Larval Subjects, the Impetus for Communication and the Common Thought of the Past.

Prof Bryant has an interesting post today.  And it inspired me to comment, below:

As I taught Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics today, I emphasized the manner in which so many of the virtues he lists are social in nature. Although we intuitively value many of the virtues Aristotle lists, I don’t think it would occur to many of us to count these among more or ethical issues. I wonder what the […]

via The End of Dialogue? — Larval Subjects . 

Levi;

It is interesting that you happened to ponder communication right now, because I was also pondering it, but along a slightly different line. I think you are commenting along a different vector of knowledge, perhaps a different category, but still…

I was asking myself if the academic form-method of “papers” and “journals” are even needed any more, if they are relevant in the sense that considers the actual possibility of being human, in the sense of being involved with what can Be. 

I recall a post you made a while ago where you were questioning the academic proper method and presentation of papers, how the whole act seemed in some instances to mock the content of some of the papers themselves, as though the manner by which an author has to present their ideas in academia in order to be taken seriously actually functions to devalue and or discount what they have to say, actually invalidates their ideas, such that the seriousness required detracts from the significance of the meaning of the paper.

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I wonder what you might think of this:

I was thinking along these lines:

The reason why ‘papers’ and journals and that whole thing came about (I could be wrong) was because thats what they had. Thinkers had to be able to communicate their ideas at length and so they had these vehicles by which to circulate those ideas so other thinkers could consider them and comment on them. The whole idea of ‘communal’ -cation.

And when you think about the whole ‘modern’ – ‘post modern’. thing, and then this ‘speculative realist’  kind of thing; It seems to have occurred in correspondence with the methods of communication available.

The breakdown of the metanarratives that Jean-Francois Lyotard brought up occurred with the opening up of methods of communicating, namely computers and similar technology. But perhaps, old ways die hard.

Think about back in the pre-computer day: It could appear that everyone was involved in a common progress, every philosopher involved in moving toward some great reckoning of knowledge (of sorts), like knowledge itself was moving in a particular direction (of enlightenment, of progress, etc). because there was only a relatively small number of papers one could come accross, not that one could read, but just the sheer lack of theoretical material, or, at least, people could still entertain the perception that because there was only a relative few number of people who were saying anything significant, we were indeed moving in a progressive motion. Also, though, just the (again relative) small number of people who even entered into “higher education” or were even allowed if not privy to being privileged even to be able to think intelligently and critically, was extremely limited. It was easy to think there was a “manifest destiny” of sorts, an “historical conscious’ moving philosophy and indeed the world. It was easy to discount the ‘ignorant’ as the necessary condition for such ‘thought’, as an historical and divinely ordered hierarchy of progress.

Now think about now. What does it mean when we have raised the ability of the aggregate and or average of people in the world to be able to consider these once effectively esoteric philosophical ideas? Is it not possible that the product itself (philosophy) might change under different conditions? What happens, say, just as a hypothetical example, when instead of 1 out of 10000 people are able to understand, consider, ponder and respond appropriately to ideas, now 50 out of 100 are able to understand, but 75 out of 100 are able to also give a considerate response. And more: The bare fact that all these people can now actually enter the discussion via our technology. I would think that not simply do we have the situation where many more people contributing to what is possible within the possibility of thought, but more so we have an entirely new arena in which thought is possible. Indeed; do you not think there would be a difference in not only the nature of ‘thought‘ itself but in fact the ‘nature‘ of thinking also? It is an odd perplexion; we need only consider what is occurring all over the world to begin to start to understand that perhaps what we are calling thought or thinking is not something that is commonly understood, but only assumed as common thing, and indeed enforced. Must we stop at the Colonialization of a particular era? Does that now bring into question what we have merely accepted due to the Fact of Colonization?

We might discover that what we are calling thought is really a harkening to another time (time is a construct also; Heidegger beckoning us to that other time), a time when there was indeed a functioning meta-narrative, a time by which we displace our time and are unable to reconcile what we experience with what we are knowing of thought and thinking, this because we are not actually considering what is really occurring right in front if us through the ability of consciousness as it is occurring right now, but are rather considering how things should be with reference to this common thought of the past.

What might happen then if we look with opened eyes upon what is occurring now? We night find that Lyotard was correct, but in a significantly different light. It is not that we become aware in someway that we must now be critical in some form about general descriptive and directive narratives. No; such an approach is missing what is occurring for what we think should occur. It is the fact that we are unable to look at knowledge without an authority as to which knowledge we are supposed to consider, why we should consider it, and how we are allowed to consider it. It is a condition of knowledge and not some logical reductive result of a traditional heritage: The heritage is alive and well in the proposal that we had some choice over whether we should approach philosophy through these tropes (meta-narratives).

Perhaps we might be able to glimpse that what occurs through the convention of Papers is no longer a general communication that concerns a direction and purpose involved in finding out independent, dependent and dynamic aspects of our world, but rather an exclusive correspondence between those who decide which knowledge is valid, a manner by which knowledge is to be contained within a certain traditional lineage of what thinking is supposed to be, presumed to be, but indeed, perhaps, allowed to be.

You, Professor Bryant, who facilitated the very notion of Object Oriented Ontology, who entertains the idea of Being machinery, involved with the Speculative; is it not possible that what before was functioning implicitly (Zizek), invisibly, is now merely staying invisible though the very ideal mechanisms that are supposed to defy such oppression (the Modern by the post-modern: The liberal critical academy) ? Would this not be a minimum plausible factor in our moment of the attempt to account for and displace the nihilism of Modernity not coming to pass?

Think not only about how difficult and fortunate you were (are) to have gained a position as a professor at an institution, but how much more difficult it is now to get one, but also the anxiety that accompanies such a position; I am thinking of The Academic’s Peculiar Dissonance — Samir Chopra, his recent post on this topic.

**

Here I get speculative:

One could argue that it has always been difficult (We have always been disenchanted), but I might venture to say for the cloister itself, that the difficulty has reached a different timbre now, and not merely more of the same kind of difficulty; I think a different type of difficulty might be in play now. Perhaps you might disagree? No?

Perhaps it is not merely an effort to keep one’s position of power and prestige, as well as identity capital that is involved, but a creeping suspicion, maybe not even yet apprehensible, that the academy is no longer involved with the legitimacy it is proposed upon. Perhaps it is more involved in the perpetuation of a particular kind of thinking, and that this implicit agenda is behind the difficulty, and the sheer number of ‘thinkers’ that are just as able and who have just as novel thought hiding under their dresses, pants, belts, bras and jock straps, are eager congregants just waiting to impeach the Ideal Priests of the Academy so they can Preach the message?

LOL.

I do get grandiose; for sure.

 


But I think there is something in there that needs consideration –I mean, if we are indeed involved with something legitimate.

No?

Repetition and Repetition. 

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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.

Wait.

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.

REPOST:

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 […]

https://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/reading-and-repetition/