A Bridge which Defines: On Richard Rorty’s very pragmatic interpretation of Gadamer Hermeneutics in his Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979)

It is easier to describe what something should be not, then to formulate what something should be, as it is easier to deconstruct then to construct. …

On Richard Rorty’s very pragmatic interpretation of Gadamer Hermeneutics in his Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979)

————- If we can take this short synopsis of these two authors as minimally representative of what the two authors say in general, Then what we have there, with Rorty anyways, Is a proposal which allows for the subsequent developments in philosophy of the 90s up till present, as represented by Badiou, Zizek, Laruelle, and even the speculative realists.

The point he describes is a kind of “empty space” that is then elaborated upon by these authors I just mentioned. This empty space can be understood to define two ontological situations, together which constitute what Laruelle calls “unilateral duality”. This unilateral duality posits two conditions that do not reconcile back into another unitive condition, but then also defines the state of each of those conditions.

One condition is exclusion and the other condition is inclusion.

Badiou Likewise considers things in this way, though he doesn’t enjoin with Laruelle at terms.

The one condition, which We can call the conventional route, excludes anything which arises outside of its semantic mandate. Basically, it posits a one reality in which everything exists and of which human beings find out through applying ‘reason’. The one route says that there is nothing that falls outside of the potential for reason; this route is necessarily a systemic route, it posits systems within systems that even extend so far as to imply there’s a grand overreaching system which we may not ever be able to comprehend. The way the exclusive route functions is the reduction and exclusion based of contradiction; it includes only that which constitutes itself in potential. It includes everything that is possible in potential.

The other ontological condition is the one which includes. This ontological condition includes the exclusive condition. The exclusive condition posits the possibility that it includes everything, yet by its own activity is necessarily exclusive to anything that might arise which does not conform to its particular semantic mandate. 

By contrast, The inclusive route includes contradiction as well as that which is exclusive. It is what Laruelle calls “non-philosophy”, in order to allow the exclusive route to lay in what is most common, namely philosophy as a positive method. 

The speculative realists understand and attempt to incorporate or use this ontological feature of non-reduction, non-philosophy, or what The link to post here would define “In contrast”, such that what we have for a new philosophy, what we have on the ‘other side’ of that empty space posited above, is a new manner of philosophy which resides parallel to its counterpart: Unilaterally dual in nature.

But this empty space cannot merely reside in conceptual reason, as the link to post talks about. As he suggests, philosophy must involve something more than just reason, more than just a capacity to think through Aristotle or reductive logic based away from contradiction; it is thus a bridge. 

But we could equally and just as well go back 100 or so years before and say that it is a ladder that then after we climb, or cross, it must be thrown away, or actually it disappears. For once we climb the ladder, once we have gotten to the ‘other side’ of the bridge, there is no incrementally reductive manner of reasoning which will allow us to cross the gap, what Slavoj Zizek knows as “the parallax gap”, And what  Badiou understands as “the void”. There is no way to use language or discourse to communicate how to move accross the gap Because the very foundation of discourse has changed by virtue of what, by all reasonable standards, is not reasonable. This is similar to what Kierkegaard calls a quantitative leap, as opposed to a qualitative leap; it is absurd to the conventional exclusive route of reason.

In short, the conventional philosophy of incremental reductive reasoning is insufficient to realize the full ontological extent of being in the world, which is really being of the world. Just as Heidegger had a real conflict, (Is Nationalist Socialism the actual culmination of history? And do I have an obligation to believe what I reason is so?), an actual breach in the rationale of his Dasien, An interruption which occurred from what is actually real in itself, outside of reason’s ability to conceptualize toward reduction, The fall back into reason had real ontological repercussions which shows that Heidegger’s original proposal of his book “being and time” is faulty. (That is, his philosophy is compromised Because he made the wrong decision, as evidenced by history.)

But the fault is not internal to his philosophy; rather, it is faulty Becuase of how we might be oriented upon what his philosophy is talking about. The fault lay in that there is no inherent truth which is discernible by the Method of reductive philosophical reason into his “being and time”; but the truth of Dasien is reckoned when we see that it is not based in reduction, that is, the centering of thought within the content of history of reductive reason is contradictory in-itself. It is contradiction spelled out ‘long hand’.

As much as the exclusive methodological philosophical route would want to argue that there is an essential truth to be found be a close reading of reason to his book, or any philosophical books really, ultimately the truth of what he is saying can only be found by crossing the bridge, passing over the gap, moving through the void which leaves the reductive method behind to fail in its want and desire to posit any truth found by its method. This is evidenced by any attempt which would want to argue ‘what he is really saying’: We keep discussing and arguing over it anyways.

Yet this failure does not mean that it does not still function. This is the meaning of a unilateral duality: Two Routes which are ontologically necessarily, one which posits philosophical sufficiency, and one which accounts for the truth of the situation.

Nathaniel: Revisiting “On Vicarious Causation”

This excerpt from Graham Harman’s “on vicarious causation” from 2007 in the journal called Collapse (it is not difficult to find the PDF online) represents succinctly what Cedric Nathaniel means when writes that his philosophical work is not concerned with “what is behind the scenes”, what he generally ascribes to metaphysics, what he calls “conventional philosophy”, and what Francois Laruelle refers to as “sufficient philosophy”.

Harman’s article here puts in very clear terms what Nathaniel means when he talks about what is ‘actually occurring’, that is supposed occurring right in front of our faces, as opposed to what our introspective minds might dredge up from the underworld of “subjective” or what Nathaniel generalizes as phenomenological truths. (Nathaniel inverts Harman’s categories and says that what is phenomenological is ultimately real, where what Nathaniel calls true is what Harmon calls real).

It is how Harman says; phenomenological sensual Truths ride along top of the real object, and as I’ve said recently in a post of mine, That ideals based in subjective, discursive, linguistic etc. modes ride along top what is actually in front of us (that is, once we get beyond the appearance of the phenomenon) like the Hawaiian islands ride along top of a hotspot in the earths crust.

This (object, as opposed to subject) orientation upon things of philosophy I see is much more useful in its truth than grounding whatever theoretical activity in whatever subjective imagination of sense that an individual might be able to fit together; That is, if we are ever trying to get anywhere in philosophy besides a crate load of artistic freedom of expression. Hence I find in Cedric Nathaniel’s books an interesting move towards a science of philosophy.

I would suggest revisiting Harmons seminal article written in 2007, “on vicarious causation”. And consider it in light of James Hillman’s “healing fiction” just what sort of fiction that conventional (phenomenally based)  philosophy writes for itself, given the evidence of the condition of our world, and where intentional communion with the object of thought might be creating more destruction than indeed healing.  perhaps what we are considering imagination it’s not so imaginative after all.  Perhaps there is a weak consideration of what imagination is so far as it might be applied to real activity, which is to say, a weak estimation, a correlation even, between imagination and what is good for the world, as evidenced by the shape or condition of the world, so far as whether we are actually harming or helping that condition. Slavoj Zizek is tight in his discussions about capitalism as quite difficult to imagine beyond: as Nathaniel says, It is due to the phenomenological redundancy which sees in its own reflection an infinity of objective truth obtainable from intuition of a transcendent other (religious communion), the excess that profit and investment arise from.

…..

And I imagine over December I’ll produce a paper along these lines. 😛

Grow. Begin the hack.

LARUELLE AND RADICAL SCIENCE FICTION: full English text

LARUELLE AND RADICAL SCIENCE FICTION: full English text

https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/laruelle-and-radical-science-fiction-full-english-text/
— Read on terenceblake.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/laruelle-and-radical-science-fiction-full-english-text/

Live-blogging Laruelle’s TETRALOGOS (1): a democratic proposal

Live-blogging Laruelle’s TETRALOGOS (1): a democratic proposal

https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2019/07/31/live-blogging-laruelles-tetralogos-1-a-democratic-proposal/
— Read on terenceblake.wordpress.com/2019/07/31/live-blogging-laruelles-tetralogos-1-a-democratic-proposal/

Empathy as a Philosophical Response to Phenomenology

Empathy as a Response

Empathy as a Response
— Read on xhened.home.blog/2019/07/23/empathy-as-a-response/

I like the way my comment formulated to this post on Edith Stein, about empathy (I call her Edith Catholic saint lol).

“… I suppose what I’m talking about is the call for a true self reflection. That’s what phenomenology is all about: seeing in the reflection ones self reflecting. But as Graham Harmon indicated, often enough people who talk about phenomenology talk about it as though they are not really seeing them selves in the text (Derrida) , they thus often “over mine” or “undermine” what is actually going on, what I call over determination and under determination, because they are determining themselves in the text as something that is more than the text or something that is within the text, which is to say “under” The discourse.

And so what appears to be called for by some contemporary continental authors is a determination that is actually determinate, or as a friend of mine might like to say, “mind”, lol. Which is to comment on Harman’s “mined”, A determination that is actually mined. And what we mean by this is that it is not a mind (mining) which is coming up on things that it reflects upon, to then contain everything within its own phenomenological conception as being.

The call , as Laruelle might say, is to see oneself as the reflection and not as the thought of the object in-itself. This latter is phenomenology, but phenomenology which has not taken the full turn, or really the quarter turn in Laruelles estimation, to actually see it self as what it is doing, as what is occurring.

From here then it is possible to notice the edges of phenomenology, what some philosophers have called “in the last instance”, what other philosophers have called “the end of philosophy“ or “the end of history”. Once that edge is reckoned then we are able to entertain possibilities that were not able to be understood or entertained in a thoroughly phenomenological world.

This is where I think Edith Catholic saints idea of empathy begins. ”

–the Philosophical Hack.

And on a further considerate note: Zizek talks about Plato, when Socrates talks about whether there is justice and nobility, wisdom and such in the lower things, such as shit and piss….

… and I might add.. drug addicts, homeless people, …hackers, etc….

One More Z/P Goodie: Nature, Culture, and the Displacement of Time

On Slavoj Zizek and Jordan Peterson: Nature, Culture, and the Displacement of Time

On Slavoj Zizek and Jordan Peterson: Nature, Culture, and the Displacement of Time
— Read on iambobbyy.com/2019/04/27/on-slavoj-zizek-and-jordan-peterson-nature-culture-and-the-displacement-of-time/

It appears that the people who really do use their thinking skills took a little longer for their comments. Here is another goodie. Bobby gets a little deeper into the various philosophical authorial substrates, and a couple play by plays from the debate.

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Bobby points out one of the significant parts of the debate that I forgot about; namely, that Peterson definitely sees a kind of progress of history, sees history as a ground outside of human cognition, and then that cognition indeed is able to perceive this ground and make analyses of it. Then; Zizek’s rebuttal to this kind of suggestion is, basically, that though it is possible to perceive some sort of progressing lineage, the lineage itself is articulated at the same time as these articulations disrupt the continuity of the scheme, and at that, at a notably random times.

Bobby has a better version of what they actually said, and then goes into the various philosophical ideas around this idea, for example, Derrida’s trace and erase.

*

I Am digging his approach, but I depart from Bobby’s analysis in a couple of ways.

1) I am not sure that there is any argument that can be made which overcomes the presentation inherent of the debate. And, what I mean by this is that when we understand, say, Derrida, then there is a further development philosophically that shows us that there is no “proper truth”, As though By virtue of what Derrida proposed the nature of human existence demands that there is no historical ground that human beings can cognitively know in the manner Peterson stakes his position. I describe this particular situation and I am indicating right here some of my earlier posts, perhaps from a year or two ago; I will not rehash them here. If we understand Derrida, then much of what he says is like the wind — “the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth…”

2) It is sufficient to say, that the argument (as a form) has only a particular bearing upon truth, and that Francois Laruelle’s non-philosophy has basically disrupted the idea that there is some sort of unity of truth that human beings can be suspended within to thereby exist in a argumentative reality. The suspension is itself, as I say, real, but not true.

In my work, I try to show how this particular method, this particular way of coming by or upon reality, that I call the “conventional method”, is but one manner, The One Route of the Two Routes. Further, these two routes do not further indicate a “reasonable or rational” route as opposed to and “irrational” route, but that this kind of argumentative way of establishing truth is indeed one “rational’ manner of coming upon objects. The routes are mutually exclusive in a non-philosophical manner, not complimentary as the early 20th century Existentialists would want people to believe: Belief is required first for the compliment to be realized.

In short, I am saying that all Bobby really does is kind of lean on supporting what Zizek is reputed to argue in relation to a traditional lineage of authorial representation. And that’s ok.

And –

My take is that there is no reduction of this sort possible once we understand what Laruelle is saying; and indeed, this is what I think Zizek was relying upon, as it indeed accounts for why he did not plow into Peterson.

My position is that these two men represent The Two Routes upon objects. These routes do not further reconcile to another unitive, and a singular route. And this is to say that what the debate shows is that these two routes function together without necessarily reducing to either, nor to another further unity.

Indeed Petersons argument is valid by the mere fact that people — regardless of what argument I want to make to pronounce upon such ‘other people’ — indeed can and do experience and encounter reality in exactly the way that Peterson is philosophically describing in his solution. And that this particular way, or route, is not false by virtue of the fact that I may come up with an argument against what they are saying. These people are not wrong or somehow have some sort of invalid way of understanding the truth of reality. The way they (those who understand an objectively knowable history) understand it is indeed True. And this truth, while perhaps in communication with me nevertheless does not fall into falsity due to my points, nor theirs due to mind. And, our existence is not relative nor reductionary to either that or this. It is true. Period.

Objects do not require my acknowledgment or permission to be true, or otherwise have or hold truth.

Also,

And whether or not Peterson understands technically what is going on philosophically in this ‘larger’ sense, Zizek nevertheless does understand and that is why (I submit) he didn’t plow into Peterson about his ignorance, to show how ignorant Peterson might be upon these philosophical intricacies and subtleties.

(See my earlier post about what Peterson might actually be involved with.)

We can find evidence everywhere in his talks and writings that Zizek Understands what I’m talking about: when he talks about “naïve”, he is talking about that particular kind of existence which does not answer nor even fall into the category of the philosophy he proposes by his analyses as a sort of categorical imperative. The ‘common people’ do not answer to his kind of philosophy, and indeed exist outside of it in an essential sense, even to the extent that those people’s reality (truth) has nothing to do with what analysis he is making upon them. This is the nature of his philosophy and it forms a foundational ground that most people seem to miss or are unable to reconcile with their experience.

*

If you are interested in The exploration of the two routes, please check out The Philosophical Hack: The concluding unscientific post-script to event, by Cedric Nathaniel.

It is crazy inexpensive.

Historical Apologetics: Against Non-Philosophical Humanism

Against Non-Philosophical Humanism

Against Non-Philosophical Humanism
— Read on syntheticzero.net/2018/10/29/against-non-philosophical-humanism/

Though I would have something to say about his conclusion or estimation at the end, the first 87% of the essay is excellent description of non-philosophy and some of it it’s philosophical problems.

The perspective of this essay is still based from modern-post-modern centrality, which is to say, within historical structures.

The Non-Philosophy of Francois Laruelle.

matrix-pod
From the Philosophical Hack (out soon):

Laruelle’s is the ‘best’ conventional proof of what cannot be proven through the conventional method. I have already spoken about the distinction between Laruelle’s and my terms. Laruelle distinguishes his project by asserting a positive withdraw in reference to the real common occurrence of philosophy, to call his Non-philosophy a state that purports to communicate this alternate unity (that he calls “real”) must be more real, yet in terms by which its placement is ultimately a contradiction of the ‘philosophical’ terms; whereas mine remains in the positive stance to indicate philosophy as the proper domain of the issue, I then refer to the common occurrence of philosophy as conventional. He likewise implicitly, if not explicitly, asserts that his Nonphilosophy is a better or ‘more true’ statement of what is actually real, where as I simply place reality with what is common,. What is not common, in my view, thus, in reference to this common state, not real. The true issue with Laruelle’s Non-philosophy is it falls into so many contradictory and accusatory pitfalls that it is basically and ironically non-productive to discuss what he could possibly mean as a philosophical position (ironically, it is called non-philosophy); but his point is aptly illustrated despite the easily discerned conventional problems. The most overt of these problems is that in order to agree with his proposal to be able to argue from it, in most conventional cases, one must inevitably and ultimately end up using exactly his phrasings; this is to say that regardless of what anyone want to argue about the veracity of his proposals, an extended rebuttal of his ideas will bring the proponent to have to quote him exactly as a responsive defense. This facet brings accusations of the religious quality of his (non-)philosophy; because the only way to argue with his proposals is to use his exact definitions, which then denies that the rebuttal has any grip on what could be an effective argument to the contrary. The end result is that one merely understands what Laruelle is saying, but really there in no point in arguing his points (as a proponent of them), except that the proponent might then be less a philosopher than a religious convert. The ultimate point of his (non) philosophy thereby can argue the religiousness of conventional philosophy as a whole, because often enough, the same will apply by extension. Thus, we can safely say that to argue his (non-)philosophy without quoting him exactly or using his exactly phrasing or having a firm working knowledge of his definitional lexicon is to misunderstand what he is saying, which begs the question if indeed he is living in his own personal and isolated reality –for how are we able to ground his assertions in any experience but his own except to admit he is a kind of prophet? Thus his position, though valid, represents a condition of philosophy itself that is best “passed over in silence”.

The point of this explanation is to indicate the ridiculousness of taking what can be seen as the most rigorous presentation of nonphilosophy as if it is indeed a philosophy.

Also, it shows in relief how my explanation will be said to not understand what Laurel is saying, for various philosophical reasons. Then, ultimately, we will find that there is nothing one can say to the people who consider themselves “non philosophers” to tell them anything about how they might be a little off in their reckoning, so it is best just to let them be on their own, Being, as they are, so correct in their ideals.

Again with this Love?

…Here Kate spells out the truth of Densher’s betrayal: he feels guilty, and refuses to profit from Milly’s death, not because he doesn’t love her and is for this reason unworthy of her gift, but because he does love her—not while she was alive, but from the moment she died.

— from “The Parallax View” by Slavoj Zizek used in the post by Neotenionos

The difficulty of speaking about love in the sense that Zizek wishes to convey in this segment is that the manner we have to use language is close to, what we can call, the point of contention in discourse. The meaning is quite similar to what Jaques Derrida attempts to convey, and even Theador Adorno, both who attempt to grant examples reflecting definitions in one setting. For conventional philosophers, it is that arena where ‘discourse’ begins to collapse into the space that brings an equanimity that is called demonic in one sense, and ridiculous in the next, nonsense to those worried about stature, and undifferentiated contradiction in still the next.

Where Zizek does succeed, though, is at remaining in the exact middle of what we could call, and as well locate through understanding the views inscribed by parallax, two states. The psychoanalytic of Lacan allows for an inscription upon the text of history; unfolding as contradiction (Adorno), Zizek represents an understanding that is repellant, or rather, that those who would understand him specifically or particularly are unable and indeed incapable of grasping, so offensive (Kierkegaard) to what we generally call the Real world. Zizek speaks, thus, the break, the gap, but in doing so manifests an historical-politcal moment that founds itself through the engagement with it (capitalism), since this engagement that does not see its own offense but instead understands the offense through the context of excess, perpetually finds itself drawn into this moment even as it resists and reestablishes its own mass (substance) and thus gravitas (objective identity).

We might see now where we are being lead even now.

We should not shy away from Francois Laruelle’s non-philosophy, and for a quite similar reason that we often confidently engage with Zizek even while we are effectively repelled. Slavoj does not often (at all?) engage with Laruelle, and the most probable reason is because Laruelle represents the explanation of the Hegel-Lacan-Zizek psychanalysis that effectively places it outside of the frame in which and through which Zizek works so fluently; the frame that most others think they can expose, confront, challenge and overcome through various agencies, Zizek knows is unassailable, yet he behaves concordant with the rules presented with any particular moment of how the frame is being challenged; he cannot but do so. This is the point that is so offensive.

The significance of this segment is in that Densher “refuses to profit from Milly’s death, not because he doesn’t love her…but because he does love her”. This is what is offensive to the conventionally oriented philosopher/critic. It is not that he is not choosing to profit; it is that due to his love that was not real love during her life, but only after, that by virtue of her sacrifice he is only able to love then, which is to say, because thereby does he realize how much she loved him. He there by is already sentenced, but it is a sentence that he suspected all along, and one that only now, once she dies, comes to fruition. The trauma of guilt is relieved by Kate helping him to be honest. He will be then the post-traumatic subject who no longer “lives” and yet is still alive, one who no longer ‘exists’ within the ethical confines that the love that was in bad faith had defined. He is thus free to love beyond the confines of ethics, his ‘punishment’ is that he cannot choose to escape this situation: He is free.

If Denser profits, then it is because he could do nothing else, thus, it is in effect no profit (profit depends upon the ability to notice a distinction, which needs a space for choice, a situation with excess, with room to move), and as well, a noticeable point of contradiction in the fabric of sensible (structural) space.

Post-post-modern-modernism: The Mistake of Irony; Or, The Ironic Mistake.

Perhaps a little bitty on postmodernism and the, what could be labeled of our current situation, post-post-modern-modernism.

Here are a couple links that roughly define the conventional problem I will address in this essay. The first is a little less ridiculous than than the second. The first offers us an argument for why postmodernism is not dead, but is rather the condition upon which people find a new agency. David Foster Wallace is talking from so far down the conventional hole – at least, that he was at some point- his polemic reveals how deep his confusion is or was, as the case may be ( no disrespect intended).

http://partialobjects.com/2011/08/what-comes-after-postmodernism/

This is not to say that there was not this postmodern thing-era that these authors are talking about; it is also very interesting, and possibly ironic, that postmodernism has been seen as first represented in architecture (so says the first link). Nevertheless, the era was the conventional reaction to a large misunderstanding that continues.

It is not difficult to find a link between Constructive Undoing and postmodernism, especially with the irony/convention duality that has arisen here. So, in light of this parallel, and that irony is too often defined to postmodernism through deconstruction, sarcasm, posed apathy, withdrawal, multivocality and the like, as well that irony does not stem from any sort of reaction (though pm may) as it merely takes the proposed new as old hat, as already given before it became new, one has to hit it straight on, as a tangent, one might say. As the post of the link says, with “arms folded tight” one continues to lift; irony works, despite the conventional reaction.

We should look into this reaction. To do this, we will use the framework of the definition of irony, taken from Dictionary.com ( as of spetember, 2013) since the typical conventional misunderstanding involved with the coupling of irony and postmodernism is at play; the reaction allows postmodernism to be placed outside of its ironic bearings.

[Note: This essay is a shortened version.]

Irony:

1.)the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.

Literature.
A.) a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
(especially in contemporary writing)

B.) a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., especially as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.

3.)Socratic irony. (which is defined as feigned ignorance.)

4.) dramatic irony.

5.) an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

6.) the incongruity of this.

7.) an objectively sardonic style of speech or writing.

8.) an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition, quality, etc.

Generally, all the definitions reiterate the fifth definition; basically, the opposite of what is expected expressed in the various arenas. (A) and (B) are literary devices of turning plot or meaning. (3) is an idiomatic expression of the complete misunderstanding of Socrates, a one-sided view. (4) is little more than (3); (5) restates all the definitions. (6),(7) and (8) are the key definitions, the ones that have been elicited from the most offense of irony, in the postmodern sense.

The really interesting thing about irony is the absolute comedy of its seriousness; in all seriousness, this is the most offensive aspect of irony, and is the reason postmodernism has become a kind of stigma in philosophy, a kind of joke for modern thought so much that it had to ‘die’. Where do I laugh? Where do I nod? How can I tell if what is being said is really meant for what it says? The irony never ends, and everyone wants ends. Most every one wants to be told the punch line – but not overtly; everyone wants to be in on the joke. But the joke and the deep meaning are one in the same; if you have to guess or wonder, then you get embarrassed: you are offended.

Though I can’t be sure about the intent of definition number 6, I assume it refers to definition number 5. In fact, unless it is a type-o, the definition is probably intended to mean irony as the incongruity of what is expected and what actually occurs, in distinction to def. 5 where irony is the “outcome”. If I say I am a liar, and then I lie, the irony could be not very ironic or be very ironic depending on what has been signaled, but the incongruity of this is that one would have to guess, that is, unless the liar while telling the truth were indeed poetic as he lay, for then he would indeed be lying. But what if he were telling the truth?? As it is, the definition number 6, as a definition for irony, is quite ironic, because none of the other definitions reference the other definitions, but we are expected to see that number 6 does. It is a simple pleasure then to think that the authors of this definition included just this presentation (of 6) as a particular definition of irony because probably the best definition of irony is the incongruity of this, as it is not only a definition, but also an example. And just as such a simple pleasure could be a proclivity of some people, this paragraph itself will find many quite fed up and see no humor or pleasure in this exposition; they find it corny or even lacking in a certain finesse or refinement, or perhaps they find it too subtle. Yet it is just this kind of insensitivity or intolerance that seeks ends, that, if not indicated to the punch, will develop a position highly distanced from it, the ironic move so lowly and indistinctive as it is patronized.

Such a humor is of the most inside that one can fathom, so it is no wonder that most cannot help but develop a resentment concerning its irony. To them, they are being made the butt of a joke; like some sort of transcendent wit they miss, they maintain their seriousness as they pull the heavenly act down to their mundane decisions and proclaim and accuse and dismiss. It is not a wonder postmodernism has a bad rap; the dense can hardly hold a tune, let alone wish to appreciate the finest symphony in the world without the liner notes. Grinding their teeth together they talk lightheartedly and then seriously about this and that fashion, all the while truly being the object of ridicule that was never intended for them except that they made it such. “We are not laughing at them, we are just laughing,” and they have much more serious things by which to set their recreation.

(7) and (8). The definition of ‘sardonic’: characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering: a sardonic grin. In other words, the distasteful, ‘dark side’ of irony: “objectively sardonic”. The attitude behind this irony is an anxious individual, almost despairing of the world. The irony is a type of ‘sick’ humor; his denial is palatable. This one has come close to his theoretical, indeed actual, demise and spits out his fate upon everyone and the world (the objects) because it is the world. Ironically, the world has let him to know, and he doesn’t like it; he doesn’t like being dominated but he has found his distance from it in one of two ways: a) The world is shitty. The world of history is not the place of his childhood dreams; it has brought everything opposite childish happiness had more than hoped for. He wants to be free, but his conscience tells him its all a sham, and this is known to him due to the world’s history coming upon him. The oppressive world. b) His attitude is justified in righteousness. The offense of the shitty world is countered by the nobility of human presence: the world is great, it is working in his behalf. This nobility is held in countenance for the world, but soon the world rejects it, it counters every move. A suitable image must be maintained; the oppressive individual. In both, the object is prominent; in (a), it is the object proper to convention, in (b), the individual, the subject-object, the subject of convention. Whether it is in reference to some ‘childhood dream’ or the ‘grown-up’ approach to reality before him or her, the motion is that the nobility rejects the rejection and the world crumbles; it deconstructs because the individual is no longer complicit with the world, but again, offended by it. The individual perpetually lives in a fear of his own making, cast upon the world that is surely going bad from the activities of himself – if only he could just leave, or, can he save it in time!

*

The reaction here is ironic; the ironic-sardonic postmodernist and the individual that sets postmodernism to a proper era are both implicitly involved in the conventional reaction. Consciousness, by its very nature, is a retreat from the world; perhaps more precisely, the world is consciousness’s retreat from existence. The individual who is being ironic by realizing that the world of the great (at least, modernist in the last, but conventional in its beginning) human history has brought itself to destruction, is reacting not to the world, but to her inability to reconcile it to her knowledge; her knowledge does not ‘reach’ the object. The reaction is completely of alienation, which is to say, the individual is not alienated due to some historical social motion where she is offended at the state of the world and so withdraws from it, but rather the individual is alienated from herself due to her rather un-ironic belief (faith) in the oppressing thing of the world, that is, that there is this world, which is reality, the conventional world of the true object. This is not so much that the world brought itself to its own destruction, but that the world did not destruct, and this is to say that the world did not find solution, but that the world is insolvent. The result of the world finding a new way due to the old way not working, or bringing itself upon destruction, is not finding a solution in this new way, the result is that the new way is exactly the same as the old way, that the two ‘ways’ could not but have caused and resulted from each other necessarily, that the causes will be found conventionally. The reaction is thus not of the world but of the meaning that the individual has derived from it, which contradicts that the human was ever part of the world in the first place. Then the reaction becomes dismissive, yielding the ‘that’s just life’ tail. Asserting the priority of beliefs and their function for finding ‘the good’, the reaction wields the power of resentment in hopes of stifling and ending all dissension.

The belief itself, the act or motion the term ‘belief’ signifies of faith, is what creates or allows for the alienated individual; the condition of the human being in reality is the separated individual. This separation, basic to the individual, is what constitutes freedom, the great future of progress, as well as its complimentary spiritual form of union (yoga) and ‘return’ (Christ, messiah, or ‘anointed one’; the motion as ‘to anoint’ connotes a uniting of separate substances, yet where one significant or uncommon element is rubbed on a regular or common element, and in this moment the two are transformed; the blessed oil becomes merely oil, the common, significant. The misused idea of ‘karma’, so prevalent in the West, falls in here also.) Nevertheless, it is recognition or realization, a coming into knowledge, that develops ‘alienation’ as a lived experience. But the inherent and unavoidable condition of human consciousness is separation.

Anxiety and despair over such a realization is usually understood to be relieved by two moves, though there are really three; the first two are conventional. The first is denial, where the realization is avoided. This reaction replaces the old with the new as part and parcel of willed, reasoned progress. The initial problem here is replaced with the solution that is human agency, the negotiation of parties, be it spiritual negotiation or mundane. The second is insanity. Both of these reactions are complicit in the resolution to the problem, since there is no true overcoming of the discrepancy; faith in reality accomplishes this feat through denial; hence, denial and insanity are the only real options. I emphasize real options, in the sense that I have already been developing conventional faith; anything else is absurd, insane. Thus the third option is the non-conventional, the ‘not-real’ option (Francois Laruelle might call this the Real option); the reconciliation that can come only does so with existence, through the experience of irony: denial and acceptance become not mutually exclusive.

The human being in existence cannot but help behaving in the only way it can: ultimately determined in every activity. But this activity, this existence, is also human consciousness; it can only behave the way it does. This is to say on one hand that consciousness does not behave or operate in any way separate from the behavior of existence, but also on the other that its operation is to have a world that is sufficiently separate from itself by which it can then perform its functions, and these are exactly formed and allowed for through the partition we call free will, that is, choice. Human consciousness must have a true object, it cannot function without it, but in order for there to be a true object there must be a correspondant of at least equal stature, and this is the individual thoughtful human being. The evident aspect of consciousness is thought, and is itself a mode or motion of the existing universe. Thought thereby retains an effectively universal operational structure as part of its nature, which is to say, the processes and features of knowing resonate the very motion of the universe as course, which is unity. Yet unity, unfortunately for the individual, can only exist by separation; only in the condition of separation can a notion of unity have meaning. Separation and unity have a significance for the meaning making existent human being; the tension or motion thereof, which is vacillation, is not allowed in the progressive reality: reality relies upon the equanimity of subject and object as real things, absolutely true objects, and its privileging of either dependent upon the circumstance at hand as the circumstance is foundational in indicating progress.

Stepping back from this, we can say nevertheless, once the equilibrium, or symmetry, of the statures of true object and thinking subject are upset, existence effectively takes over its proper imperative, that is, the sanctity of the true object begins to fail for knowledge, and knowledge likewise is compromised of its ability to ‘hold off’ the encroachment of the operation of thought upon itself: consciousness then must uphold its existential operation, as its foundation is the differend between thought and object, and the reduction of the knowledge of the object to the object of knowledge eventually brings thought into a consideration of itself, as an object of itself. Only in the balance that holds the (inner) subject and (outer) object at sufficient distance in consciousness can one say that the objective dominates; psychology is the conventional method that attempts to keep the distance of thought and object, to maintain the balance. Once this symmetry is lost, however, the motion never falls toward the object, the motion is always toward the knowing subject, falling in upon the subject of knowledge until consciousness almost comes upon itself and faith is reestablished; this can be called, what is typically known as a ‘psychological breakthrough’ or a ‘spiritual experience’. Where it indeed truly comes upon itself, we call this insanity or death. Where the individual is incapable of functioning constructively in the group of humanity, conventional reality is upheld by the group through a faith that functions to keep the balance and maintain the symmetry of the subject and object in knowledge, as an objective aspect, and thought, as a subjective aspect, which is to say, in knowledge that such an individual is insane defined as a true object for the purpose of establishing the standard for the individual: the subject (subject-object), and in thought for the purpose of establishing the objective standard of reality: the object.

*

The usual reading of postmodern exposition is contained thus far; not for a reiteration of it, but to a step from it. Though more than a few authors either contributed to the development of postmodernism, or step from it, to offer their version, I address two authors here: Jean-Paul Sartre and Francois Laruelle. Through a particularly conventional lens, each offers a stating of the point of contention, a reiteration, as well as a reconciliation of the ironic problem, while saying, really, ironically, the same thing. The punch line: the discrepancy (the individual is established in separation) is solved through an assertion of essential freedom. Again, this is to say that both proposals arise through a denial of existence and an assertion of the true object. This, in effect, is the definition of what Sarte terms “bad faith”, as I have argued of Laruelle in the Direct Tangents of Constructive Undoing.

Sartre’s points are foundational. The reduction of thought to an object of itself opens meaning to an ‘abyss’ of freedom, where meaning comes to its own essential lack. To (here now) reiterate the foregoing, the essence of meaning (if we can say there is such a thing) is seen to be vacant, void, nil, as Slavoj Zizek has said of the subject. This knowledge of contradiction, meaning that is no meaning, causes the individual angst, or Kierkegaardian ‘despair’; in my terms, the individual understands that the reality through which he or she was moving, that has been established and motivated through basic, what was before thought, true tenants of reality, true objects, is found to be not true. Sartre’s move then is to ‘revolt’ from this ‘nothingness’, since the individual supposedly sees now that meaning is arbitrary, and thereby find true freedom because the individual sees that he is no longer constrained by any essential, determined, or otherwise actual truth of any matter whatsoever.

Laruelle, if we are able to set aside the conventional-temporal object for one moment, where Laruelle builds his non-philosophy due to Sartre’s and others’ ideas before him, we may find his address through what I shall use as his basic idea. While all of his terms interact and compound upon one another to indicate the same thing, which is the point of contention, his ‘unilateral duality’ works to indicate the last conventional object. The ‘future Christ’ he terms as a culmination or basic differential which allows or accounts for the total meaning of, what I call, the scheme of meaning that is conventional reality, the meaningful organization of true objects. By summoning total meanings of significant oppositional objects, his critique of philosophy proper reduces its operational terms to explain conventional reality; he limits conventional reality to the arena of ‘philosophy’ for strategic reasons, and calls the consequence or result of this reduction the ‘Real’. Using the idea of future Christ, his reconciliation poses some sort of radical agency – mind you, ‘agency’ has been likewise re-situated in non-agency – that, one is to gather, comes about through a proper understanding of reality. The reason he can appear, as we say, ‘in the last’, is the real and the Real remain for him ‘lateral’ or maybe better, parallel but are situated more properly upon a parallax. The freedom of Sartre is similarly re-situated with the ‘radical’ form of knowing and proposes some more evolved state of humanity.

Again, keep in mind that I am presenting a typically conventional reading of these authors, that the fact of their presentations are routinely and faithfully, in Laruelle’s terms, ‘made into another philosophical object’, a representation of the point of contention. The problem is at all times conventionally upheld for reality, Real or free. The problem is not the presentation that these authors enact, but the re-presentation: the overcoming of the true object is impossible for conventional reality.

Hence, perhaps a better rendition of the matter at hand can be better situated to address the impossible. To put it directly into conventional grasp, we might then see that to confront the impossible is a matter of insanity.

*

Yet before we venture into the impossible, I would like to offer a small quote from Thomas Nagel, and his effort from the possible, of staying in the possible:

“However, I do not find theism any more credible than materialism as a comprehensive world view. My interest is in the territory between them. I believe that these two radically opposed conceptions of ultimate intelligibility cannot exhaust the possibilities. All explanations come to an end somewhere. Both theism and materialism say that at the ultimate level, there is one form of understanding. But would an alternative secular conception be possible that acknowledged mind and all that it implies, not as the expression of divine intention but as a fundamental principle of nature along with physical law?”
~ ‘Antireductionism and the Natural Order’, in Mind and Cosmos, p.22.

One should see that Nagel’s situation is nothing larger than what Soren Kierkegaard offered 160 years ago: Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical? For the question Nagel asks here is nothing greater than conventional, though he might be trying to indicate something more (we shall see). Nagel is asking if there is a way to bring the remnants or basics of the bifurcated real meaning wherein we have idealist subjectivism and religious transcendence/immanence versus materialist objectivism, into a scheme of meaning that does not indicate upon such distinction, which is to say, does not reify the insolvency. The answer is: conventionally, no. All human reality depends upon the duality of meaningful categories; the real is the universal is the ethical. The answer ironically is: yes.