Colonialism, Evangelism and The Intellectual Left

Some Problems with The Intellectual Left
— Read on

I think this post actually describes the situation at hand. He calls it the “political left”, but it really has to do with liberal philosophical intellectualism in general.

When we look at topics like colonialism, capitalism, religion, evangelism, and philosophical topics such as Heidegger’s Dasein and the later existential and postmodern philosophies of the continental tradition, one should not help but be struck by the significance of the meanings of this philosophical traditional lineage. We can even extend this trend back all the way to Kant through phenomenology.

It has been my repeated assertion (or at least insinuation) that phenomenology, as a cannon, is not  describing the human being as a general category; it is describing specific instances of being human. In fact Cedric Nathaniel in his book the philosophical hack will talk about how there is a failure of communication across a common category.  What he means by that is, on one hand, what Jean-François Lyotard calls the postmodern condition: There is no communication taking place despite that human beings simply will not understand the limitation of their own subjectivity, and that technology is a kind of ‘magic’ or fetish which represents the human being seeing itself as indeed communicating with other beings that are not itself (as I extrapolate and make arguments about that elsewhere).

The more pertinent example, on the other hand, is what the author of this linked post, what his essay is saying about a certain type of intellectualism that we generally can associate with academia in general and a kind of Continental tradition or adherence to a kind of philosophical dogma, or dogmatic reading, of Kant and the subsequent lineage of philosophers over the next 200+ years.

When we understand what they are saying and actually apply it to our situation, that is, our own situation, the situation of myself as a thinker, as someone who is using intellect, we may come to a more Kierkegaard understanding like that of the contemporary prophet (see: the philosophical crumbs), as opposed to an enlightenment thinker who is involved with progress. This is to say that the misreading of phenomenology is that what they (The traditional phenomenological authors) are describing cannot possibly be what is occurring in me (The academic or intellectual left Philosopher) as I am reading their philosophy: I am unable to really understand what they are saying because it offends my sense of being human; I thus displace the true meaning and invent a ‘subjective’ meaning, my own meaning. 

This is indeed why Kierkegaard critique still holds true today, and I would submit, why very few authors who consider themselves philosophers today, or critical theorists, will refer to Kierkegaard: because Kierkegaard’s philosophy sticks a spear through the gut of their critical theory.  This ‘other meaning’, the meaning that I ‘make up’ to account for the true meaning which I cannot seem to make fit into the position that I indeed find myself in and against my contest of world, is the basis for Marxist materialist critique and the further critical theorists such as the Frankfurt school.  This ‘other meaning’ which appears to oppress me is indeed the basis for the Real misinterpretation that is the foundation of ideology and political power.

The kind of incredulity, the blatant denial and active assertion of disbelief, is what is actually informing what I see as this author of the linked post is calling “the political left”, yet the author keeps it grounded in the real polemical ideology. He says it very well — I wonder if he really realizes what he’s talking about philosophically, lol — 

— but if I can reiterate:  It is basically that these (what i will call) ‘non-reflective’ intellectuals do not feel that they are a part of the same category of people that they critique. And this to say that their intellectualism insulates them from being part of their own critique,  from being subject to their own critique, and thus from being an intimate part of the world, even while they would use such intellectual ideas to argue that they are a part of the condition.  That is, so far as these philosophers want to draw upon the Continental or phenomenological philosophical lineage as well as the lineage of critical theory to support their political claims. It is the true irony that many completely misinterpret the texts that they will forever site to support their own position, which is to say their “intellectually left” position.  it is not merely that, say, the right is not looking honestly an opening or not being able to see the truth of larger significant issues, it is that the left is also in the same position. What we come up on then it’s just different examples of singular phenomenological activity, placed into a common category that is not communicating across its breadth. It is not communicating because this common category has found it self face-to-face with its own political truth. This is basically what Zizek has been saying about Trump and the American left. in order to have a left, there must be an equally formidable and true right which allows for the position to be valid. While philosophically we can uphold a transcendental encompassing category which contains both the left and right as aspects of this totality, there do we have avenues of negotiation and compromise. But we can also not hold philosophically complex or investigative activities apart from the rest of the world as though they have nothing to do with any other human involvement. At least one Philosopher has talked about how Philosophy always concerns the past even while it wants to speak of the future. In this sense, a philosophy that informs politics this accounts for the end run of left and right sides, self and other conceptual idea logical side, finding it self having no real transcendental ground, or at least to say, so much as Philosophy. is understood as getting somewhere, as finding something substantial, which, in the end we have found that there’s nothing substantial, that only nothing is substantial. This proves to be a psychological hindrance for individuals that want to be founded in a Substantialworld. It is indeed Kierkegaard despair rising up within the individual, who then searches his mind and uses his “intellectual ability” to figure out with the bigger more thorough mines have come to the conclusion, in order for this individual to be able to function effectively in the world to do something with purpose. Following these lines of flight the individual has nothing left but to ground truth, ground its own substance in a truth of its own making, a pure ideological sense. But in the end we find that that’s all it is, and in order to have this pure ideological sense there has to be a corresponding “substance” which allows my truth to stay in place. Hence our current world political situation that we find in various intelligent arenas.

While these intellectuals might point to others’ inability to see past the end of their nose towards larger issues and more significant realities, the fact is these non-reflective intellectuals are indeed doing the same exact thing as the people they condemn: not seeing past the end of their own nose. 

Thier intellectualism, though, their ability to use discursive gymnastics and believe their own scripts, allows them to proceed into life as from a “true” place of privilege from which they suppose they are critiquing “out there” issues; one could even suggest that their idea of self-critique is a self-fulfilling prophecy, at root in matters of systemic oppression (think L. Ron Hubbard and the ‘technology’ he used on himself, while also using it to mind-control and manipulate thousands of people for his benefit). Never do they want actual solution to the problems they find everywhere; never are they able to apply it to their own view, their own perception, their own method of coming up on the world, indeed they will bring out arguments from this phenomenological lineage as if to prove to everyone else how their “Intellectual left” view upon the world is actually seeing things more correctly.

This is not a straw-man argumentative gambit; it is actually describing the situation at hand. “They” indeed function in this manner, as do I.  Yet, the category –the category which is at work in the appropriation of this text , the category where by opinion and subjectivity are suspended in a transcendent ether or “cloud of unknowing” , does not communicate due to the method by which I am able to view the world and things in it; this is the issue at hand: Is there a sure ontological unity that we call “humanity”?

 This goes back to the first point, the first meaning of Lyotard’s postmodern condition: There is no communication taking place.  The rebuttal to this is simple denial through the self-proclamation of intellectualist-historical privilege; this is a simple fact of the phenomenon of being human that is completely denied by certain facets of the intellectual left for the sake of their intellectualism.

For example: “There is communication taking place, but it only appears as though none is taking place, so let me describe to you how intellectually we can create new definitions of ‘communication’ for the purpose of making progress over this apparent subjective limit.”

One could go so far as to say that this is the mistake, in a kind of Lacanian reading, which is contributing to our World political climate. This also contributes to why in some posts I have made in the past couple years I have referred climate change to the question of “just what climate is it that is changing?”

We might be able to glimpse what is occurring at multiple nodes of intersection where this lack of communication is coming together in significant moments of our environment.

Those I am going so far as to indicate as the non-reflective intellectuals (what even Zizek will point out as the “left”) are so quick to move on to the next thing (post-human; post-capitalism, etc…) the next intellectual ‘craze’.  In other works I hope to show how the “philosophical turns” might actually arise at the moment when the intellectualism, as a defining motion, begins to reflect upon itself and its limitations, that the coming into its own limitation automatically eschews reflection ‘out’ and thus as the world to thus retain a certain sense of subjectivity and excess so as to further allow the exploitation of materials it sees fit to use under its purview of self-righteousness. I submit that such ‘turns’ function through ontological denial and work to establish cosmological constants, or categories which do hold potential to communicate across their domains, for the purpose to feeding the capitalistic engine of consumption.

The philosophical turn of our time, toward objects, is due to the stalemate that has arisen by the phenomenological subject coming once again upon its limitation to point to how it is only encountering itself, and then the real ideological denial of that reasoning, that infallible logic, so to speak. The turn is indeed like Moses when he comes upon the burning bush, he turns away, but in our case, human beings turn away “not to see” what this fantastic thing is standing in front of us. Moses turns “into” that which challenges his ontological status; modern human (philosophically mistaken left) beings turn away and deny the truth for the purpose of creating their own world, and thus create infinite problems through which to establish and justify thier real being.

Hence, the denial of oneself (lack of reflection; in despair to be oneself, as Kierkegaard has termed it) for the purpose of a real intellectual subjectivity is the system of oppression that has been feeding itself with the value of disposable others which it turns into valuable commodity through ignoring ontological validity, or what we loosely call equity.  The true goal should be liberation.  Yet, the modern intellectual subject (left) is inherently an unethical subject simply because it refuses to apply its own standards to itself and its behavior: It understands itself within the context of a privileged synthetical a priori, intellectually removed from a necessity to apply its own ethical formations — which it flings righteously onto others — to itself, to exclude itself from its own practicality for the purpose of bringing about its own utopia (subjective authenticity) further through communion with the immanent/transcendent ‘other’ which is perpetually placed out of critical reach through the assumption of its own proper critical methodology.

It is colonialism justified through intellectual denial, and it is evangelism, again denied, through the critical theoretical lineage. An ideal, a cosmology for the creation of an elite individualism of the few, at the cost of expendable multitudes.


AND, when all this is said and done, we should see that what I am talking about is not another proposal of ethical impropriety which needs to be overcome through more intellectualism, more argument for solution which never desires for the solution to come about and be realized.

ON The CONTRARY: What I am proposing is that indeed this offensive situation is what the human being has been doing since its inception, that it will always do this, that it operates in this manner.  And, that due to this feature of the human being, as we are able to describe, now, without the inherent subjective bias, what the human being actually does, and thus, bring out to view the truth of what we can call the object of the subject: the universal object that is the human being.

Note: The categories “left” and “right” are as ambiguous as they are almost useless to use for any sort of absolute reference. They are terms to describe the activity of polemical negotiation. But when they become understood as actual identifiers, actual ideological sets, this is where we find the problem of “the end”. 



Thought is not Thinking: A critique of philosophy.

Much like “the history of consciousness” is not about an essential attribute of the functioning brain, like, we might associate consciousness with psyche, but is rather about the analysis of an appearance of what it is to be human in the world, so “thought” Is likewise not about what might be occurring in the gray matter, so to speak, but is more about what appears as human in a general sense and under a certain light.

The reason why I point out this distinction has to do with my reading various philosophical texts and beginning to really understand what I (seemingly) naturally reject in my coming upon philosophical texts.

I think the shadowy-gray area, the area that people get all up in arms about when we try to define or locate the object of philosophy, is found because people equate “thought” with “thinking”. Philosophers tend to read other philosophical texts– no matter from what era — as though thought and thinking are reflecting the same essential substrate which is inherently and absolutely attached to the human being in the world, which is to say, the phenomenological subject.

“Thought” is not thinking; but “thought” can indeed be thinking under certain conditions; there is no philosophical text that is doing any thinking nor reflecting anything about what thinking might be , or, Perhaps the more precise formulation is under what conditions can we be speaking of thinking, and under what condition are we speaking of thought. Philosophical text often reflects thought, in the same way as “the history of consciousness” is reflecting the intellectual academies’ version of history. But The history of consciousness is not talking about human beings in their actuality; On the contrary, the confusion I see popping up everywhere in philosophy — which is the reason why I think many things that are included in the discipline or activity of philosophy should be more properly referred to as “critical thinking”– Is because philosophers often enough, it seems, think that once we enter into a domain that talks about “thought” they automatically associate a constellation of ideas as rotating or orbiting some essential object, but without recognizing that it is indeed an object that they are referencing; in fact they denying the existence of such an object by an activity of focusing on what The satellites are doing, focusing on manipulating the orbits of such satellites.

Philosophers tend to read philosophical texts without actually understanding often enough what the texts might actually be about because of this implicit assumption that goes in to viewing the text. In many instances, philosophy is founded on a decree of unrecognized doublespeak, at once speaking of an undisclosed object about how there is nothing undisclosed but that which is encoded in the speaking (discourse). What?

This assumption amounts to or can be analogous to a black hole when we look out into the sky and space; how long did it take astronomers to actually find and identify and locate an actual black hole? I don’t really know, but I do know that the reason why it was even hypothesized was because astronomers could infer the existence of a black hole by referencing a movement of bodies.

The problem with philosophers, though, is they are identifying with Being a satellite; philosophers identify themselves through the motion of being a satellite as an essential and central universal component. This is the meaning of speculative realist authors’ idea of correlation, as they embrace the idea of “the Copernican revolution” that displaced the earth as the center of the universe.

Many philosophers see their activity as involved in manipulating orbits (Marxist ideology) instead of understanding how the physical mechanics, as an analogy, of orbiting satellites-ideas function. And they do this so well as to create an impression that there is no way to be able to understand how the satellites have their orbits.

The reason why I associate conventional philosophical activity with religion is because of what is apparent about what is in effect, what is occurring by the evidence of (a certain method) of philosophy. And this is to say that if one understands this kind of reference, this picture that I’m putting forth, then one might be able to see how philosophers are implicitly rejecting certain semantics, certain organizations of meaning along typical fronts.

These fronts become camouflaged by the arguments that are contained within the closet structures of the argument itself. But, like I said, once one begins to understand this picture, one can begin to see a routine and typical rejection that occurs at the same place, along the same contours of meaning in a large swath of philosophical discussion. I call this typical rejection “offense”, and I define or I refer to religion in general, what we know of religion and what we associate with religious ideas, groups, cosmologies, as “concerning offense”. And this is to say, similarly or as an analogue, that it is possible to associate Christianity, for example, and into different types of Christianity, different denominations, by how they understand sin.

And I think the most notable and significant factor of religion is its method of trying to apologize for that which it is implicitly rejecting.

And this is to say that when I talk about philosophy and I bring my various discussions about what is occurring within a particular text, I routinely get objections to what I’m saying is if my discussion is suggesting something about the other author’s or philosopher’s argumentative position, namely, that their philosophy their ideas are wrong or incorrect in someway because I’ve pointed out this aspect of their discourse. And so what I routinely get back is an argument about how I am incorrect, and usually by that point I have to tell them that I actually agree with what they’re saying but I’m actually more pointing out what is occurring through their text, rather than discounting their text by pointing out what it is doing.

My usual analogy is a tree. It is as if me and a friend or a colleague are standing in front of a tree and I am describing the tree to the other, e.g. it is a Pinetree, it has long thin green needles, it has brown pinecones that are sharp, it has bark, it stands 40 feet high — but then my colleague comes back at me and says “I don’t think that’s green”; “what do you mean by 40 feet?”

My point with the whole thing is: what is the point of us arguing over the green Ness of the Pineneedles whether or not they’re green or not, whether or not they’re sharp, whether or not they’re short or long, or what criteria we use for those designations?

And by this question I am not saying that it is wrong to go about that method. I am not saying, “what is the point” as an expression of futility or condemnation; rather, I am actually asking into what is the purpose of proceeding in that way.

So, I am saying that we should be able to distinguish what we are actually doing when we say that we are philosophers or that we are doing philosophy. And I say this because if I am standing at the tree describing the tree and then my colleague next to me is just sitting there questioning the categories I use — to me, while we both might be doing philosophy, we will never get anywhere because we are doing two different activities.

And I think my biggest gripe is with this is the kind of deconstructionist or whatever philosophy that likes to lay claim over the entirety of what philosophy can be, as if merely asking questions into definitions holds the entirety of valid philosophy wherever the word is spoken — I think this does not strengthen philosophy as a human endeavor but actually devalues and weakens it. Such a method that claims philosophy at the expense of any other type turns it into something that’s pretty much useless except to accel the person that can claim their superior intelligence because they can ask more questions then the other person is willing to define, as if at that final moment when the other person gives up with trying to find out that this “deconstruction-definition” person Can as last claim the superior argument. It is so utterly capitalistic that it kind of defeats the point of the word “philosophy” itself.

But I’m not saying again that such a method is incorrect or invalid or wrong. But I am saying that we should notice that that particular type of way of doing philosophy is a particular type and is not “philosophy” as a whole category that it assumes and imposes it itself to be.

Socrates was not about shooting down his opponent. What is dialectical is the effort to come to a consensus. I think the mass amount of a certain kind of intoxication of our societies has led philosophers to a certain type of self aggrandize, self interested, thought-capital oriented “thought producer” Who has appropriated and conceived what is Socratic in a kind of disgustingly misinformed and misunderstood manner.

My point is simply : let us identify this kind of conventional, critical thinking based, philosophy as what it does so that we can put it to proper use, use which is best fitting to what it able to do.

And then retain the term philosophy for the actual human-universal questions of significance. Perhaps we could begin this new philosophical enterprise with discussing perhaps we could begin this new philosophical enterprise with A discussion about just what is honesty. What is it to be honest?

Before this blog was called “the philosophical hack” it was called “constructive undoing”.

And perhaps some of you readers may be able to make a correlation there.


Consider this: by the very term “speculative realism” the authors are hedging their bets.

If anyone was there when or after the speculative realism conference occurred and then the few years after: what we saw was a bunch of people , the audience, all of a sudden getting very hopeful, but then as those authors continued to produce their various ideas on philosophy, the interest in them faded quickly. And that is because they had something very powerful to say, but then they either backed off or didn’t really understand what they were onto.


The answer goes to why I think Graham Harman has the strong position.

Self-reflection Can Be a Bitch: X-phi – or, alienation as wanting to not Reflect. (In Despair to Not to be Oneself)

X-phi – or, alienation is not correlation
— Read on

Thanks. finally some light in the intellectualized self-stigma.

Over the past 5 or so years I have had a tiny intrest in, what I might call, the “dark ecologies” wing of philosophical speculation. It is a kind of morbid self-abuse I put myself through, a sort of twisted curiosity that stems from (1) its common philosophical repertoire as what I typically understand of authors and ideas, and (2) a curiosity of why anyone would put so much intellectual effort in, what I see as, sadness and depression, as though the authors are trying to justify a situation they are caught in to the world instead of using that intelligence to see how it is indeed, again what I see, a self-limiting and berating correlation. I usually understand a lot of it as Fiction in the ‘wrong’ sense, which is to say, a fiction which does not generally wish to recognize its mythological component (in the Jungian-Hillman sense).

Well, I think I was right. And, as a counselor, I have to admit that depression cannot often be intellectualized away. But strangely enough, this essay reads as a critique of its self, of its own discourse. It’s as though, getting tired of all it’s verbosity, it resorts to its own dense jargon to try and dig it self out of its own swap. And I mean that in a good way; how else is one to talk it self out of a mess that it’s made for itself and in which it harbors in comfort and security that it hates?

The link above has a short essay I think shows a beginning of an ability of the discourse to show reflection upon its (what I see as) subjective correlational obviousness. The essay, to me, shows that at least that author is beginning to be able to view how the “dark ecology” is merely a “dark subjective fantasy” — but not one among many, which is to say, not like all other discourses. Rather, it is beginning to be able to comprehend that the discursive semantic routes are theirs only. It is evidencing an awakening upon what correlationalism actually means with reference to the internal mistake of phenomenal postmodern reference. Which is to say, the correlation as is caught in what establishes as it creates its own web of lies, if you will, and it is beginning to work itself out despite the intellectual intention invested in the attempt to get out of its own recognized as faulty correlation.

See — and this is not uncommon in many areas — as I have expressed in past posts, when one engages with such “dark ecology” authors, often one finds that they simply will not hear you If you do not play their intellectual game by using their words and clausal structuring. And I see this because of how post-modernism has allowed for people to build “semantic philosophical islands” which then reflect themselves into everything else. Such “religious philosophies” thus see a problem but are unable to find a way out; what happens then is they just figure that is how it is and so try to justify it. (See Lyotard, The Differend). I mean; what else is someone supposed to do? Develop intellectual capital the best way one can.

So, thank you enemyindustry for actually allowing what is not intensional to begin to perhaps bring one out the other side, besides the best of subjective intentions.

The alienation is correlation. This is the significance that most people work diligently to prevent themselves from realizing. It is the “offense in the machine”.

In the dark ecological sense, it is the working of the modern subjective fantasy in such a way to, as the essay states, make itself autonomous, as though not correlational, somehow beyond itself, which then ironically is the pathology: Xenophilia (and the other inhabitants of the dark world) attempting to intentionally explain its paradoxical limit away, and assert its truth upon the world despite itself –assert itself as valid by negating it’s own substance and then describing the speculative results.

Good essay. Makes me feel good. Thank


—note: I could be wrong in conflating this essay with discourses of dark ecologies (weird, patchwork, Deleuzian-Landian, etc..) discourses. But to me, they appear similar in character.

Prime Example of the Thinking Inside the Box.

How Zizek Should Have Responded to Jordan Peterson

How Zizek Should Have Responded to Jordan Peterson
— Read on

Here (Studebaker. Going forward “S”)is the perfect example of why Zizek tells us in the debate (Peterson/Zizek) why he can’t see a ways out of our dilemma.

It’s great that S has such a high esteem for Zizek, but S seems to not be able to understand how that ability of Z was actually working the other night.

The post in Current Affairs shows the laziness that current intellectualism rests within. S give us exactly the kind of lazy-fare production that exemplifies capitalism and the main reason why Zizek claims there is no way out: S analysis is pedestrian and relies upon not only his assumption of thought (And exalted at that) which goes into his essay writing, but likewise the presumption of substance which is invested already in the publication itself : in other words, what Peterson admittedly does not do a great job as defining, I have no problem making notice of: the Postmodern expert. (See an earlier post of mine).

The debate centered, as an object in-itself, the being of the debate, on indicting the status quo which argues itself as solution-oriented and progressive. The debate was indeed dialectical in its nature, two sides of different positions nevertheless working together to show a truth.

S is unable to see beyond his own Postmodern subjective privilege into what was actually pointed directly at him and intellectuals like him. Studebaker is unable to think without the ideological supports that tell him how to think. In other words: exactly what this debate was about, how one goes about viewing a debate, and what a debate is supposed to mean.

Here is, what (I don’t know?) a Harvard instructor (?) who can’t even see this simplest execution of philosophy right in front of his own eyes ??

What does this say about our institutions of higher learning and reporting? Really.



🤣. I am such a dork. Lol.

But really.

My longer analysis coming shortly.

Algorithms and institutional isomorphism: A Call for a more Philosophically Comprehensive Theory Of Counseling.

Algorithms and institutional isomorphism

Algorithms and institutional isomorphism
— Read on

This is quite interesting.

It resonates with ideas I have been throwing about. For example, the way that I use the term religion in my work seems consistent with the way that internet platforms are homogenizing corporate identities, as this summary (the link) might suggest. Less about what corporate activity, ability, or work that they do or products they make, the platforms through which they present such corporate subjectivities not only limit their ability to be viewed but indeed function as a space of reflexivity which thereby allows them to view themselves as a unique and valuable contribution to the socially economical universe, Even as this universe is contracting in its ability to grant universal value beyond its domain.

Also, as I suggest in The Philosophical Hack, what is significant is our relationship with technology. Less our subjective meanings and relative interpretations of our thoughts and feelings that we have about our relationship (which are indeed valid, if overworked and often understood as substantially ubiquitous), the relationship has more to do with how such subjectivities manifest as the relation. For example, how technology tends to allow us to think our meaning is unique and individual all the while confining that presentation to specific technological items.

We might then see through the lens of counseling, as counselors, that subjective issues may find more resolution by the smaller possibility for explanation rather that a wider one. The more possibility is understood for a context of therapeutic help, perhaps the less individual help will be achieved.

Hence, I might hypothesize that a more coherent and less divisive ideal for therapeutic help is indicated. Less assertions of various conventional scientific methodological truth( this method is more correct that that) as argument (less acceptance of universal subject-relativity and individual argumentative validity) and more theoretical philosophy which might function to supply a model which contains, explains and addresses the phenomenal possibility for therapy.

In other words, less client choice in therapy and less Counsellor self-righteousness about appropriate treatment options, could lead to a more effective therapy as a whole movement and client responsiveness to treatment.

Because it seems right now, on one hand the client has so many choices for therapy that they don’t even know what they might be choosing, and on the other hand counselors as such might be so self righteous and myopic in their theoretical basis that they are asserting a particular type of methodological solution up and against the larger arena of counseling which posits that there could be many effective treatments. I am proposing that if the theoretical basis of counseling is it self limited within a larger explanatory philosophy rather than granted in infinite relativity, then the client might feel like they are actually getting significant help even before the therapeutic process begins.

And I am drawn between.

what-are-eukaryotic-and-prokaryotic-cellI am an artist at heart, but with intellectual reflection. I am a philosopher in an artistic sense, rather than a ‘pure reason’ saint. My experience is not exclusionary.

Hence my dilemma. In not only thought, but indeed act. Where it becomes the most difficult is in our Post-modern Marxist world of production. There is no denying it; rather, the only way to deny the Marxist analysis is to limit what is whole to one or more of its parts. And yet, I deny it through the whole, as a whole.

I think this is the paradox of out current philosophical paradigm. Of course, if we can still see philosophy as divided into two camps, i.e. analytical and continental, then I appear continental.  My problem, however, is exactly in the discernment between the two. For me, though I find myself immersed in continental understanding and usually prefer that style and approach, I am seeing that what is continental is but a sort of subset of the analytical ideal, using the same method of (capital R) Reason — but that discussion is for my books.


My wife is an artist, but is likewise what I call an activist: She’s sees her artistic ability as ethically involved with creating change, dismantling unbalanced power structures through actual engagement with people and groups. She is less theoretically bound than I am philosophically, though she is grounded in sure theory and authentic praxis. Able and willing.

If I might be so presumptuous as to frame my wife’s views: When I talk to her about my book or my music, her view is that the artist does not do art for the purpose of having it viewed by the multitudes. That the art is for personal substance, and that through this authentic substance it will be appreciated  by who it is supposed to connect with, that by virtue of the art itself,  its work will be accomplished. (Do I hear Heidegger?).

Sure. Yes. My wife and I come from similar artistic, generational and theoretical backgrounds.

Nevertheless, I am stuck then in a tiny world where I feel that my art-philosophy is taking place in a space that is much smaller that it is supposed to be working. I still feel that I indeed do art for people to appreciate. I want people to read it or listen to it, to interact with it and me, and to give feed back. Like a community –but admittedly, I am kind of one-sided. Again, the dilemma. But Im not going into all that right here; I am working on that.


This is my process. And it is not only my process but my philosophy. The two are not exclusive but are rather intertwined and inextricable from one another.

It seems I am caught in a condition that occurs as I am attempting to remove myself from it, as though I exist due to this contradiction, and not against it or revolting from it.

It is not a Sartrean Existential situation that I am involved with. The manner I am involved in that kind of Existentialism is through a rejection of its dictates; I am more in an actual complicity with its definitional regimen.  Therefore, my situation is existential in, what I would call, a true philosophical sense, rather than a Reasoned philosophical definitional sense. That the definitional regimen of philosophy is a kind of philosophy which occurs as a condition of existence rather than a confining ontological structure of (big E) Existence.

If I must continue with the Existential bit — Existential angst is something that I no longer encounter, but is something that I am able to view. So it is with a particular kind of philosophy. I am involved with it, but it does not do justice to what is actually occurring.


And then: How do I go about authentically promoting and marketing my book?

That is the question.

Philosophy, Guitar Pedals and the Postmodern Condition: An Essay Addressing how the Ideal of Local Control over Global Knowledge is the Problem Embedded into Modern Philosophy


I play guitar. In case anyone does not know, there are these small devices, mostly for electric guitars, that go between the guitar and the amplifier that alter the sound of the plain guitar signal.  These devices are called guitar pedals. Guitar pedals are electronic devices that alter the incoming signal of a guitar or other instrument. There are all sorts of them, but the one type I am going to compare to philosophy are of the saturation/distortion kind, the phenomenon of there being so many pedals of this kind. Simply speaking, these pedals “overdrive” the signal; they are the sound you are listening to most of the time when you listen to any type of rock and roll. Early rock and roll and classic rock had less distorted tones, and Heavy Metal and Punk Rock have the heavily distorted sounds.

Bye the way; this is not the same kind of analysis as my earlier post, which was an analogy of sound and philosophical signal (digital and analogue). This post is about content.


We still exist in the post-modern condition.

I would assert that any philosopher who does not recognize this doesn’t know their philosophy. And that’s fine. If they want to discuss this, I am surely open.

Link to the PDF of “The Post Modern Condition”.

The very short short version of that short essay by Jean Francois Lyotard is that knowledge, as a category that attempts to engage with the universe in its broadest sense, is limited by an operation of its own reason to give a proper universe which no longer is concerned with what actually may be given to knowledge by the universe itself. The main point here is that knowledge is no longer about finding truth, or to see what is really there; on the contrary, it is about control of knowledge. From his essay we can draw out a couple necessary subsequent results: A thinker qualified as a free thinker must arise within one of two fronts. And, this is because the control of knowledge is done by “the experts”, who are, in truth, convicted to the self-regulating ability of being human and its reason, which then require that all those who propose upon knowledge represent themselves as “experts”.

Ok. I wont go on with that here. More to show through a picture of things, a comparison how both the current boutique guitar pedal interest is similar to the current philosophical interest.

Boutique Guitar pedals and guitar sound.

The main thing that anyone should know about guitar sound is that you can manipulate it with pedals, and that there are different ways to achive saturation/distortion. Saturation and distortion, by the way, are two different ways to say the same thing; saturation is generally low-level distortion, and distortion is considered high level saturation. Without going into all the technical mumbo-jumbo, a signal becomes distorted when the incoming signal is too much for the processing amplifier. If the incoming signal is just barely too much, you get a slightly saturated signal, and we can turn up the incoming signal until it is so much that all you get is distorted noise with no actual tonal-musical guitar signal. For all you guitar smarties: Yes that is an oversimplification of what is occurring, but the description is correct. In between “barely” and “noise” you can get various types of pleasing, or not so pleasing tones (opinion varies). Also, depending upon the transistor, or signal processing device, different sounding of distortion occurs, but along the same continuum.

The point I will make is that there is only so many distortion sounds you can get, but there are 100’s, (Id bet there is at least 1000 different kinds) of saturation pedals. There are only so many ways to distort a signal, and there are only so many types of signal saturation processors. Now, to be honest, the variation of types of processors that can be made is probably quite infinite, but the key is whether or not we can hear the difference; in a way I guess we could compare it to phenotype an genotype, the former is the observed expression of a trait, and the latter is the invisible actual genetic organization. Its kind of like digital media; the early digital recordings sounded terrible because there was not enough processing power to accommodate the vast amount of information in a sound or visual signal, but they realized after not too long, that the human eye and ear cannot distinguish quality past a certain point; with sound it is probably less than 32 bits. For reference, MP3’s are 16 bit, and they sound pretty damn good. I think online platforms use 24 bit. But we are certainly able to process sound at higher bit rates, but if we just want to hear our music in high quality, the use of that is debatable. there may be hundreds of variations upon a circuit, but can we really hear the difference in practical use?

Go ahead and google “guitar pedal overdrive” and see how many pedals are out there.

My position is that for all the supposed different sounds you can get from each different pedal, after so many, I for one cannot tell the difference, and two, playing a live show and making recordings, no one can really tell the difference. You’ll get, say, 10 different blues bands, say, with guitar players each using a different amp and different pedals, and they pretty much all sound the same. Only the people who are invested in being able to hear the distinctions would be able to tell, and then I would say they could only generalize into “that’s a tube screamer, and that is…” whatever other category. I doubt, given a category of, say, hard rock/metal guitarists, any one listening could be able to tell what pedals 20 different guitarists are using.

I play guitar, and I have a pretty good (Id say modestly) handle on tone. And to me, punk sounds punk, metal sounds metal, dgent sound smetal, classic rock sound blusey, blues sounds blusey…etc…

Ill generalize and say that for 99% of people who like music, the minute, subtle differences in the hundreds of saturation pedals and amps out there, are lost and basically pointless for distinction. Only sitting on my room, comparing the pedals one by one can I, with a honed ear, tell the difference between pedals. The fashion is a phenomenon of pure marketing.

Now; do all those subtle variances mean that there is actually a significant difference in guitar tone? To those who are so anal retentive and audiophile yes. But I would ask, then, what is the point of playing music? Is it so I can sit at home and masturbate with my guitar and pedals? Sometimes yes; it is enjoyable. Yet one would have to admit that I am not playing music for myself; I actually want people to listen to it. I play music not for the musicians, really, but for the people who enjoy music. And very few of them can tell what pedal I am using, nor does the pedal I am using make a difference of whether people enjoy my music.

So. I would say that what is actually significant about the tone of my guitar is that people hear the same tone pretty much no matter what pedal I use because the variation in tone is so subtle (for a given style of music), that it makes no difference in the real world. One blues guy uses that pedal, another uses that one: Its all blues to me and the tone of their guitars all sound like Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughn now, and may some like BB King.


So now to the philosophy part.

If the philosopher (of ontology, which is usually the case: philosophers want to consider small things through first grounding them in large ontological truths) is speaking of big r “Reality” or big b “Being”, then why should not everyone be able to consider it? Why should the big t Truth, the truth of philosophy that no good philosopher would ever admit is a big t Truth, be something that you have to have a PhD to understand?

I mean this in a very normal manner: Philosophy is supposed to be about Everyone’s reality, THE world, THE Being, thought, mind, etc.. A medical doctor is not concerning these kinds of things, and so is justified in knowing stuff I should have to have a PHdD for. In fact, philosophy is the only discipline that supposes to be talking about a common Thing, Reality Being whatever, that speaks in such a way that requires anyone to whom it is supposed to concern must invest time in learning it. Physics doesn’t presume to be speaking of my reality; it speaks unapologetically of THE reality. Philospohy is the pnly one that supposed as part of its domain Every domain. Yet not Every domain is allowed to understand it.

If you ask a philosopher about what they mean by any point of contention, you will find that they will invariably not give you a straight answer. They simply cannot tell you what they mean, and I would say, because they themselves are caught in a meaning that they must avoid admitting. Philosophy, as a career but also as a self-righteousness, is the only discipline that must hold something back from the question to answer the question. I admit this because I am a philosopher; I know this to be true.

So I have to wonder what this is for, this philosophy.

What is the purpose of philosophy?  The question is not “what is philosophy”, we already know that, and it doesn’t really have to do with what individual philosophers tell us because they are not answering us directly. So I ask a direct question which short circuits the conventional philosopher’s method of never answering the question by continually putting the answer back onto the questioner:

Is it for mental masturbation or disciplinary group sex, or self-aggradizement?  Or is it for the purpose of involving everyone, of contributing?


Below is a quote concerning a term by Giles Deleuze. I pick on Delueze because I feel his philosophy is often misused as it is misrepresented. But there is a whole industry of congregants who consider themselves philosophers, who, in my opinion, are somehow involved in a different kind of philosophy than I am. I can explain it, but who would listen. lol

I don’t mean to pick on this particular blogger philosopher, because he definitely contributes, so I won’t cite who it is (unless he reads it and wants me to):

“Deterritorialising does not efface our cognitive map but opens it up to permanent revision and self-revision, making its use heuristic rather than dogmatic. It subtracts vertical transcendence.”

My question is, are we even allowed to ask what this means?

For you philosophers reading this, can you tell me what this means? Can you do it without referring to another compendium of philosophical discourses?

I am even having trouble telling myself what it means. lol.

First is the Deluezian “deterritorialization”. I would bet 100 out of 100 people who knows what this idea is, if you ask them what is means, will spout out a bunch a things Deleuze said, and will often even preface it with “to Deluze, it means…”

My question is if Deleuze is saying something important, why must it be referred back into the essay that he wrote about it to understand what it means? If I say “cat” I don’t have to pull out a veterinarian encyclopedia to know what it is.

And the thing is, if I give a definition of what “deterritorialization” means, I will most probably get a number of people who will say that I am incorrect in whatever way because…Deleuze says this about it. This is why I ask if I am even allowed to understand what he is saying without referencing back to what he is saying. If what he is saying is important, should it not stand on its own? which is to say, without having to constantly refer back to what he says about it? should not it be evident what he is saying such that it applies to various things so that I can actually tell someone the meaning of the term without having to refer them to his whole essay?

Here’s mine: deterritorialization is that existence that defies the territory of identity. In fact, as an ongoing critique of Deleuze, I would offer that the very concept defies the meaning of it, as I say, it gives as it takes away.

But some philosophers are so entrenched in the identity of terms to their objects that they will argue with me over my definition, where as if you read Deleuze concerning this very idea, the meaning of it, inscribes itself by taking itself out of the definitional equation, contradicting itself through the definition of what it means. There is simply no other way to say it.

So, that statement up there is saying that this deterritorialization does not suggest that cognition should be thrown away or is an invalid manner to understand things.

Of course it isn’t. Why would we even have to say that? When the concept itself is included in the concept that removes itself. To the reflective philosopher: Here I am reading it; how could it even be possible to think that the idea I had should be thrown away, somehow, even before I read it.

“but opens itself up to permanent revision”  Is that not a giving and a taking away? a permanent impermanence. That clause right there make me have to ask what the point of saying it is?

“..To constant revision..” There is is again.

“…making it meaningful instead of dogmatic…”

so really the idea of deterritorialization is the process of making meaning (a territory) that is permanently impermanent and under constant revision (difficult if not entirely contrary to the idea of territory) rather than according to some rules (of territoriality). But isn’t that very statement an assertion of the rule of how deterritorialization is supposed to be understood?

“It subtracts veridical transcendence.” ( did he mean vertical or veridical?) a transcendence that is “from up to down” is now not true, and or , the truth of transcendence is not true. Is that again not a giving and a taking away? The rule that I just gave you about how deterritorialization is to be understood, should be thrown away.


Sounds to me like everybody missed Wittgenstein so they could keep having something self important to talk about.


So. My question really just what such a philosophy is about, one that appears to reform itself in different terms that are taken to, at once, say something new or explain it, and yet, get us no further that what the original statement meant?

Why are we still going on about it? if we cannot agree about what it is? Because it seems to me this kind of conventional philosophy does its best to avoid having to account for itself.

It seems to me there are 1000 different manners of constructing sentences that are all really saying the same thing about the same thing. Yeah each one of those people, each one of those thousand ways see themselves as saying something significantly different than all the rest. Are we allowed to even say or suggest that we should dispense with all their identity politics? At least in philosophy? Granted there will always be those who insist that each identity is important and saying something unique, but cannot we also give credence to the fact that they’re all saying the same thing about the same thing without negating their privilege of being able to be unique? Would not a more constructive approach to truth and the existence of things take into account that the multitudes and variation of appearances can be categorized into saying something very particular and specific? Might with then be able to move forward?

Intoxication and Reason, and philosophy.

All things being equal, can we say that a person who drinks a couple glasses of wine wine in the evenings has the same mannered reasoning as someone who never drinks alcohol?


What about a line of cocaine at lunch, instead of coffee?

Vicodin? OxyContin? Herion? Just in the evenings, to take to edge off?


Magic mushrooms?


Valium? Xanax?  I just take one before meetings, to help me relax.

We are not implying anything about addiction; only about the common category “reason”.

I ponder this because I think it is naïve for people to think that everyone is “sober” in their reasoning.

And I take it a step further to consider people whose job it is to think about reason, namely the philosophers.

Think about how offensive it is if I was to say that if you drink a glass of wine at night or maybe a couple beers in the evening when you get home that your ability to reason the next day is actually shaped differently then someone who doesn’t drink it all, or someone that only smokes weed.

I’m sure the alcoholic purists would say that weed and alcohol are two different situations entirely, and if we brought cocaine into the mix I’m sure the anxiety levels of those so levelheaded casual drinker’s would go out the roof: I only smoke crack on my morning break; it keeps me focused and motivated.

But it is something legitimate to consider.

I think that it is even possible that philosophy as a discipline is miss-cued or otherwise moves along a direction that is false if it does not consider the possibility that reason does not occur through humanity as a common category . That this common category is presumption upon the world and not actual fact that is coming from the world. I even would dare to say that most philosophers are not being totally honest in their philosophy.

And if you look at the post modern philosophy and the somewhat current critical theorists and stuff who basically all derive their methodology from postmodernism despite what they want to call themselves, ( it’s like saying I don’t piss, I urinate, or, that’s not shit, that is the digestion a product of my gut; are we not talking about the same things?) What they’re really saying all the time is that there is this common category called reason and we all get to partake in applying that common category or and faculty upon the world and upon our ability to communicate, and then we get to discuss it on a level playing field. They are saying through this common category we don’t have to talk about what it actually is, we’re going to talk about the actuality of what we call it.


I wonder if this philosophical endeavor is colored over the fact that people of different states of mind are actually speaking on different levels, so to speak, even speaking a different language, One could even say, yet using the same terms. That despite how thoroughly definition is an acted it completely goes by a person of a different state, even as they might redress the definition by using the same terms.

I wonder if philosophy is a discipline that is caught in a haze of its own making for the purpose of exulting this what I would call “transcendent” glory of Reason?

Because if you think about it in these terms we really have a description of philosophy for the past 200 years that is caught up in the very terms it tries to critique, enacting, not something that all human beings do or that reality manifest by, but something that it’s self is a serving upon the rest of reality: terms like “colonialization”, “Oppression”, and “systems of power”.

It could be not that this is how reality is is or this is how humanity functions or anything like that, it could be more that philosophy argues it’s self and asserts itself over the rest of reality and over the rest of humanity as a self justifying critique, it’s self the colonizing and oppressing power that it critiques, like a magic of smoke and mirrors. And the rest the of the world goes “ooooo…aaaaahh” ! They must be thinking and discussing things that are so deep and so smart and intelligent!

If this is the case, then a truly radical critique of structures of power would be able to locate philosophy itself and its discourses that occur along the lines, It would realize through such an event that it is able to pull itself out from the self-critiquing, self depreciating and self justifying correlationalist world. It would convey a feeling unto itself that it no longer had to justify its analysis to that real correlationalism because it is not involved in that kind of assertion of power, colonialization, and oppression, that it sees itself not a part of because of the simple fact that it is open to the possibility that exists beyond the common (shall I say religious?) category called Reason, that closed and colonizing world. This would be so much to say that the reason that I engage with is not the same reason that philosophers tend to want to lump me into. That by virtue of such reason, the reason that is not offended of itself such that critiques of itself do not cause a reaction, not cause what Kierkegaard calls “anxiety” and what Sartre called “revolt from The abyss of freedom”, those mechanisms of excess, by virtue of the absurdity that I am not a part of this assumption of common reason, we might actually be able to see what kind of power is actually occurring, what exactly is the system or state of Being that is enacting this kind of power that it perpetually tries to overcome.





I feel like a rebuttal to this idea would go something like this:

“Just because you say you are not a part of the common Reason doesn’t make it so.”

And I would argue:

“yet, oddly enough, thats exactly what conventional philosophy says makes it so, so long as you get enough people to agree with you, directly or implicitly by joining in with the argument. Philosophy is allowed to submit reasonable proposals that argue that the reason why it is so is because they are saying it, that is, making an argument about it. I am merely saying that there is no “Reason” that could argue that a reason necessarily is the common reason that philosophy is supposed to be talking about or from. And likewise, there is no reason, beyond the argument which say it is so, that Reason contains all human reasonable reason. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. And exactly what I am saying about states of reasoning that are taken to be within a common sort: The assumption is that discourse reflects a common medium of reason. Perhaps it does not.”



Analogue vs Digital Philosophy.

Sound and Philosophy.
I am a music producer so I have some knowledge about sound and signal. If you are interested in what sound processing entails as a block of concepts, I imagine I might do a little bit on sound and philosophy in a post later. Or you could look on line.

But here’s just an intro into how sound and knowledge might be similar.


The issue of communication is not merely a conceptual exercise. It is an actual lived experience that has been conveyed into philosophy with an interesting outcome: Some sort of communication is occurring, but in particular instances, it is difficult to tell just what kind. In some instances A is being communicated as A, and in other more usual instances, A is being communicated as B C or D…, depending on who you talk to, but with an odd sort of occasion where the ‘receivers’ of B,C,D still think they have been communicated A. This phenomenon is similar to what Zizek calls “changing the past”.

Since the mid-19th century we have found that there is an attempt to communicate something and that this attempt is not always successful, but again in an interesting manner. In the 1960’s Martin Heidegger spoke of this peculiarity in a series of lectures made into a book called “What is Called Thinking“. There he speaks of thinking in terms of a progress that is not made in time; that is, the progress that is the successful consummation of this philosophical communication does not occur as a proper historical phase, but rather involves a moment of thought. The theme is this book is “what is most thought provoking is that we are still not thinking”. It is interesting to note that this occurs after World War Two, because before the event of the engagement with the Nationalist Socialists, it was thought that this “thinking” was indeed linked with a historical progression of the likes of Hegelian “Historical Consciousness”. Now, in 1965, Heidegger is telling us that he (and many philosophers as well as a kind of cultural knowledge) was wrong.

But this somehow has not deterred people from thinking that they have begun to think, as a historical motion. We find traces of this in the Frankfurt School (the final solution has not arisen yet and, in one manner of looking at it, they were pondering what could have gone wrong in the “historical consciousness” that lead to WWI, attempting to find out what had been misapplied), and then Sartre, and Foucault, then the postmoderns, Lyotard, Derrida, and Delusional Guitar Player (Deleuze and Guattari). Then we find it in, what we could call the ‘post-Postmoderns’, Zizek, Badiou and Laruelle. Of course this list in not exhaustive, but there is seems to be something at work that has allowed those authors to be listed primarily, even if it is a presumptuousness on my part. All of these authors come about within a context of not still not thinking, for they indeed have begun to think. Graham Harman, I think, finds a significance of which Im not even sure he himself put his finger on particularly, namely, that while all these thinkers may have begun to think, and are thus involved with a certain (out of time) historical movement, Heidegger was at least correct in as much he noticed a problem against which he could not help but hold out hope for. This hope that extended from at least Nietzsche, had brought him to have to say that we have still not yet begun to think, even as those who would want to think that they are thinking by “…offering an overall exposition” of Nietzsche’s work . Harman has the philosophical acuity and balls to realize that “we” will never begin to think. We can find this implication in the assertion he made in the Harman/Zizek Duel-Duet, that we have always been dis-enchanted. The point here being that indeed the reality has been that the enchantment that Heidegger was involved with in his “still-yet” was exactly that: a fantasy.

But this fantasy in not what one would think. lol. The significance of this fantasy, this enchantment, is that it is never communicated in its truth. This could be said to be what the Frankfurt School was just beginning to notice back then, and after a time, this is what why the issue of communication came up with the postmoderns, because the fact is that such enchantment occurs, people do begin to think, but the truth of the Same (Heidegger) is lost in the attempt to communicate; this is an apparent fact. This fact is what brings the post-Postmoderns: Zizek with his complete capitulation to the paradox; Badou pointing out the issue of the two: Laruelle holding firm in the historical consciousness as a communicable situation.

There is a reason why I call Deleuze and Guattari “Delusional Guitar Player”: While the Frankfurt School was trying to make sense of what this ‘saturation of the signal’ was exactly, Deleiuze and Guattari 25-some years later mark a point when the ‘distortion’ of the ‘philosophical analogue’ (see below) signal was noticed as distortion but likewise being taken to be readable (see above video), such that whatever would be communicated as the distorted signal would be accounted for as indeed part of the communication, as accounted for in their philosophy: This is enchantment par excellence, and is why we have all the subsequent run-off Deluezian philosophies that have eroded more or less into “philosophical fictions” at one end and pure admitted fantasy at the other. (Laruelle’s version has likewise been commandeered by such ‘distortions’) with some people in the middle still debating over what is really going on.

We find this because we should not rub it in; we cannot continue to yell at people, like Nietzsche, anymore; its like beating a dead horse, we need let it be.

The continued attempt to communicate how what withdraws from thinking which then gives something worth thinking about might be communicated is failing, indeed has failed. This is the significance of Harman’s move (and perhaps the Speculative move in general) into the Object. A completely new way to speak about the situation at hand without having to retread over and over what had already been retreaded so many times and will continue to be. A clean break was called for. And even still, a divergence.


The noise made by this event thus brings me to think (lol) about analogue and digital communication. The significance of digital (it seems) is that it can communicate accurately over long distances. Perhaps, what is being communicated through time that is actually outside of time, is something that is being communicated “digitally”, where as conventional philosophy is more like “analogue” communication, where to longer the distance traversed by the signal when the signal is read, the more distorted the signal.


Post Text:

When are we still not yet thinking? This is what the whole thing pivots apon, yes? For we know Heidegger; he loves a turn pf phrase. All along we will have been thinking, yes, what I quite bit of thought to ponder, this “still not thinking” as the most thought provoking thing. But it is! For everyone is obsessed with thinking; who is thinking best, who is helping the most people with their thinking, who is making the most money… So ti is that we might have bank of ideas that we disseminate to the students. But Heidegger’s teacher does nothing of the sort; all these thinkers thinking about the food for thought that is not thought provoking, but is merely thought promoting! Thought is that which is central to man, and man cannot be anything but the center of the universe in the many possibilities of ideas and concepts.

So it is that what is most thought provoking is that we still are not thinking…for we are not thinking at all. 

It is the distortion that is thought. In all its precision and ability to choose on various things to talk about and how to talk about them. We can’t undo this. The signal itself, though…well; that might be another matter entirely.

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

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

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

via The End of Dialogue? — Larval Subjects . 


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

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

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


I wonder what you might think of this:

I was thinking along these lines:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Here I get speculative:

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

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


I do get grandiose; for sure.


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