with Postmodernism, but as of late Post-postmodnerism (must we find a Post-Post-Postmodernism also?) do we really get an idea, but also an actual way to understand and realize what human beings are doing.


Time itself may be the issue that is involved with Modernity invading as it usurps all discourse into its machinery. The issue that opens up after Postmodernism (but is not itself Postmodern scholarship) is the break from Enlightenment Ontology. So it may not be so much that we have to philosophically get out of this temporal mode — that kind of move would be philosophy attempting to avoid itself through arguing itself out of itself, redundantly, establishing as it maintains reality for everyone. It may be as simple as admitting that there is no escaping the philosophical limit, and realizing a kind of anti-Husserlian manner: Of finding the independent object in the bare fact that we know that there is an independent object, and perhaps that we need not speculate about how it can be so in order for it to be so. Of course we can discuss how it can be so…and indeed we will, but that does not mean that we cannot stay where we are at and let the pagan-Christian rollercoaster come around again and again.

Maybe we need to make a clean break.

Materialism And Nihilism. (or: What is Philosophy?)

We have to be careful when mining resources from traditional discourse. I have proposed here and there that we need to clean up philosophical discussion, and so I’m going to give an example, a brief and not exhaustive nor rigorously thorough, rendition of what I mean when I say we have to clean up philosophy.

Check out this post on materialism.

From a certain perspective, this ( the link) approach is not incorrect. The basis of his argument and indeed what he is saying is not incorrect in itself, which is to say, the content of his argument is not what is at issue here (though you can see my questions upon the content in the comments of his post). We might recall from an earlier post of mine I suggest there are two routes upon objects; the issue with today’s philosophy is really about one’s orientation upon objects. His argument is in good form in the content that is assumed of some sort of traditional heritage, in this case Wiki as a sort of base from which to place his discussion, is used as a sensible base today to make further statements. The Wiki reference to materialism might be a philosophically established definition, but it doesn’t take into large account that even the idea of materialism is debated as to what it’s really talking about. We might even be tempted to ponder how we are even able to come up with a category that is common enough to call materialism.

Let’s take a look at the opening statements of the wiki entry on materialism:

Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental things and consciousness, are results of material interactions.

Materialism is closely related to physicalism, the view that all that exists is ultimately physical.

Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting that this entry does not make sense. At least, it does have a certain sense so far as it may reference other ideas to other wiki entries and generally goes on to discuss various ideas around let materialism may be.

First, the simple question has to be “what is materialism?” Then, there are two routes to go in finding out what ‘materialism’ might mean. One route is to do a Google search (above) or go to a professor of philosophy or critical thoery and ask all these places or look up in these places, “materialism”. And you get the usual type of philosophical answers. This route is so common that it is never even questioned; in fact, I would venture to say that it is usual and of course not to question this route, but more, that the contents of the search is likewise not questioned for what it contains (as a discursive form), but the only valid manner of questioning is upon meaning of the content as if the syntax is automatically correct as a (redundantly) syntactical form that conveys direct and equivocal meaning (that can be reduced to common) .

This may sound as if we are rehashing old postmodern modes, but it is distinctly modern in the sense that the reader cannot dismiss herself from that fact that is taking place at this moment: This moment is modern. Even if we were to attach some theoretical qualifiers to define this moment as post- modern (or post-post modern, as I like to call it), the manner by which we are able to come to the idea that this particular reading is postmodern is a modern manner. The segregating present modes or forms into categorical definitions is a modern form. The theoretical denial of this fact allows us to come to certain sensibilities about what is occurring in this moment, that is, the moment of this reading (now – are you dismissing yourself from your reading! you are reading this right now. Not in the present: Only in this moment, this modern moment) which we will not go into detail here.

The question on the table is “what is materialism”? Where do I look for this answer is the next question, the supporting question. Then, for this route that we are shedding light upon (a light that many are ((color)) blind to), the next question is: What am I trying to accomplish by taking this route? I think this is really the fundamental philosophical question involved in everything that we call philosophy; but as well, it is a question that philosophy in general, I think, largely ignores. So I can say this in the original sense of postmodern, a sense that is not the common sense of our day’s view. It is a different sense that few people care about because its basis of value is different. What is the purpose I am fulfilling or attempting to complete through taking this route? To answer ‘to gain information’ is too vague, and too redundant, but if you are OK with that answer then perhaps it is not philosophy that you are involved with (hence another reason why I say we need clean up philosophy).

The first answer to the first question shows what is involved with philosophy. If my first answer is to seek the answer somewhere else, then we already know about a certain orientation upon things, and we need not look anywhere else: This route is the route which places modernity within a prior structural situation by which the agent of that structure lives out her days. This is found because the first answer is not so often: I already know what materialism is. The answer to the first question is: Materialism is a philosophical category that is defined by or otherwise associated with material. If this question is not asked and answered first, then we have a particular kind of philosophical undertaking that yields a particular kind of philosophical answer. When this is asked and answered first, then the next question becomes: What is material? And the answer again comes automatically to sense: It is the stuff that things are made out of or otherwise constituent of.

Now; lets look at a simple definition of ‘material’ without all the previous hoopla:
{Btw: I have not yet looked it up; the definition I am putting here is after I wrote this promt. So lets see:}

– Material. “The matter from which a thing is or can be made”

So now:
– ‘matter’: “That which occupies space and has mass”

– ‘space’: (we will forego the strict mathematical definitions that are given first):
“An extent or expanse of a surface or three-dimensional area”

– ‘Mass’: “1. a coherent, typically large body of matter with no definite shape. 3. physics
the quantity of matter that a body contains, as measured by its acceleration under a given force or by the force exerted on it by a gravitational field.”

I don’t know about you, but there is no definition here, in this series, that is anything unexpected forme. I bet I could go on defining the various terms, in a plain an uncomplicated manner, and never encounter a meaning that I didn’t expect (even though with physics I would probably begin to encounter definitions that I don’t immediately understand, in particular, if they began to use mathematical symbols to denote the specific meanings).

So I will ask the same question I asked at the beginning, again: What am I trying to accomplish, not only by asking the question, but by taking the route to find the answer?


The problem I am seeing must take into account that there are different levels of learners, and that when doing a blog, I must consider the possibility that people are of various stages in their learning, but are coming across (online; through text) with a strong sense of assertion and propriety, like they have been taught to act like (sometimes, I do come across people who are humble enough to admit to their shortcomings, and that is a breath of fresh air, because then I get to learn in a whole new way also). What I mean is, while online I tend to take everyone on the same level, and deal and treat them as equals, the facts tend to show themselves to the possibility that many people are actually somewhat, either, immature in their thinking, or representative of a certain type of thinker. It is this latter that brings me to consider why we need to clean up philosophical discussion: We are not only talking about different things, we are indeed using different methods to come to various answers. But because no one has delineated or come up with a way to distinguish these types, everyone takes philosophy as a general category in which everyone participates in a sort of common arena of ideas. I am saying that there is no such common arena, or, that the common arena is an assumption that is not, or becoming, no longer a valid assumption. The common arena is not only assumed, but enforced.

It is not merely that people are in various stages of learning or in different departments, different philosophical aspects, such as epistemology or ontology, nor the worn-out continental and analytical traditions. It is that there are two different manners of enacting, appropriating and elucidating philosophical problems as well as solutions, and the assumption that these two arenas can cross-communicate is creating a situation of philosophy that we can rightly call miscommunication, or just plain, no communication. (see Leotard, Badiou and as well as a few others who grapple with this same problem, but who were, frankly, not able to enact or accompany the ‘impossible’ solution. Laruelle may be the only one who actually takes a chance – but there are probably others). The assumption that the discrepancy can be overcome is a categorical error that is enacted due to the traditional modern mode of philosophcial thinking, what we can loosely call Enlightenment thinking – but we might also loosely categorize these thinkers as those who view the failure of this Enlightenment to equate to The failure of civilization. And, in so much as we can also rightly understand modern and postmodern as complicit in the maintenance of a particular program of Enlightenment, it is then not too far off the mark to call the perpetuation of this enterprise post-postmodern, or just get un-theoretically honest, and call it Neo-modernism, a type of ages old effort of declining civilizations to rehash, and reinstate a dying ‘realism’ of yesteryear, a ‘return to the good old days’ of definite real truths (Realism).

But did we ever really stop moving forward ? Re-read (or read) “The Postmodern Condition” again and tell me if Leotard was not situating things in light of techne. Is it any wonder that a certain Realist has attempted a discussion about over- and under-determinations? Despite how short those discussions may extend, various truths about the ability and function of human consciousness must always show itself in time even if through different frequencies and angles. We are caught in a technical motion that has little to do with how we constitute our state of Being: The State is known, that is how, logistically, we are able to interact with technology the way we do. The various issues of consciousness are now inseparable from our technical world (if they were ever understood as separate). Any argument to the contrary is nearly superfluous (if not different).


This is not bleak; it is not an apocalyptic prophecy. Such gloom and doom are from the “prophets of the old Testament” projecting their dismay on the manner by which they only have to make a (dishonest) living (in the production of “honest” theory). They misunderstand reality; they are caught in a kind of upside-down ‘hope’ (faith), a kind of transcendental yearning for a ontological justification of a religious affect. 

In a way, we could see this effort (here, behind this essay) is the uprooting of the whole discursive paradigm by which we come to not only traditional philosophical conclusions, but indeed the manner that the tradition remains intact as a common method. By this, I mean to alarm the philosophical police, those philosophers that Slavoj Zizek mentions in his book “Event”. The philosophical police are on guard for philosophical statements or proposals that would seek to undo all our social political and ideological structures; basically, the philosophical police are the clerics of our current religious ideology (reality).

We have to ask what exactly these philosophical police might be on guard against, because so many of the philosophical police don’t even know that they’re working for the department; they naturally uphold a traditional sense of rationality and reason without even contemplating or being able to approach the idea that the sense that they have of rationality is itself an actual religious attitude. In short, what the philosophical police do is look for nihilism. They look for philosophical statements that represent or argue for, to them, nothing (good), and then basically assert their religious identity upon that which otherwise appears to them as chaos, anarchy or just plain nonsense (they have no criterion by which to discern real nonsense from logical nonsense: Real nonsense makes no sense to the practical and actual living that occurs in the real world; logical nonsense has no sense and cannot be made to have sense). They are apparently incapable of understanding what nihilism means without the context of their traditional religious dogma. The content of nihilism to them is effective negation of their belief system, or what should be more probably called a real religious scaffolding of meaning, even extending into the philosophical metaphysical justifications. Indeed; we only use the term to indicate where it lacks.

But we already know, if we understand what Jean-Francois Lyotard said in The first chapter of his essay “The Postmodern Condition”, what happens to people that are attempting to develop a discourse of the content of what is traditionally known as nihilism: They are ignored, de facto; they are unheard and they are automatically and axiomatically excluded from what is already understood – through the modern religious dogma (if I may be so bold) – as knowledge. Those who would discuss the content of what has been X’d-out and marked off on the map of real and valid knowledge as “monsters be here” are unheard.

So it is with this small and quick primer that I say as soon as someone said the word ‘materialism’, 150+ years or so ago, to continue along various definitions of how that materialism may be wrong in its definition or this materialism is a more proper way to situate it, the basic problem has been that these subsequent authors, the subsequent religious philosophers who basically are unable to consider their position as a religious position due to the same phenomenon that I’m talking about with materialism, founded nihilism – where such philosophers, who want to argue against and improve upon the definitions of fundament or and establish terms (what are they doing?) cannot bring themselves to understand the nihilistic intention behind the term itself, there do we have (do I have to really say it), the philosophical police. We then need to reflect upon where my capacity as a philosopher is breached. We have to consider that what I understand as true is different from what is real (has differentiated), and we have to consider the fact that I am able to make sense out of it that is communicated in one moment, and not in another.

So; if I am in to remain in good form, as form is form despite what tradition might say, then I can no longer take the term materialism and add or subtract something to it, like Badiou talks about. The addition and subtraction of term identities must occur in an arena that is different from that which posits the ordinary definition.


Then all the alarms go off with this one. If my readership goes down to zero then I know I have succeeded in offending religious sensibility. (Just kidding! Please keep reading.) Getting back to the question: Is there any part of the definitions above that indicate or inherently and automatically attaches to a referent? An imperative where things in-themselves are automatically and mutually excluded from the thoughts about them? From where does such an exclusion take hold and for what purpose? What is offensive or incorrect in the statement “Only material exists”? Material is that which we deal with. It is that which we deal with always and at all times. It is ultimately and always discursive, and any reference of discourse to something outside or beyond discourse is automatically discursive. The proof is found in the question: If there is something outside of discourse? What is it? Can you tell me without using discourse? Can discourse refer to something that is not discursive? These questions are foundational and pivotal to discerning what philosophy is able to do and what it is allowed (permitted) to do.

I see nothing in this which contradicts any of those extsnsions of definition above. Yet, once we understand this, once we see that there are indeed people who will have issue with this, then we can begin to notice where people, philosophers in general, are being somehow deceptive or at least being or carrying on a certain incognition about the state of affairs; and we have to ask them: For what purpose? I call such people ‘real philosophers’, or philosophers that are concerned with reality. Nothing wrong with that; just there is discussion that is as valid and pertinent to what is occurring that those kind of philosphers will not consider. This is not an accusation; it is a mere fact of what occurs. Am I ‘incorrect’ or am I accused because I have breasts? This is also a foundational and pivotal type of question.


To wrap this little ditty up, to really nail it home and sew it up tight, we must bring in Lyotard postmodern condition again and point out how so utterly honest and true his statements were: The state will be no longer of concern and eventually will be left behind all together.

Damn. What the hell was I talking about?


Repetition and Repetition. 


Below is a post by Levi Bryant. Part of my one-sided interaction with him is a sort of incredulousness towards the situation wherein Mr. Bryant has found his kind of Speculative Realism; whatever title he may want to put to it, it appears that all of these SR authors (or whatever Realist projects have replaced SR-in its wake) are involved in a project that, frankly, appears to me as an effort of deception or of ignorance. I get into more detail of why I make this accusation in my books, but lately, my simple explanation is that they have to, that due to their success (how ever one wants to define it) they must uphold a transcendental centrality in their efforts. They have to do this because that is the source of their livelihood; a priest cannot administer sacraments that dont adhere to the teachings of the institutional dogma. What I mean by this is they have to approach their speculations through the contemporary dogmatic proclamations of the church, as well as by its methodology, which is in this case we could call “the institution of philosophy”, what I tend to call “conventional” philosophy to denote that there is a cloudiness within the general philosophical mode that needs to be cleared up, this as opposed to lumping everything that is philosophical into one dogmatic category.

Also what I mean by this is not merely to be antagonistic; i’m not just being contrary to institutions. The basis of my incredulousness is that I read these SR people and then many of them, like Mr. Bryant, I find it difficult to believe that they put forth the ideas that they do; I find it difficult to read his premises and then understand the conclusions that he finds. To me there is a break or some sort of disjuncture occurring that, in the example of Mr. Bryant, he is not seeing. And I describe the situation as having to be one of either ignorance, insomuch as he (they) plainly does not see, or deception, and as much as he does see but that somehow he is not allowed to proceed, where he doesn’t want to put forth the actual meaning that should follow from his premises.

I come to this conclusion after a few years of attempting to engage with various people in similar type arguments and situations. It is apparent to me that certain people cannot or will not understand what I’m saying; it appears to me that at some crucial point of argument there is some barrier that projects or injects itself into the meaning of the discussion that we were having that makes this other person in capable of following the argument that we have agreed-upon up until that point. I have played with the idea of calling this point of rupture, a “partition”. The reason why I said there has to be a partition is because it appears that they are not doing it voluntarily. Though I can’t rule out deception, it appears that they’re not doing it voluntarily because no matter what argument I reapproach with, no matter how much I dissect, no matter what size or portion of clause that I wish to pull out and analyze with them, to thereby help them see where the disjuncture is occurring, at no point are they able to overcome the disjuncture. Every occasion that I’ve had with individuals in discussion of this sort,  at some point they simply cannot make the move and instead revert back into a point of discussion that we supposedly had already resolved earlier. It is as if regardless of their intelligence and regardless of the information or philosophical Library that they absorbed and the various arguments of various authors that they understand and can convey, at some point they have to leave the line of argument; it’s as if we’re driving down a road, a straight road, together, carefully taking notes of the landmarks the mile markers the potholes the various substrates that the road is paved with the different colors of the lines, staying on this road that both of us are allowing for in our discussion, A road that naturally unfolds in a particular direction and manner given the common understanding that we come to between us in our discussion and deconstructions a various issues — and then suddenly when were almost at the destination they grab the wheel and veer off, circling back into the unknown that is nothingness where through they will end up somewhere miles back on the road we are already traveled.

The understanding that I have gained through these types of experiences is that they were really all saying the same thing, they all basically agree with each other on a certain tenant of method but also a kind of “belief”, but we could associate with a sort of force, a sort of immovable tenant of what we could call a “faith”. We can locate this tenant by what is been called “correlationalism”, but this tenant really comes about through a type of misappropriation of philosophical statement that says discourse is all there is. I call this a “mistake” because it usually connotes a particular condition that is ignored for the sake of maintaining the condition. This condition is the central thinker, and this is why I say that any sort of argument or discourse that wants to displace the central thinker somehow through a move of discourse is really based in a condition of what I have called bad faith.

It really takes a book to be able to divulge and explicate all the factors involved with this idea. Nevertheless, it comes down to the idea that there is a central thinker (subject) that perpetually withdraws or is void or is nil or is nothingness or is unsubstantial or is nonexistent or is only existent, but yet that somehow becomes or contains or otherwise enacts a certain power within a field whereby discourse manifests the totality of world, but not only this, but that due to the centrality of this vanishing mediator, this “less than nothing” nonpoint, this “due to” is taken as a given situation of power to alter discourse and thus to alter reality.

The power involved with this kind of meaning is evidenced by its religious hold, and the faith that allows for it.

We find over and over again, though, for at least the past 100 years, and particularly associated with the continental tradition, that this does not happen; discourse is not altering the real universe, or rather, it does so long as a certain view upon world is maintained. We see this kind of selective window in the Speculative Realist and (Harman’s) Object Ontological move; the move comes from a highly intellectualized understanding whereby the meaning of discourse, which is to say what they would (could) call “world”, necessarily brings a certain intellectual understanding that does not allow for what could otherwise be called random occurrences. Basically if the whole world and all of reality is determined by discourse that is manipulated by agents of …[nothing? Nil? Void?]… then somehow there is something that is occurring outside of this reality that is affecting the reality in such a way that the reality of discourse is not encompassing it. Hence we have the stuff about Lovecraft and chaos and all that kind of stuff.

But more to the point here; the post below is this type of orientation upon things like wise sees that terms are reflecting identities, which is to say that terms are actually reflecting things in themselves that are being manipulated, again, by these what we should more properly call “agents of transcendence”. In this orientation, though, such ‘appearances’  which are taken as ‘in-themselves’ Hegelian objects, are not appropriated in the same or consistent sense that they are taken to mean; in fact, they are taken to exist in a relative autonomy that we have an ability to affect or otherwise impose our thoughts or results of thinking upon. Here, ‘appearance’ itself is misappropriated for the sake of justifying a religious position.

The example in the re-post below is that Deluze uses one set of terms and Badiou uses a different set of terms, and so they must be talking about different things. D says that this is the case and B says this is the case and so-and-so says this is the case and so let’s compare all the various ways that the authors say that such and such is the case.

The question that I always ask is what the hell are they talking about? I mean, the assumption is that they’re all talking about the same thing, but yet somehow they’re not talking about the same thing; it is a philosophy involved in an inherent nonsense even while it is proposed to be talking about something sensible. My question is how is it possible to compare Delueze to Badou (for example) and to anyone else if they are not talking about the same thing? (Badou even addresses this, as well as Harman) I mean, I could be talking about trees and Joe Overthere is talking about fences, and then we get together and I’m talking about trees and he’s talking about fences but at some point we come to some manner of discussing things to so that we can actually have a discussion; it is this overlap that I ask the question about: many philosophers will not admit that they’re talking about the same thing. They will say that you’re talking about fences and that he’s talking about trees, but then I would say, what’s the point of even bringing them into the same discussion except to say “he’s talking about trees and he’s talking about fences”? The question is at what point does the Subject arise? If it is always the case of the contingency of discourse then of course we are always going to find some nil-subject, some subject that never occurs and that always exists in a state of void. But then again: these “nil-states” are actually occupying space: The space of void!

We thus come to the idea of the founding term, something that Deleuze talks about. It’s as if the philosophers would say that the whole state of existence in reality occurs to discourse manipulated by transcendental agency except this one term that we are going to call the foundation of all existence that never changes and is ultimately eternal and we’re gonna call this “void” or whatever negating nihilistic term we want to use. Then, to avoid the apparent logical exception of the founding term ‘void’, we then say that, well, its only this way right now, but in another time/moment there will be a different organizing discursive framework. The universe, and as well humanity, thus exist in a cosmological foundation of change in flux, a state of eternal unknowingness wherein we are utterly alone like Adam and Eve kicked out of the garden of Eden.


Isn’t this what Bryant says in the beginning of his Onto-cartography book (I think he says it there) ?

The SR and 000 pretty much have said in various places that their philosophy is toward a want to bring us back to a pre-modern philosophy of sorts. And then I have to ask what the hell is this? And I cannot but answer that it is a religious apology. That it is not that the SR or the OO getting anywhere progressively, it is more that they’re taking the given situation, a situation that they are confined within that they cannot find their way out of, and they’re making an apology for it, they are making cosmological assertions based on limiting factors that is already been argued in the tradition that somehow informs this contingent reality wherein transcendental agents manipulate discourse.

Now; the point of this post is not to say that somehow they’re wrong, or that somehow they’re coming up with incorrect conclusions. To do so would be to propose upon them a certain kind of stupidity or unintelligence. They are not stupid and they are not not intelligent. We have to admit then that the problem lies within a particular orientation, as I say, upon objects.


Well; I’m not going to go on here about the overlaps between the various authors of the re-post below , We should see in the post below that D and B and Hiedegger are saying the same thing in different terms, using different terms to describe the same situation.

The point is is that there is no difference between reading text speaking text and going out in the world and doing anything that involves anything in the world. The point is is that where this description I just gave makes someone come to a certain conclusion that it means nothing and that everything is stratified upon an undifferentiated scene, therein do we have evidence of a missed understanding of the meaning of the phrase “discourse is all there is”.

It doesn’t really matter that much what Delueze says about repetition as opposed to what someone else says about repetition, unless we see that they’re both talking about the same situation. They must be using the word ‘repetition’ that is consistent with certain markers of meaning regardless of how they lay it out in various clausal structures or real examples. Likewise if Badiou wants to talk about the event, then it is only in so much as the event itself is a repetition of an idea, of a set of terms, of a clausal structure. Likewise, insomuch as we may want to talk about newness, at every moment of encountering B and D we find that they could be lumped together in one discourse called “Badiou–Deleuze” perhaps, then that they might not be arguing distinctions, arguing that one view is more true than the next view, but that then are indeed describing the situation: This is what is new, the example of what is new. Together having different views upon the same situation that we may come to certain facts of the situation, this is what makes or allows for us to see a particular methodological approach of philosophy ‘conventional’.To the extent that we see the two discourses in this example as saying two different things as though describing two different situations, two different things in themselves, so to speak, thereby do we have the space for the agent of transcendence that is caught in the religious faith of what we can call conventional philosophy, what we can thereby call, and not with too much explanation, modern scholasticism.

It is not wrong, though; it is what it is. Hence, the determination of divergence.


Reading and Repetition

A central claim of Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition is that we only ever create something new through repetition.  Here, then, we might encounter a fundamental difference between Badiou and Deleuze (or is it a proximity between the two?).  For Badiou the new is created as a result of a truth-procedure that is evoked through fidelity to […]


Love and the Truth Procedure (second try)

This post is my attempt to answer the question that Agent Swarm put forth in his recent post, which I reposted just before this post. 

Q: “Why is the truth procedure that includes love called “love”?, which should not go without saying. Why should “love” (the truth procedure) include psychoanalysis but not religion?

Q: “Why is “love” a matter of the Two and not one of multiplicities and metamorphoses?

We already know that any situation that can be spoken about always resides within what we could call a ‘phrase universe’, ala Jean-Francois Lyotard. There is no discussion about this; it is or it isn’t. If it is not then the person does not understand the notion. This is because the question is always “If there is something beyond discourse, then what is it?” How can there be something without using a series of terms (clause; phrase) ? If there is something outside or beyond discourse, then it is completely negligable and does not concern human beings.

Now, the misinterpretation of this maxim is founded in what we can call ‘speculative method’, which is to say, human beings get to use their imagination to come up with things that could exist outside of discourse. It misses the bare fact that as soon as we come to posit “that which is beyond discourse” we have collapsed the supposed realm of what is beyond discourse to discourse. This is why we can speak of ‘philosophical denial’. But more: It relies on retroactively appropriating the question of discourse for a central human agent-thinker who then uses this privilege for the purpose of placing all real things under this human privilege; in short, it places everything that can possibly exist (discourse) as a mechanism of meaning which can then, by default of a total inclusion of all agents, say that even the idea that everything exists as a function of discourse can then produce actual real situations that can exist outside of that maxim. It is a distortion as well as a deceptive act of production and a symptom of the decadence of conventional philosophy.

It is within this context we must find what I call the ‘founding term'(I think it is Delueze that also wrote about this very same idea; but it goes to my point that regardless of Delueze (or whoever) the issue does not concern what a history of tradition/conventional philosophical thought might have posed, because it is always available to anyone who already understands the situation at hand). Within any phrase universe there can be found a pivotal term whereby the whole argumentative structure finds its meaning. The whole of conventional philosophy resides upon a comparison of phrase universes, and the finding of the foundational term that enjoins (enframes) the two (or more) universes such that they may be compared in the first place. The mode of operation of conventional philosophy, though, is to deny the idea of the founding  term, as well as phrase universes, for the sake of its functioning; this is to say, that if the only thing conventional philosophy is doing is working toward the foundational term (the ‘end’ of any reduction), then such philosophy cannot be really discovering anything true, because upon finding the foundational term one is then left to find another universe by which to then reduce this ‘found’ term to a further reduction; this is the basis of post-modern multivocality and such. And, if this is all that is occurring then philosophy as an activity could be said to be basically spinning in its own slop. Such it is that the ideal that must go into philosophical work must be one of progress, and of establishing what is actually true of the world, in other words, reality. Conventional philosophy thus is so concerned with ontology, and thus we eventually find that philosophy must pivot from finding out what is actually true, to talking about what is merely philosophically real, and this then is nothing but establishing a metaphysical truth despite the emptiness that exists all around such argumentative descriptions. We find that there is a certain multiplicity that is concerned only with religious position and the identity of the acting free agent. We find then that there are two independent functions that collapse in the encounter with each other, and toward and within whichever effort would have brought itself to such a moment of contradiction. This moment cannot reveal itself unto itself, but only establish itself in the denial of the effectiveness of its dialectical opposite.

Badiou discovers and admits as much, and this is because he cannot but be involved with the dialectic. If we are to escape from the ever-presence of conventional gestures put to work for the dogma of ontology (religion), we must be talking about the bare Being in the world and not some special universal situation of ontological unity (cosmology of reality).

Further, we should not miss Badiou’s complicity with a Zizekian notion: Love is Evil. The whole dialectical appearance in history cannot contribute to a pinning down of its own irony. Hegel can never be underestimated and the motion involved that he describes will always yield the moment of contradiction wherein we must investigate (what I call ‘contradiction of non-contradiction’, and what Adorno notices as well). The method that would place a centrally stable conscious entity through which all things retain an ethical universal validity as well as veracity, will always miss the oscillation of ethical terms; i.e. what is evil should always qualify to ‘evilness’ under a strict objective logical application, and what is good likewise; essential categories must exist within a humanly identifiable matrix of meaning such that good and evil may retain means to be known as such; evil cannot be good, nor good evil, except as ethically justified, again, within a scheme that denies its own foundational terms. So it is not difficult to want to find a term that could avoid these ethical mandates yet while retaining the ideal whereby good and evil could be justified.

Hence we find the the foundational feature of everything that must ‘be’, could be called ‘love’, and at that, upheld within its own dialectically ironic theme that defies the perpetual want of philosophy to reify its ontologically real (and discursively argumentative) structures.

Likewise; “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”. Religion (real ontology; cosmology of real things, their organization unto the totality) should be left unto its own devices as real estimations should be left to its own method of negotiating real (politics, ideologies, etc) situations because –and this is the idea where everyone gets pissed off and offended — such people who are involved with using metaphysical truths by which to situate contingent discourses to thereby discover real (social, cultural, political, ideological) solutions de facto are not involved with what we loosely may call ‘psychoanalysis’, for they are involved with functioning though these operations and cosmological structures and behaving within them as omnipresent and immanent truths (zizek: frames): They react within such real structures because they are incapable of understanding anything else; as we say, they behave within the tenants of their faith. Yet they cannot simply decide to step aside from their faith to thereby consider psychoanalysis; only in the destruction of their faith are they able to begin to consider if their faith was the problem. In most cases, their faith was not destroyed, but is again used to justify the distracting event into the total reality20140103-000828.jpg that is their religious faith.

I think I have put forth a good general proposal of why Badiou talks about things the way he does and have justified such postures: It is because he is involved with the dialectic despite whether or not he speaks of traditionally dialectical issues.

Note: Of this dialectic, I am not excluded from They.  

Philosophy, Colonialism and Partition.

Perhaps the title should have included “non-philosophy”. lol

This talk concerns the opening whereby philosophy is indicated to its method through the ending that supersedes its domain. Specifically, and in the context of Francois Laruelle’s “Christo-fiction“, that which supersedes any conventional appropriation is the quantum. In particular, there is no philosophical posture that is able to bring any feasible critique against its own effective omniscience, omnipotence and proposed as assumed omnipresence. The indictment is made unto its method, which is the argumentative method that is made by agents of transcendence. This alternate posture is thus outside of (conventional) philosophy’s purview, since its route is one of scientific verification over the conventional argumentative method. This alternative method is thus of allowing for a particular framework in which philosophical experiments are allowed, but it no longer includes the framework within its domain of critique.

But we are only at the very preliminary stages of this work; we are in the long game. This talk is an attempt to lay the theoretical groundwork (the breaking of ground has already occurred with the likes of Laruelle, Badiou, Zizek and Latour, to mention only the few still living), to describe some of the conditions by which such a foundation is needed and will be laid. It departs, albeit significantly, with the recurrence embedded in the conventional method’s approach, whereby human beings have access to resources that while arising from some ‘unknown’ source (immanence, transcendence, biology, neurology, evolution, creation, or whatever…), a source that is never found but at all times presents itself within the discourse that proposes to be ‘finding it’ through the conventional method of delegated agents (what I say are ‘agents of transcendence’), nevertheless still function effectively to supply a true reality, elements of which I call ‘True Objects’; the delegation process instigated by humans is at all times assumed to have the support of providence, regardless of what people might assert as the discursive conditions of such providence (such argumentative establishments are redundant).

This alternative route, in its beginnings, is involved with the effort thereby of verification. Currently, seeing that the conventional philosophical method works to obscure facts, we are involved with creating an opening whereby the facts may be noted, upon which such a scientific method may be laid. The only way forward in the effort, it appears, is through the enactment of a partition.

 (I just noticed that it cut off about the last six minutes of the talk. Sorry). 

Philosophy, Colonialism and Partition.

The first Webcast of the Philosophical Hack

…and sowing the seeds: Reply to Blake with draft excerpts from “The Second Moment”.

Reply to Terrence Blake’s recent post over at Agent Swarm:

As usual Terrence you pegged it. It’s strange how I view it and actually I can totally agree with you and yet somehow there’s something that I’m not agreeing with and really that has to do with my work, The strange situation that I find myself in reading you and is also what I’m trying to sort out. It’s actually really great.
For indeed I would say the same thing as you,  and add a few other authors to your list who really kind of saying the same thing. Yet I don’t think that Laruelle is merely repeating what these other people have repeated in a better way. I do not think that’s all that’s going on here. I would put it more in the framework of the question of why Laruelle appears in a religious context; as you kind of say his acolytes or his believers. Lol. I agree, yeah. I would say inasmuch as people are appropriating his discourses in such a way that it is organized around a proper ordering of his definitions, whether one would either believe or not believe, or that they would be ‘congregants’ or not, is a misappropriation of what Laruelle is really saying.

This further goes to my point about Laruelle himself, that he is missing the significance of what he saying (oddly enough,about the event, the object of the discourse) as a further dynamic in the whole discussion.

“…if we can talk about Kierkegaard or Nietzsche in the same or similar context, that they indeed mark sort of turning point, or at least a sort of speaking in a certain way about a certain particular thing, then it is because before this mark (that is such talk) people of such an experience, what I call the significant event, still felt or still thought in terms of a common human standard,  within  a stratified horizon of human experience where all human beings can participate in the same context of any world through the manipulations of discourse. I’m not sure what others may make of Laruelle’s ‘unilateral duality’, but to me such a term defies the stratification to which his ideas are typically applied. The idea that thus takes hold and thus usurps the meaning of Laruelle’s notions is that mode that says “if I can just explain it well enough, if I can shred up a given term into its proper real elements, if I can deconstruct a term so thoroughly that I can present it to anyone and they will understand, potentially” …(from “The Second Moment”)

This is the enterprise that you’re talking about, and indeed that’s exactly what Laruelle does, exactly the effort that he’s involved with, which is why I say he is in bad faith. For if we can take a certain lineage that involves those characters as you brought up, if not more and other ones, each of those authors attempts to situate a certain type of experience within a communication of discourse, and actually not only that, but each of them is putting it in such a way that it is clear to them, such that their project then extends into explaining to others in rebuttal and response what they already explained, yet ,in further differentiated terms as if they will somehow at some point be able to communicate what they’re really saying to these other people.

Think about phenomenology. Husserl, from what I gather, tried to put forth a science of phenomenology, and Heidegger had the same idea and difficulty with his students. You can also feel the frustration in Nietzsche’s writings and you can hear the despair in Kierkegaard. After Kierkegaard and Nietzsche pretty much that’s it. The rest of it is just a reiteration and a repetition by someone who is come upon a certain type of experience attempting to improve upon the initial explication or pronunciation of it…”

Strangely enough, the science that authors might propose seems untenable because of the very mode that they are caught in; which is to say, the mode of Enlightenment thinking, which is really evangelism under a philosophical guise. The science they ‘feel’ is untenable because they are involving ‘everyone’ in the possibility that ‘everyone’ does not as a free agent participate in. Just think if a molecular biologist had to get an OK from everyone who was involved, or who ‘proved themselves’ to be involved with biology: Nothing of molecular biology would have ever gotten anywhere since everyone thinks they know something of biology because they are ‘by definition’ a biological creature. The conventional philosophers tend to work upon a level that is supposing everyone and everything, metaphysically, but the fact is that they can never dismiss themselves sufficiently enough from their own thinking (and thus everyone else’s opinions as they are positioned upon a hierarchical transcendental scaffolding) to thereby gain an objective quality of being to thereby gain a single fact to base such a science upon,  and yet they suppose this of themselves and their ability at every turn. This is the significant issue: That they cannot allow for a humanity that is truly ‘different’; the very notion of difference becomes all too often merely an ideal notion of essential thought, as this is justified in the common thing that is the being of human. They cannot enact a science that they feel should be available precisely because they are involved in a failure to understand the mode by which they are being allowed to posit ‘being’: They are involved in an effective distance whereby they cannot ever philosophically approach the object that is human; they are ‘caught’, involved in, saturated by (if I may bring in Heidegger) the destitution that is their spirit…”

So what I see  in the period of time that goes between say the 1850s (though it  extends back further, its just at that time that a certain manner of appropriation of the object has arisen to discourse) up until now or until Laruelle, is we have the extension of the failure of the discourse that is attempting to explain a particular type of experience. And what this failure is, is involved with the religious type of orientation upon the world, which is to say that if I have (one person, i.e. the philosophical author) had this experience then everyone else should be able to understand it and should be able to realize the significance of this experience also because we are all human beings, common in the potential for communication. But what do we find in Nietzsche? Irritation and frustration at that no one can hear him. And what do we find in Lyotard? We have an evolved situation of the same experience. Here though, the Postmoderns have taken a different tact. They noticed a failure and so they use the failure as a means to establish a whole new manner of speaking about it, a different manner, so to speak. This is why postmodern is often associated with irony, because while they were sitting there talking about deconstructing everything and grammatology and such things, they are/were really trying to indicate the same thing that Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were indicating but couldn’t effectively communicate. So we have the postmodern admitting that there’s a failure in communication and making another whole  series of clausal structures based upon this different type of view of the same object.

So then what we have after the Postmoderns? We have another attempt, but this time the attempt is in the deconstruction itself. The ‘post-Postmoderns’, as I call them, Laruelle and Badiou at least, see the failure of the postmodern tact and so they think that they can improve upon what is occurred over the long +-200 year extension: If they can just deconstruct terms sufficiently enough. Laruelle is the most extreme example of this kind of  deconstruction in the sense of attempting to convey the object of knowledge that is been going on since before Kant, but just reached a certain type of saturation with Hegel and Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.

Badiou admits the total failure, and calls this failure, the object that is failed to be communicated, ‘void’. And yet because it is still there (being there) and the failure involves communication, as communication is taken still as upon a stratified human horizon, his tact is to posit how it is possible that it still arises ‘apparently somewhere’. So his sensibility is that the void erupts into multiplicity, because the problem seems to be that there is this single object that is being spoken about in a very specific manner that is somehow not being apprehended in its specificity.

In contrast, Laruelle still supposes to be able to deconstruct the term (object: terms are objects) sufficiently enough to be able to make a solute communication. But what we find is that he’s crossed the line. We find that in the attempt to deconstruct the term so thoroughly as to be able to communicate that object, that object is now apprehended as a religious type of assertion. So, instead of viewing the blowback of multiplicity, Laruelle sees that the problem lies in a prior decision of how objects are apprehended and or how people/human beings are oriented upon them for how they can be situated in reality. He blames the incongruity upon the fact that there is some other order through which objects are appropriated, that is interfering in the direct communication of this said object…”

Now for me, because I understand what the object is (the subject that is the object or purpose of the discourse) when I read these authors, there is no miscommunication about what they are saying. It is obvious to me; this is why I say all these such and such authors are really talking about the same thing, and it is why I understand the problem that they all face as well why it does not take very long to figure out and  understand the approach that they take…”

Laruelle’s ‘in the last instance’ is significant. Because somehow intuitively he knows or knew that this would be the last instance of the given of reality; that after his effort reality would precipitate out within this understanding such that it could be begun to be described as a religious institution itself (an actualized unilateral duality would begin to pronounce itself). But not just through his work; this is the long game…”

—-( Excerpts from the upcoming 2017-18  book tentatively called  “Darkness: The Second Moment of Decisive Significance”)


CLEARING THE GROUND (1): Laruelle’s rearview mirror

Laruelle: the mountain of jargon that gives birth to a mouse of common knowledge. One of the evolutions of my thought on this blog is the passage from a relatively favorable attitude to Laruelle to a great disappointment. This evolution stemmmed from my return to Laruelle, after having dismissed his non-philosophy as unworkable turgid repetition […]