The Old and the New: Either{either/or} or And

Let me add a few more insights from my last post. I know I said I won’t talk about gender pronouns anymore, but it is actually very interesting. The …

Random Thoughts #4: Psychoanalytic Thoughts on Gender Identity and Sexual Difference

—- The theoretical society loves the status quo. Usually the way this status quo is maintained is through ideological reiteration, this is to say that all the contexts are replayed into new contexts as if the iteration is moving us forward out of old context, all the while repeating the same context.

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Lately I came across the notion of variance as a way to begin to talk about what is actually occurring, as opposed to talk about what is still being maintained. Coincidentally, I came across a paper, and a Number of authors who are beginning to incorporate the concept of variance into critical ontological estimation.

While these papers generally locate themselves under the heading of “new materialism”, I myself tend to approach from a real object ontology of substance, which, somewhat ironically, some of the new materialists are altering their own conversation toward a view where substance precedes or grounds matter.

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It is very possible, and appears historically consistent, to see that the idea of psychology came out of a kind of misinterpretation, what was 200 years ago more understood as the substantial and direct manner of coming to the truth of things in reality: The idea, amd it’s methodological correlate, idealism (empiricism, phenomenalism and most -isms are at thier root idealist).

Limited in overt ways to peer into the truth of reality, 200+ year old man used the most reliable instrument he had : Reason. Reason was more reliable than any of the instruments they had otherwise. And so the whole system of self reflecting through reason was generated into an institutional ideology and translated into what they were loosely calling at the time science. (See Foucault but also the critiques of his ideas.)

Nowadays, we tend to think that just because a word sounds the same and because we use the same word, the same meaning is transferred through time unaltered. .This is so much the case that even as we might find in historical analysis an alteration of the word, we still implicitly understand our contemporary and current use of the word as the meaning that must have been implied at all the times.

What I mean to implicate is that psychology itself still reflects upon the human being through its original idealism that was accompanied by 19th-century philosophy.

I’m not necessarily saying that it is wrong, but I am saying that if we take current knowledge as indeed current knowledge, which is to say at all times generating a type of newness that is not reflected from history, but indeed can account for historical change as the present is the manifestation of that change at all times, it is not then very difficult to see, in contrast to psychoanalysis, a “psychology” evident now that diverges with a greater fidelity to the truth from the old historical idealism which informed what psychology once was. Such a divergence is reckoned in the new materialism as concerning variance between states, disjunctures in ontological reckoning which cannot be properly reconciled to a further unitive or ‘smooth’ transitioning of a single measure.

Such variance can carry into other areas, such as semantics, so that then the smooth unity which is usually conveyed by the word semantic (for example: everyone makes meaning) and the conventional ontological assertions, itself only references one domain of meaningful register. Similar to how constraints of gravity determine viable living structures only to a certain domain or scale within a parameter of variance, such that insects and microbes no longer adhere to those gravitational constraints, we then must admit to a kind of pluralism as knowledge that does not imply a further unitive domain of a unitive ‘knowledge’; for, that implication of knowing — a single domain of knowledge — itself occurs within a further disjunction, scalable, or meaningful, only within its own domain where meaning is universally human and accessible by everyone through the, again, common discourse or what we call communication.

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The conventional estimation of Psychoanalysis has become more food for Philosophy than it is a real substance upon which Philosophy should find itself. Similarly consistent, the philosophical use of the close reading of Psychoanalysis shows itself as having little to do, anymore, with the actual psyche it supposed to be analyzing. Quite contrary to what it presupposes, such anachronistic misappropriations of Psychoanalysis work in reverse to reify a kind of religious cosmology. Less about what human consciousness is as what it is actually doing as it is evidenced, and more about a certain kind of idea which argues itself and its way of viewing over actuality; in as much as we attempt to retain an ability for a close traditional methodological reading, Psychoanalysis is an anachronistic manner of thinking that holds to manifest basically theological ideals about mentality today.

Tradition and semantic lineage is indeed sufficient to enforce a type of thinking and a way of coming up on the world that is consistent with itself, which is to say, enjoined with a Faith by which the evidence of actuality is distorted, blurred, and moves to conjure an ever-presence of the past in a present in the place of the actuality of the changing present.

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The short comment upon the link is: it holds little water to the actuality of the situation because it is based in an ideal mapping of actuality to theological dimension.x

the Concept of Matter and then it’s Object as well

(4) (PDF) Scale Variance and the Concept of Matter | Derek Woods – Academia.edu
— Read on www.academia.edu/26967193/Scale_Variance_and_the_Concept_of_Matter

—– And, in terms of the Object of the Subject, see:

https://epublications.regis.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1035&context=cftsr

A Holiday gift: Objects and Subjects

“The true substance of things lay in the depths, while the dramatic power of material churns and crashes like waves on the surface.”

A paraphrase of Graham Harman, I commandeer his polemic to notice a felicity to the actuality of the situation.

We are taught, both religiously and philosophically, that The truth of things lies in our subjectivity. We are taught that all the drama that’s occurring, all the argumentation, The passions, the perceptions And conceptions, the interaction, is where we are to look for the truth.

We tend to ignore post-structuralism’s critique as merely another subjective argument. Namely, that post-structuralism as a philosophy appears to arise from nowhere, has no basis, ultimately having no substance that could’ve made the argument or pointed out the various things.

And everyone seems to just take that as a given. Indeed the whole comment of Post-structuralism is that subjectivity itself, while involved in these various negotiations of historical and discursive elements, is ultimately repressed by them, the truth of the very interaction repressed, is denied, is excluded from the negotiation itself as subjectivity, the knowledge-power. The conclusion that we tend to rely on and work with is that, well, the truth of the matter must be that human beings and the world lie only in their subjectivity.

The radical truth which begins to describe the fallacy of orientating substance upon the exchange of materials concerns objects, and ultimately, the truth of the situation.

As this rephrase tells, true substance lay in the shadowy depths.

So ironically, it is a counseling, it is an anthropology, as I call it, which uncovers the true substance of what we’re dealing with between the Selfand the world, what true universal objects are in themselves.

Conventional Philosophy. becomes ultimately this place of politics, this place of “playing around”, at once comedic, at once tragic. We find d that a group of human beings which attempt to find itself and themselves in a substance of material negotiation – ultimately these human beings become fucked up. They don’t know how to behave. They begin to collapse in upon themselves, to create discord and problems everywhere because ultimately the source of “there being” it problematic in insubstantial.

The failure of the enlightenment is the victory of ideological power which subjugates human beings to its whim despite themselves.

It is not “we” that are subjects of ideological power. It is that we are involved with a faith that ideological power is synthetically a priori not only to our own very ontological substance…

….And the substance of everything in the universe

X

Xx

The Simplicity of Substance and the Lengthy Post

I have been re-approaching philosophical ideas that have long held a deep significance for me. Because my life has been basically informed by an incessant and consistent questioning of what I am coming up on, I am finding that I am merely continuing to be what I am, which is, for a term, in motion.

I think this last round of doubting comes about because I am realizing that I am more concerned with actual people than I am with my ability to think great thoughts.

Now, what is strange about this is I am intensely antisocial in general while at the same time at ease with being social in a certain context or a certain framework. I generally hate people (groups) but I love and am very concerned with people (individuals). 🌏

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This is very Zizekian, from the Zizekian standpoint of media/ideological primacy:

“I do not love the world….I pick and choose who and what I love.”

So far as “the world” might be an ideological fantasy established through magical symbols, Zizek, the critical theorist/media critic-turn-philosopher states unequivocally that “love is evil.”

What he means by this is that we are persuaded by an existential anxiety which pervades the maintenance of the fantasy– that is, due to our investment in the truth-value of the fantasy (the value is gained because it prevents us from having to encounter that which we are most of afraid of: the dissolution of the fantasy, or death) — to love the world, to extend an ideological hand out into the grandiose narcissist world because the idealism inherent of the fantasy is we are ‘in this together’, so to speak, individually yet identically.

The modern individual is ethically bound to, at least, trying to love the world. But in the whole, he doesn’t have a clue how to actually love his sisters and brothers around him. The imaginary world establishes intuitive subjective barriers which serve to maintain the ideological modern identity at all costs against his neighbors, while extending out ideals to the “universe” or “the world” where we all must try to get along.

So; yet in truth he denies what is really occurring; which is, we are all being selfish and choosing certain universal things and people to love, and not really loving the world.

It is this tension of modern subjectivity we deny through the institutionally normalized and sanctioned “state of” anxiety which then in relief shows our ultimately ‘sinful’ nature: “In despair to will to be oneself” (as Kierkegaard puts it) is the condition of the modern man concept of love which avoids its true nature: hence, it is evil because it is an ideologically sanctioned “global” love that misses the intimacy that we generally misconstrue in the notion of agape, or man’s love for God. Since, God in this modern sense, is indeed a “usurper” god which takes the place of brotherly love to which agape would otherwise return to reflect in God itself, that is, in the world.

Zizek is, of course, referring to the modern ideal of love by which humanity defers itself and by which humanity is regulated to its conceptual ability.

Beyond the ideological love, by reflection, any love of a transcendent world is a narcissism, a pathological version of the human being. While within the fantasy, the narcissism is justified through the fantasy erected by trauma and told or narrated as “just human” , the “all too human” who takes on little responsibility for his actions, while erecting layers of intellectual and ideological facades in grandiose defense of them. Hence, the love that is evil is indeed, on one hand, a carnal love based in the libidinal control of the ego which then moves to impose or identify itself with the super-ego material norms: the subjective ideological identity.

Yet on the other, love is evil from the transcendent standpoint because the love I would have for the world that is my sisters and brothers, that is, not put off to a mere grand idea, is an evil and absurd activity.

So ironically, items that I pick and choose to love are in or of the reality that I cannot but be involved with– this is an evil manner of doing things. Hence, I do not love the world from Zizek’s standpoint of an ideological (media critique) analysis.

But indeed. I should not love the world in this way, so I don’t. Instead, I pick and choose to thus remain consistent and cohered to that which is the fantastic manner by which I must apprehend the ideological world.

The true love I profess is not modern, thus from the modern ideological standpoint, it is evil.

I won’t go on.

(Please don’t) 👨🏽‍🚀

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You got your Materialisms, and then you got your Materialica.

I think I did a couple posts about materialism already. But hold onto your conventional seats!

Here is the You Tube video which explains the usual meanings of Materialism.

My work is about religion and truth, finding what these are. As a counselor, for sure, I am concerned with what such ideas and every other might mean for the sake of helping people enrich their lives. As a philosopher, though, I am more concerned with what they are.

And, my ability to do this is highly philosophical. The reason why it is highly philosophical is because philosophy itself wields a great power over people’s reality and how they think, though I think most people would say it holds little power. Why, then, does everyone (straw) rebut arguments with what one means? I say it is because of the philosophical paradigm we are in currently, what i call the modern paradigm, which I say is defined by the parameters of modern and post-modern and it’s symbolic mode is capitalism. In general, it says that meaning defines the world, and that all meaning is subjective and personal, what some call correlationalism. Then some philosophers are telling us that there are things Nevertheless outside of this correlation that effect us. I’m kinda in this outside way of viewing.

Anyways, you can look through my posts, as well as read the book THE PHILOSOPHICAL HACK to get into all this stuff.

Ok. If we are to move on, get to something new, then we have to attempt to drop some burdensome methods for ideas and ideas of method. Get simple. Many philosophers have said that what is true should be the simplest.

So. To do away with the potential rut of murky confusion of Materialism’s, I simply ask : what is material?

What is the material of science ? Of baking? Or roofs? Or thought? Of blankets ? Of discourse ? Of the chair? Of this essay? Of philosophy ?

It is the stuff that is there to work with. The material. The material of cooking is the stuff the chef is working with. What is it exactly, you ask? It is exactly the material there that she is working with: meat, onions, herbs, water, oil, expertise, diners, tables, knives, customers, health codes, cockroaches, fire traps, napkins, steam, temperature, etc…What is it though? It is the material. And I am tentatively suggesting that all material is religious material.

So also, because people, by virtue of traditional ideological categories, love to not think, I hesitate to confirm the trending myopia and add another term, as though the myopic thinking is correct.

–> maybe the better term for what I’m talking about is Materialica 🤘🏾💀. It is not monism or pluralism: it is both. It is a critique of all the “-isms”. It’s claim is that all the “-isms” are a capitalist operation of consumerist distraction of the human being from the nature of its thought. It is a manner toward coming to actualize or realize the truth in a manner that is no longer offending to the ideological subject. Anew way to speak of truth that does not reduce to spiritualism (see?) Nor idealism. Yet not to invalidate such Routes as indeed functional systems of meaning.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=po6hcerZzBI

[y outube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po6hcerZzBI&w=560&h=315%5D

On the more naive note:

I am not sure what many people call materialism is a good name for what they are talking about. Physicalism or consumerism I think are better more specific terms, maybe alienationism. I feel like when the philosophers came up with the idea of “materialism” they were using it in a sense as opposed to ideas or some sort of spirituality. And then currently people are like to use “materialist” to mean superficial or someone that’s into buying things and having items. I think all these various types of meanings, like meaning in general, serve to confuse many people when we then move into thinking about things on a more serious level such as philosophy or critical thinking.

The term “education” is another one of these terms that can likewise confuse the actual picture that we have in front of us. Because we are educating people, so we have a larger number of people a larger body of people who consider themselves educated, and they indeed are, but they likewise figure that their intelligence is able to extend into all areas of understanding equally.

The prime example is from my posts on the Z/P debate ( just a few posts earlier); I think of the, what, five people who I noted who commented on the debate, only one even came close (barely) to understanding with the debate/discussion was really concerning. And this is not to say that people are not allowed to have their opinions about things or that we’re not supposed to discuss things, but it is more to say that if, for example, I want to program a computer, most of the people that would have opinions about how to go about it or what the programing actually entails or what needs to be done logistically or actually, so far is the actual coding — i’m not sure that we would take everyone’s opinion as having equal validity and substance. But indeed everyone is allowed to stand around and watch someone program a computer for a particular task or addressing a certain problem, and then they are indeed allowed and permitted with validity to go off and talk amongst their selves about the experience and what it could possibly mean in their lives etc. and indeed, in our day, the nature or the task that that program accomplishes indeed affects all those people regardless of what their opinion is upon it.

Yet with computers people will readily recognize that what they are talking about really has nothing to do with the computer programming that’s going on.

For some reason as soon as we say “philosophy” then everyone’s voice is equal, As though everything they have to say is intimately and inseparately involved in the ‘computer programming’ itself.

There’s something going on here that we’re not recognizing Or admitting. A categorical confusion.

But I am also not saying that academics have the singular privilege of talking about philosophy and that no one else has anything to say about it. In fact I would say that academic philosophy is involved with the same type of social dynamics as that of a bunch of people watching a computer programmer; I don’t think that it is valid or is indicating something particularly true to say that academic philosophers, as a group, as a category, are exempt from the same type of social dynamics. I think we have a again a false idea of what is occurring, as if confusion is what we’re supposed to be looking for and depending on.

(confusion occurs before breakthrough, btw)

In a way I’m calling for a complete re-structuring of how we understand the human being, it’s world, and reality. Our old traditional categories, including the scaffolding upon which we organize these terms, are starting to no longer serve us .

So this is all to say that the idea of “materialism” falls prey to the same kind of generally permitted confusion; I mean it really is almost like it’s some sort of rule that everything Has to be as confusing as possible and then that is the most true of being human.

I suggest that indeed there is a type or kind of human being that indeed exists as ideological confusion, Whose ontological presence is indeed manifested as confusion.

But we need to be careful here because of the postmodern Maxim that allowed us to see the problems of authority, oppression and subjugation, and how privilege works. But I submit that this kind of “Deconstruction” only exists within a conceptual whole. It is only within the idea that there is this one unitive arena (universe) that racism can have any power at all. And indeed, again, it is within the unitive ideal of the term “idea” it’s self that points to the religious function of being human.

Authoritarianism, totalitarianism, despotism, sovereignty… All these kinds of designations of power relations only occur within a concept of an absolute unity: less as ideological constructions, but more as indeed conditions of the real world of being human. But likewise: this human set (the kind that finds its ontological truth in confusion) is not ubiquitous to being human. Post human and trans humanism attempt to grapple with this, but I’m not sure they really get us anywhere because of their association with unproblemitized fantasy. They take the phenomenal centricity to ends end through simply ignoring the problem of centricity.

This is the great philosophical problem before us. I see.

And I wonder if indeed all these problems with race and misogyny, basically the issues of feminism, are not them selves issues that need to be allowed to play out at all times. That perhaps there is no Utopia, even as we work towards that ideal.

It is in this sense that I work towards understanding what is true and religious in the sense of things in themselves as opposed to subjective ideological meaning.

It is not an idealism nor materialism. It is an idealism of materialism or a materialism of ideas. It is not either/ or, but and.

I might add: the enlightenment is said to have failed. But I submit, it did not fail because of the ideas it was processing, if indeed it has failed.

Rather, it failed Becuase it’s assumption was that there is a common subject of the universe called the human being. As though all human beings fall or can fall under the same rubric. Less a Postmodern tenet than its failure.

And yet it continues to function.

A Critique of Sam Harris

A Critique of Sam Harris

A Critique of Sam Harris
— Read on benjaminstudebaker.com/2018/10/12/a-critique-of-sam-harris/

This got a little long for one reading on a device for me. but I did my best graduate school skimming and focusing and picking out parts that seem important, and I got to say been put down a really good explanation and argument for his materialism.

As many of my readers may know, or may not know, I tune on the side of materialism, but to me it’s just a simple statement, as everything is philosophical material.

But I like the simplicity by which Benjamin situates idealism and materialism. And his historical analysis and projections into present political analysis I think hold water.

But philosophically I would have to ask, for example, well sure the church split a long political lines but why did those lines fall where they did?

I think at some point and such and analysis and in pursuit of answering such a question, eventually we would have to come to pure speculation and argument, and I would submit that speculation in arguments are based in ideas, but not merely ideas that are relative to their conditions, but ideas that indeed function as though they are attached to an essential object: idealism.

So to me it’s a chicken or egg situation, and then I even go further and I ask how do you decide whether or not you are on the side of the chicken or the egg? Do you ponder the various arguments of idealism and materialism and then spontaneously something makes more sense to you than the other side? Is that occurring because the conditions create this situation for you (which is just another way of talking about a transcendent ideal), or is it occurring because you are remaining true to yourself (which would be another way of saying a fundamental material of self)? It seems to that to make any argument about what might be true or false or more actual or more true or more Real, that at some point you have to simply act and behave and think as though you are not just a nexus of conditions. It seems hypocrisy and contradiction pop up at every juncture.

This brings me to the radical middle. So to speak. And it is this radical middle that really defies either position, that of idealism or materialism (that is, except the materialism that simply states everything that arises to knowledge is philosophical material). And I think people as world identities have great difficulty realizing this radical middle. It really is that people argue this circularity of their position to avoid recognizing the actual situation that they’re in.

Then we look at history honestly and we can come to no conclusion about whether it was political forces or ideological of forces or idealist forces, that is. We have to admit at some point that it’s all just fashion and that indeed whatever opinion were coming to is a part of that fashion, part of a motion that we really have no say in. Which is to say, except in as much as we maintain an idealist position of our ability and understanding and grasp of thought.

Materialism: The Stuff We Have to Work With. The Revolution will not be Philosophized.o

Immaterialism book.

Berkeley’s Immaterialsim.

The revolution will be watered down and absorbed into institutional dogma.

I propose an alteration to history and philosophical reckoning (a proposal that will be set aside):

Materialism is the view that all we have to work with is the stuff we have to work with.         We have material to work with.

Yet, when we look at what philosophy has to say about Materialism, we come to a striking conclusion that they were talking about something rather regular and then confusing it.

So when Harman (maybe?) and Berkeley say “Immaterialism” we have to think: What?

the philosophy that is immaterial?

lol

Well. because of the convoluted and overcomplicated manner that philosophers have distorted simple things, Berkeley had to say ‘immaterialism’, but it is really nothing much more than the definition I just gave, so:

the conventional philosophical ‘Immaterialism’ is based upon the view that we have only this “stuff” to work with, and whatever it is, there it is, and we work with it. It is the material we work with in philosophy. Whether it is a table, a computer, a quark, a vacuum, a singularity, a skyscraper, a museum, a painting, a mote, a speck of dust, an anteater, a word, an object, a subject, a God, an atheist, a universe, a feminist, a philosopher, a person, an angel, an alien, speculation, practicality, ideal, forest, duck, electrons, space, density, think, thought, act, chair, blanket, act, activist, set, setting, setter, langue, parole, term, blades, bladder, piss, fuck, sex, happy, sad, rape, abuse, power authority, religion, philosophy, carpet, dog, pond, park, warm, cold, heat, hearth, internet, small mind, offense, sin, punch, intelligence …

its all material. But due to the general abusive authoritarian density of conventional philosophical method, they had to come uno with a different term: immaterial. But its so stupid; it should be called material, but this point, for now, is indeed, immaterial.

We can’t really complain; it does no good. Nevertheless.

So, we just have to go with it. We have to wonder not merely what people are talking about, but why they are speaking the way they do. When we begin to see why they use the term immaterial, we have to begin to wonder why. And this is not to say that we have to launch another investigation into the proposed progress of philosophical history of ideas because then we have not gotten anywhere. The more significant question is why would ‘material’ indicate anything else besides the stuff we have to work with? It would be like saying “please turn on the TV” and the person brings you shoes, or goes to find a pencil. What is this showing us about what humanity does? There is no irony here; the irony shows where the problem occurs.

Variability of meaning that goes into a statement such as what I’ve just made, The insistence upon the individual appropriation of clausal structure is exactly irony, and is what amounts to what people 200 years ago going forward called “enlightenment”. That we can continue, infinitely, to extrapolate into this clausal structure ‘inspiration of the truth’. The problem is not that we come to various meanings about things, it’s more that we feel that these meanings have a certain significance or that are somehow better than or more inspired despite what other people may have intuited. In other words, capitalist individualism.

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Though the poem below does tend to route one’s picture of what is revolutionary to a particular time in Modern history, and as that to particularly social issues, the meaning is pertinent to what occurs all the time. As evident in “Immaterialism” perhaps being a fashionable idea now, as if 300 years ago they weren’t worried about the same thing…what is different is the operative mean.

Like Harman’s question: How do we get back to the thing in-itself?

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It was Fifty Years Ago Today

It was fifty years ago today

Revolution took to the streets.

In Grosvenor Square and Paris

Students sang to different beats.

In Prague too they were coming alive

Digging the jive as establishments swayed,

Responding with an iron fist

As those rebellious songs played.

They used tanks against the Czechs

And armed guards in Ohio

Tear gas in London

And swung clubs in Chicago

Give Peace a Chance

For the Street Fighting Man

As the Unknown Soldier

Asked what was the plan in Vietnam.

Fifty years on from that protest and change

Now the psychedelic colours are muted.

What is the legacy of the great revolution?

In simple terms that can’t be refuted?

Environmental movements and Women’s Lib?

Or just fashion, music and wind?

The establishment’s firmly back in control

And revolution’s been binned.

via It was Fifty Years Ago Today — Opher’s World

Opher 2.1.2018

But, the revolution was not a lie, it just already happened and people missed it!

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”

OK:
– ‘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?

*space-supernova-hd-wallpaper1

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 Lyotard 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? Over and under – mining ? 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?

Bye.

Direct Tangent 4.4: science and faith.

The main problem in finding the truth is that no one cares about the truth. And, even if one may, the usual outcome is that truth is located in two arenas of knowledge, found through their respective methodologies, science and culture, that reflect only a temporary-momentary truth called theory , or as a theory is played out time and time again and so confirmed, law, or tradition-dependent truth, which likewise develops law. The two are situated into arenas that may function exclusively but also cooperate. In other words, there is no ‘absolute’ truth, but only ‘relative’ truth except that the absolute truth of the matter is that there is only negotiated, or relative truth.

But indeed, I had a periodic and lengthy discussion with someone over just this feature of truth. His position was that there is an absolute truth but we just don’t know what it is yet, that science is in the process of uncovering the absolute truth of the universe. Further, he says, that we cannot know if what we know now is even a portion of this absolute truth, but through science, in the future, we will sort this out; for example, the theory of plate tectonics. He would say that the theory of plate tectonics is absolutely true, that indeed there are continental plates that float on a layer of magma, etc…

I countered that with Stephen Hawking’s idea that what we know as truth is really a scheme of truth based upon models, and that these models seem to work for practical solutions of apparent problems. I am not sure if Hawking would say that there is as absolute truth out there that we seek in science, I think he would be content with merely saying that there is a truth out there that we uncover through our investigations, but it is a human truth, and such truth is limited in its nature but it is all we can know, that there may be more to the universe than our knowledge, but we can never know it.

I do not stop on one side of things and proclaim it for the other; I say that such ideas, both my counterpart and Hawking’s, are based in faith, that this faith lends itself to a particular kind or scheme of knowledge, and that this scheme is intimately linked with the ethical standpoint of action, as this ethics develops a humanity to a particular kind of reality; a reality which is inherently false. That is, reality is inherently mythological at its base, and in so reflects only itself upon the unfolding of existence: it is not true, but only true in negotiation.

*

I was watching a show the other night called something like “Steven Hawking’s: the purpose of existence”, or something like that. The grand culmination is, after going through all the theoretical physics and nifty science facts, after the tip of the ‘model’ limit of knowledge (above) and using the model idea to indicate, as counterpoint, the individual realities that go on inside of each of us, that, thus, we all make our own realities, and the purpose of existence is the individual’s.

Umm; what ? Such a platitudinous regurgitation of modern new age spiritual science seems hardly worthy of one of the supposed Big Minds of our day. I could only think that the poor guy must need money, or Cambridge does; I’m sure someone does, because if all the Big Minds can come up with after all this science, thinking and formulating and discussing, is that each individual creates his or her own reality and purpose for that reality – with such an act of statement they have moved from scientists into priesthood, so presumptuous they are to proclaim that their science has even taken one step into or toward investigating what they have proclaimed truth upon: it is an act of utter religious flagrancy and pomposity – indeed; the Big Minds have done nothing but propagate their faith, as evidenced by Hawking’s move here. Utter small mindedness hiding itself in grandiose bias.

What I am saying is that if i have come upon the truth of the matter, or at least the beginning of it, maybe there will be people who will investigate with open minds what the truth may actually be; but i doubt it, becuase the great thing is, no one or hardly anyone cares so faithful they are. It is the story of the ages.

* *

So back to what i see includes Laruelle in this whole thing.
Science does contribute; philosophy, now, is a wing of science, or at least tries to be; Laruelle sees this. I cannot comment right now as to what he sees as following from his project, but if he is to remain consistent, the project can only propose necessary outcomes.

Hence, I proceed.

The problem of science is that even if it is a model that grants humans a working truth, humanity and scientists such a Hawking, do not go about life as if it is a model; they go about life as if it is absolutely true. Hence a reiteration of what I propose above: the faithful humanity, guided by the priests of science (among other priests) views itself and determines its worth ‘individually’ with reference to this truth of science. It likewise cannot help but see itself in the reflection of scientific dictates, in particular, psychology. Psychology proposes to describe the true human psyche and everyone sees him or herself through a lens described by psychology. It is not difficult to see that if I am having a view of myself as a reflection of the science of psychology, as my mind may work in various ways, I immediately have self worth or not in view of the truth of psychology which is admittedly only a model of the truth – I am going to have problems that I cannot but describe either as stemming from a spiritual or psychological malady. It is no wonder that our most popular forms of spirituality and religion have to do with aligning oneself with some transcendent god or gods or what have you. Science, and by extension, psychology, creates the necessity for a transcendent entity by the contradiction involved in science being itself a model, the model being a basis for actual and absolute (relative) truth, and the assertion of individual realities – such a formula allows for the individual that hardly “knows thyself” because the self, in faith, is always relegated to the mysterious individual of free will.

Yet, this is not to say that such a faith based in a methodology of acting, of action, does not contribute, but it does so in the arena of social justice. (See my post on Feminism.)
* * *

So I must describe Laruelle as a passivist. Not a pacifist, but a passivist as opposed to an activist. What I mean by this is not that he is a pussy or that he has no principles that he will stand up for. I do not mean that he does not behave from a general standpoint of propriety or that he won’t punch someone who crosses that line. I do not mean that there aren’t things worth advocating actively. What I mean is, in so much as i understand what Laruelle is saying, I cannot escape from the position where every problem that involves the individual reduces to one answer, so I am unable to address myself ethically to solve one problem wholeheartedly without also addressing other problems that naturally and inevitably concern the initial problem. This does not mean that Laruelle or I do not live life and address problems; rather, such problems have already been solved by their reduction to one solution, which is my being consistent with myself in existence – and I am thereby activated.

On the other hand, we have the co-conspirator in the project: the activist.

The activist sees each problem as being solvable, at least potentially, and the hope that accompanies the activity of solving each problem is justified in the ethical default that at least one tried to solve that problem even though its solution may then present, lead to or have caused more problems. The activist is thereby passive, in that they pass by the aggregate of the world, the world which is inevitably the activist itself, for the sake of solving one problem, and in remaining active despite its own deficiency in solution, the activist finds itself in the solution of other.

Together, the activist and the passivist join in active praxis through their natures of having an ability to confront ignorance; ignorance is seen by both as the antithesis of an ethical human existence. The passivist confronts what ignorance there may be for the individual human itself by refusing to stop himself or herself at their own belief, and thereby the passivist might become an unbiased and un-violenced representative instrument of existence. The activist confronts ignorance by questioning others from the perspective of an ethical righteousness that takes its form from an initial individual reflection of service, which gains from an impetus toward a common human social justice.

Ok. Now before I get into the more juicy parts of the meal, Im taking a coffee break. We will return after these important messages…..

Tangent 3.9: Love

The song, “This is not a Love Song”, by the 80’s band PiL, for some unknown reason – not that i liked the song when it was around – came through my mind today.

And this seemed relevant…

Love. To me, love is more than attraction, or even intense attraction, or infatuation, or big like, and it is not just sexual attraction that can be called lust. It can be all of those, but to me, it is commitment. To me, love is the knowledge that usurps whatever reservations I may have had for what I before may have thought was ‘commitment’. Love effects me so that the feeling or thought or intuition I may have had upon what the future may hold, is accompanied by a negation of what potential desires I may be imagining of that future, such that I know that I will always have invested concern for that person in my life, that my future becomes thus ‘our life’. The commitment may not always be easy to uphold, but whatever dissatisfaction may arise, it is and will be always, to the best of my ability, tempered by love, that indeed we are committed.

Probably many people have no idea what I’m talking about. I see this is because they have no idea what love is, that to them it has to do with immediate desire. Perhaps this is why divorce is such a viable presence and why many people do not get married. And I mean married in the supra- or extra- institutional sense, as a committed relationship made between two people aside from social stamping.

** **

With this, I enter on a tangent upon the main issue of my ongoing discussion concerning Laruelle and Non-Philosophy.

Now, when commitment is seen or understood as requiring a great effort, where love has seemed to have nearly disappeared from the relationship, I would suggest that it is because love, true love, that stems from mutual love, was not really true to begin with. Love, when it has developed along side of commitment, as a force of will, only loses integrity as an effective ideal when the individual is oriented upon desire – that is unless great force is applied, and ironically, love is the great force that is usually misunderstood and so never leveraged effectively, which is to say without will. Don’t get me wrong, though; desire is a natural and inherently good aspect of our human being. The problem is when desire dominates the individual so as to fulfill one’s purpose in life, it usually inflates the sense for the need of willfullness. Want becomes the overwhelming motivation in being human; want becomes what it is to be human.

In an attempt to be more clear: In existence there are objects. In an earlier post, I write about how things are, for our being human, entirely contained in knowledge. The physical effect, such as pain, created by an object, while causing some reaction in us – the meaning of such effect is mediated and significant to us only in and by knowledge. There is not pain for a human being that is meaningless. Even if someone were to not know the reason of pain, or could not identify a source and purpose of an effect from a thing, the meaning is exactly “I don’t know”. Autonomic reaction, or reflex may occur, but not void of meaning. There is nothing real or unreal that is not contained in our knowing of it, of it being of knowledge.

The solution to the basic problem of humanity must begin with knowledge. The basic problem arises between the subject, the person or single individual, and the object, the thing. This duality has been relegated into the duality of thought and action. The problem can be phrased thus: how does one be consistent with one’s self ? How does one proceed to remain confident at all times that he or she is doing what is best for him or herself, all the while remaining within one’s own ethics such that there arises no conflict, no doubt of one’s own self in life? Is there a way to align one’s thoughts and actions so they achieve the fullest benefit of life for one self (as this may include social benefit, but it does not have to) ?

I propose that such questions align with a perception that includes the individual as a thing, and, that because an individual is thereby a thing, the individual itself, of itself, to itself, is likewise a thing. Such perception also aligns with the idea that we have a subjective, or inner self, that we are capable of thinking upon as if it were likewise a thing, in other words, objectively. This idea has been expressed many times in the ontological (issues of Being) postulates that arise as “we can be conscious of our own consciousness”, and we then get the ‘ego’, ‘super-ego’ and such psychological constructions by extrapolation.

When such a perception or idea forms the root or ground of one’s thinking about reality, history unfolds in a progression that finds psychology, which is the human being come complete as a thing, an object: a subject-object. Hence, items or objects of the psyche thus also become things and can be liked and disliked, and then not only do other individuals become appraised as to objective qualities, but the individual itself, upon itself, as if he or she is likewise an object to be appraised of qualities, is defracted, becomes, as a process of history, divided unto itself. The solution of psychology aggravates its own problem. This is our present condition of human conventional understanding. (And this is the problem Laruelle notices of philosophy. )

I venture to say, coming back to the topic at hand, that such an individual, a subject-object, has no ability to love to another human being, beyond merely desiring them to possess, as a thing might be possessed. The human being is not a thing with definite static qualities; even noticeable traits that seem consistent change. Rather, this is to say, the love as commitment achieves for such a one, anger, fear, frustration, doubt, and struggle. Attraction, linked as it is to a definite quality of thing, fails in the effervescence of the human dynamic.

Love, true love, is called up from the subject to test the integrity of the Being in the world. The problems of the world are the the failure of the subject of conventional knowledge (the subject-object).

Are we things or are we Beings? When love is true, attraction never goes away, the complexities of life do not sway one from the other but only confirm that the love is true; desire never diminishes, attraction never fades, and love grows.

*

When Laruelle talks about his project of Non-Philosophy, he is implicating that which I speak here, that i have put in terms of love.

I shall continue back into the discussion proper, after these messages….