Toward a Unified Philosophy of Counseling: Object Orientation

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Counseling and Family Therapy Scholarship Review

Volume 3 Issue 1 Article 4

An Essay Concerning the Possibility of a Unifified Theory of Counseling

Lance Kair

Regis University, Department of Counseling, Division of Counseling and Family Therapy, Rueckert- Hartman College of Health Professions, lkair@regis.edu

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Kair, Lance () “An Essay Concerning the Possibility of a Unified Theory of Counseling,” Counseling and Family Therapy Scholarship Review: Vol. 3 : Iss. 1 , Article 4.

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Kair: An Essay Concerning the Possibility of a Unified Theory of Counse

An Essay Concerning the Possibility of a Unified Theory of Counseling

LANCE KAIR

Department of Counseling, Division of Counseling and Family Therapy, Rueckert-Hartman College of Health Professions, Regis University, Thornton, CO

The Object-Oriented Ontology of Graham Harman, also known as Object-Oriented Philosophy, presumes to describe an ontology of all objects, including human beings. This essay shows how the discipline of counseling can benefit from such an ontology of objects. To move into this particular case of an Object-Oriented Ontology of human beings, and to distinguish, initially, at least, between the object that we are now concerned with, or will be soon, and the universe of subjectivity, I propose that we refer to universal objects, which is to indicate objects that exist in the universe, however we might define it. In this universal sense, we must take a step into the object that is the subject by removing obstacles which will hinder discussion along object ontological lines. The epistemological obstacles which get in the way of a discussion of the object of the subject may include (1) the science of the mind, or psychology, and what I shall term (2) conventional philosophy under which a sort of regular understanding of phenomenology is organized, which is to say the general philosophical tradition which has developed around the ontology of the subject, the subject of reason, knowledge and discourse. We will see going forward, for a unified theory of counseling, though, that the phenomenology of mind is the most pertinent obstacle.

KEYWORDS: Counseling phenomenology, object-oriented ontology, conventional philosophy, the Two Routes

The Object of Counseling

What is counseling? The subject of counseling is well known to trained counselors and philosophers alike. Counseling generally concerns the human being and its mental or psychic aspects and how these might appear to be involved with a person or persons in the world, and to help such people. Of course, definition of just what counseling might be involved with can be debated, but in a strict, open and obvious sense, the subject of counseling is what the counseling is about or for. This, however, does not get us very far. Counseling is often strongly associated with the discipline of psychology but, being still a young discipline, looks to its older siblings, which includes psychology, neurology, and social work, for its philosophical support. Nevertheless, counseling appears on the scene in its own right attempting to distinguish itself from these older family members. This essay is a part of that effort. The catalyzing issue on the table will be, what is counseling?

A primary issue addressed throughout this essay is the problem with a usual method of approach on all things counseling which supposes to grant credential to criterion to essays and proposals which best cite evidence-based research. Note, however, before reactions are engrained, I do not suggest that such an approach is inherently incorrect or misinformed. The ‘either/or’ polemic no longer central to our point, ‘and’ becomes operative. The view upon this paper which sees an argument toward how the just-mentioned method is incorrect is based in an incorrect manner of viewing the meaning of this paper. Nevertheless, counselors do often admit to a certain doubt around the scientific method; it is plain that scientific research is only capable of

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encountering and making statements upon a minority of experiential impressions and outcomes; that the outcomes by which it is able to honestly comment truthfully amount to, again, only a portion of reason for why a person may or may not be behaving or expressing in the manner she does, and that such comments say even less about what solutions are effective, and should be applicable, than they do about the purpose of the experiment.

While those so scientifically faithful will shudder at such blasphemy, we need only point to the miserable statistics representing any approach to mental health, to the effervescence of new approaches and theories of the psyche, its various ideals and healths, to understand the poverty and basic depravity involved in the continual advocation of an exclusive method called science upon a field which is so obviously resistant to its enforcements and lures. To answer this failure of myopic and stubborn assertion against the facts, this paper seeks to explore an opening; the claim is that mental health will benefit more from a sure objective philosophical bedrock which allows for honest viewing of subjects and outcomes than it has from the relative and philosophically arbitrary methodological reduction, restriction, workings of closure and career that we know of under the rubric of empirical research science.

The Empirical Problem

The substance of various counseling theories and approaches which make arguments as their main support gives rise to two main modes of counseling: (1) strict training in specific application and knowledge of theories and their protocols (Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies; Gestalt; Existential; Psychodynamic; Dialectical Behavioral Therapy; Systems Theory; etc.), (2) integrative and/or eclectic approaches which suppose their validity in not limiting their approach to one specific theoretical protocol of intervention, which further propose to be able to understand to varying degrees and aptitudes the ideas behind the various interventions and thus use a variety of such ideas in session as the client might or might not respond to them. The disciplines of psychology, social work, and counseling have only some specificity—which each might be quick to point out more than some—and often claim the same work space and client involvement. Upon looking into the particular specificities of each, and upon analysis, often we can find only further theoretical, academic difference and capitalistic difference (names and titles), while the effort is already often integrated in actual practice. Counseling appears to be involved in doing something different than its heirs, but actually is turning out to merely add more reason to not distinguish the various disciplines except in name. It seems as though counseling is the place where the most vehement differences in theoretical belief are allowed to be held at bay for the sake of having empathic kindness to all human beings as well as allowing oneself and others to have a valid opinion about the truth of our situation as mental health practitioners.

One might begin to wonder what the relationship is between the actual state of mental health and the confusing discipline which proposes to address it. In this night of theoretical assertion, one might begin to see less a correlation in attempt to solve the growing problem by adding more and more theoretical approaches to address the increase in the amount of mental issues in society, and perhaps more correlation in the growing abundance of approaches contributing to increased need. People in their turning don’t know where to turn, and where they turn could be said, if we were to ask even a few people, is already founded in a generalized ideological confusion. Indeed; if there is an actual and specific item called mental health, we should no longer assume it is similar to physical health. Despite the history of psychology which would presume to have established such a definite item, in close analysis it is not difficult to see

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that the idea of such an equity between physical and mental health is itself most often an ideological construct, at that, inflated in its conceptual ability and effectiveness. Given an honest and introspective rigorous philosophical look into the ideas of mind and mental health, it becomes more sensible to understand those tenets of what we regularly and generally know as psychology as specifically ideological, in contrast and in distinction to a usual postmodern reductionism which might argue that everything is ideological. As we shall see in Triple-O, such ideals which come forth through ideological identities, e.g. mind and mental health, are at once both only ideological and actual – different in nature – without collapsing into, contradicting, or negating the other. Yet, by contrast, where each is understood to be able to nullify the other, say, because every statement is a subjective opinion, there is the possibility of theoretical solutions that arise only as or within mental constructions put forth in argument or as empirical constructions elicited by evidence- based research. If indeed there is an actual and specific item that we can truly identify as mental health, then it has only partially to do with such methods in as much as such methods are regularly understood to be sacrosanct in their ability to grant a truth of the human mental being in the world; we see an example of an implicit cognitive distortion working in such a reduction that would suggest that it is not partial but rather entirely actual (all or nothing thinking). We say partially because we must admit that indeed there is faulty thought at root in the effort that is supposed to be informing us about what is not faulty in every such proposal, even as we might call it empirical or scientific.

The Phenomenological Problem

The issue that is drawn upon for this essay is a logistical one; namely, how is the subject- thinker able to get outside of itself sufficiently enough to find a true scientific object of mental health? How does thinking overcome its limitations to be able to consider what is not informed by that limitation? What is not only the elements which may constitute a thing, but what path do they take, and just how do such empirical elements traverse the mental barrier such that thought is able to have them in its domain? With this in mind we must then see that the seminal philosopher Immanuel Kant was actually showing how all and every human behavior (including thought, but every occurrence otherwise) merely occurs according to its own imperative; in our case, the Pure Reason. Then the problem he poses is how it may be the case that we think or believe that everything is not occurring according to some universal plan, that is, not determined in both cause and outcomes, which is, the hypothetical imperative or Practical Reason. Yet, without having to reference the whole virtual abyss of philosophical material, there is sufficient discussion about the history of psychology to now admit that such a science as presented above is at worst merely an ideological assertion and at best a theological assertion, developed by minds probably more interested in the establishment of their own names and projects than it is them actually having seen this actual scientific substance called at some times “the mind” and “mental illness” but most recently “mental health.”

Nevertheless, as we will indeed see through a philosophical discussion about the nature of counseling as a discipline which will be distinguished from its forbearers and contemporaries, the question for counseling can no longer be suspended in an ‘unknown yet acknowledged’ relativity or mere argumentative practitioner’s opinion which we leave to the barer of subjectivity. If we are to attempt to get out of this ‘chicken or egg’ conundrum of mental health supply and demand, the significant issue now is not whether any particular method towards affecting or addressing mental health issues is better than any other, but whether we will still leave the responsibility of mental health in the hands of a theologically relative subject. In other words, can we as counselors take

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the honest step to consider and accept the object of our effort, the thing that is counseling? Similar to an initial and basic therapeutic intervention where we may ask the client to slow down enough so to be able to ponder facts, the issue for a philosophical basis of counseling is: Can the counselor take a moment to stop reducing the therapeutic relation to a situation between subjects, and that only?

The Real Problem

Though it might seem strange, the answer we are seeking is not a manner which disrupts or changes the individual’s counselor’s personal theoretical ideal. Thinking from the object will not change the actual therapeutic relationship, however it may be.

Another issue which an object ontology of counseling mends is if it is responsible for us who want to be able to help someone suffering from a mental health issue to offer them a general field of helpers who have little more common ground than that they want to help, express empathy and know how to actively listen? This effort, which I have identified here of counselors, who often have no more substantial philosophy under their efforts than, basically, selling the prospective client a ‘mine is the best’ theory of recovery, basically leaving the client to the chance of the draw to what is available or to what or who is referred, or, telling the client that there are hundreds of theoretical approaches and interventions and that you, the suffering client, just need to search and choose from the plethora of varying notions of what mental health is and how we treat it? Then to ultimately settle on what has been handed to them by cohort or Google or what counsellor they like the best? Can we not by now be honest and consider the possibility that the internal confusion involved in the effort to help (psychiatry, psychology, neurology, social work and counseling) could have something to do with exacerbating the explosion of mental health issues that we now face everywhere? If we include philosophy as indeed a valid way to discern knowledge and wisdom, we would do well as counselors to have a philosophy that is not mere “whatever you think”; this is to say, some actual reflective and insightful reasoning could move counseling off from where it has been epistemologically beached.

Again, this is not to suggest a new way to counsel. The point here is to develop a legitimate philosophical ground for counseling as a discipline that is more than just artistic, spiritual or scientific license upon evidence-based research; such methods amounts to no philosophy at all. Such a philosophy, if we must reduce and assign a philosophy to that kind of intentional myopia, is itself what we know as a conventionally informed phenomenalism but without the actual knowledge of what phenomenalism is. This doubly mistaken understanding of a phenomenology of mind is an insufficient philosophy to address real things; i.e. real things are intentional, neither real nor a thing beyond the thought involved in a discursive negotiation of them. I suggest presently psychology has no philosophy of reality because it draws upon a history of scientific truth, then as well, where the assumption is that true reality is accessible by the mind is not a philosophy either. They are merely examples of a reflexive method, or a philosophy of reflexivity, that is, subjectivity without reflection.

Perhaps it is not the creativity for coming up with ways to help presenting clients with their issues that is the true issue, but the philosophical platform upon which we are placing such theoretical givens toward praxis. It seems we need a philosophy which makes room for all such theoretical approaches, one which only disclaims those approaches which propose to be outside of its philosophical description. Our effort here then is like every good philosophical effort, which is, to be inclusive of what is most broad of the category given us, and this is to say, to allow counselors to be counselors, to do what they do, and allow counseling to be, without the interference of their

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having to assert particular theoretical righteousness of effort amidst an ontological inconsistency or generalized ignorance. A philosophy of counseling would include all forms of counseling, their individual theories, methods, applications, ideals and interventions, and would present to us what the object of counseling is.

The Two Basic Philosophical Questions

The Object-Oriented Ontology of Graham Harman is able to be viewed, like no other theory before and despite its specific argument, as evidencing an answer to two questions that plague philosophy at every turn. The first question: Is philosophy a name for what thoughts thinkers are able to do, as in thinkers are able to think thoughts? In other words, is philosophy confined to an approach upon things and the universe where one must and can only spend philosophical energy analyzing all the ways thoughts can fill or otherwise occupy thinking? Or, the second question: Does philosophy get to, address and then speak from what may or may not be essence itself, as they say, the thing in-itself? These questions revolve specifically and irrevocably around thought and nothing else, for the failure to address this phenomenon represents a decision that has already been made and assumed in the presentation of the philosophical position. Due to the nature of philosophy itself, then, because it indeed most often appears in some context of thought, it seems that it would be naturally subject to an effort which does not pull punches when it comes to what exactly is being done; the logic of the psyche makes its primary claims to the workings of thought. The issue thus falls plainly in the realm of the subject of psychology where the subject must become a philosophical issue. A psychology without a philosophy which informs its ontology is also primarily problematic philosophically; this is also the issue I hope to address and make some constructive suggestions upon.

Everything philosophical first must rely upon an answer to the questions above before anything else happens, at least as much as we might be thinking about it, or we are simply reiterating the post-modern theological mantra of the special human being suspended in new discourses—much of philosophy since the 19th century can be understood as the new kind of monotheistic religious apology for the modern human. By contrast, the maxim here, upon an object ontological ground, is a rose by any other name would smell as sweet because it is a rose. We are not quibbling about terms, meanings and definitions. It is becoming apparent that the various counseling and psychological theories are complimentary in practice despite their arguments of exclusivity. The philosophical approach which would problematize statements is always in large, phenomenological – which is to say, based in an unquestioned ability of a human thinking subject that is making meaning. Yet one is never dissuaded from asking the meaning of “stop,” for example, and never see that the meaning is different than the definition. The question which splits thought unto itself, though, to mark religion as a vital and inseparable element of the being of human in every arena is whether thoughts do anything or are anything in-themselves. The question is no longer either how to remove the religious component of all thinking, or what we mean by thought and thinking, that is, it is no longer what is thought and how to correct our conception of it. No longer is mere questioning itself automatically a credible method for finding out what a thing is: Such a method finds that a thing is always a thought or a definition that arises out of thought; altering the definition of the term does nothing to change the fact that we now have come across and are forced thus to admit.

The significant question is the relation of thought to its definition, or in other words, how we organize what thought actually is. To continue to proceed into thought by asking what it is

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through the same method is a redundant operation. To reiterate; the deconstruction of words by reorganizing definitions assumes an ability that is left unquestioned, that is thinking. If we deconstruct the term ‘thinking’ by the same manner, we must deny whatever definition we come up for how we are to proceed to know the truth of things through definition. The issues for psychology in general then are whether we can indeed find a thing that we can identify as thought, and what does it do. However, it is a non sequitur to suggest that thought is the name for a conflation of neural processes, for again we are being philosophically loose in the estimation, relying upon a certain kind of ungrounded faith to overcome the redundancy which has been implemented. Likewise, sense, as a simple body action-stimulus, as the five senses, does not except in pain or extreme pleasure ever overcome sense as in the coming upon things of knowing, as something might make sense to us, and there is more going on than whether or not we consciously are actively noticing thoughts occurring.

The next question arises how we would know of something that is outside of the knowing of it? Traditionally, this is the phenomenological question of the thing in-itself, to which the answer has justified science to allow it to make its own claims upon a domain which is assumed to be particularly given to the human being. Science merely must rely upon a philosophy that it denies by its internal logic of method and operation, however, to thereby retroactively assert what it is not, e.g. not relying upon a philosophy which is never disclosed to thereby assert a philosophy of the activity that has already occurred. This is redundancy, but this time a suspended judgement upon an inherent contradiction, that is, a judgement made to dispel the suspension. Must we really simply redefine the parameters of thinking, at that, redefine what we mean by the word thinking in order to ‘not’ think something else, such as the given object of science? Are we really allowed to merely talk about what we speak of? Where does that leave thinking?

I refer to this methodological redundancy as a theological suspension because it operates despite seeing it for what it is. Despite the conventional philosophical method which calls for changing anything which is noticed, this notice is just a notice for the purpose of being able to see and observe. Also, for the purpose of epistemological distinction as opposed to logical elimination, I call the approach that is not theologically suspended, description. Nevertheless, the method of theological suspension, and its modern correlate science, seems to be what the philosophy of at least the past couple hundred years would have us operate by; whether specifically stated or not, thoughts are assumed and implicitly rely upon a human ability to commune with transcendence, something ‘other’ which calls to the individual to action, albeit, immanently. The question is about how we discern what action is to be taken. Is the activity implicit to the scene, or is there some work to be done in order to be able to actually notice what is being presented at that moment? Simple philosophical definition, even a definition of thought or thinking, while evident in history, is revealed as a philosophically lazy method for the discerning of things, and probably a questionable means to discern a vector of action; philosophy and indeed science of mind would have it that we are able to define ourselves into a definite world, or at least have a definite world that we are defining. The problem of the chicken or the egg seems always best solved by an implicit theological faith; one wonders though, how a mind would be able to accomplish such a miracle, that is, believe something into existence, but even the science of neurology relies upon this ability.

Graham Harman refers to this general kind of ability or state of modern identity as knowledge; it works and gets things done, but it never achieves what the doing actually is while also positing what allows for the object of knowledge, and just as thoroughly and often never is able to find us the thing in-itself. The suggestion in this odd, believable and widely relatable suspension (modern knowledge) is that we should be cautious when we posit a phenomenology,

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then, because the usual phenomenological arguments any graduate student knows stop holding all the water here. If we wish to get to something substantial, as opposed to something which just works at times but at all times, then we might wish to begin to apply what we know of mental health into the process of philosophical reckoning.

An Entrance into a New Teleology is a Closure of an Old Ontology

The two questions now arrive at the beginning of philosophy, apparently assumed or missed in history. They were missed because the assumption is that a common reason can allow for a common ground amidst a field that is otherwise unknown yet knowable through the definition of a common ground (suspension). Yet these two questions go to the heart of what philosophy is as opposed to what philosophy means. If it means anything, then whenever we begin to say we are involved with philosophy we are allowed to play an old school game and feign one or the other depending on what is given us, what suits our need to be right and validated, to avoid claiming responsibility for our acts; we insinuate a vacant, or perhaps negative, phenomenology, what is known in Triple-O as the object that withdraws from view, but in other circles the result is the same; e.g., the indivisible remainder (Zizek) and even void (Badiou). Any consensus is merely an arbitrary stopping point – faith – but also one parameter of limit by which we can discern an object.

The notion of withdrawn object is relevant to counseling. Counselors are trained to suspend their own judgement and bias, to be curious into the client’s phenomenology which appears in the discourse they use; counselors persistently poke holes in their own ideas (preconceptions and implicit biases) about the client by being aware upon multiple levels and often evoking responses from or outright asking the client about what she really means by any statement they make, though other kinds of involvement are also used. In short, the counselor must be and not be while the client is allowed to be, but the discipline regularly avoids this contradiction through having the client and counselor to be together or at least at the same time. We might be inclined to ask if they likewise be in the same space. From that kind of implicit denial, though, in counseling as well as philosophy, somehow, we are dissuaded from asking questions of that kind let alone about those three kinds of Being. We are silently persuaded to uphold a faith. Whether or not we find any actual substance in these methods, actually, does not matter because those methods are the way we avoid the issue at hand, which is the philosophical issue of method, for the sake of justifying the subject thinker to presence – not Being withdrawn – and their ‘personal theory’ which moves then toward a non-unified and idealistic discipline.

Further, the general way counselors approach the therapeutic relationship is through validating the client’s experience – little concern is given to the counselor’s experience – in the therapeutic encounter; the counselor may indeed grow from it, but by definition, it is about the client. In one light, we have the medical model, aka. neurology, psychiatry and often psychology (such as psychoanalysis and psychodynamic but also cognitive and behavioral therapies, and most likely others), and we have the blatant failure pointed out earlier of the orientation which supposes that the mind has a structure, can be diagnosed like a physical organ and that solutions can be organized and mapped in the same manner; these theories overtly present and rely upon an ‘expert/patient’ dichotomy. Here, the expert is ‘absent’ by definition of the relationship, his presence arriving through the reliance on the compendium of research, that is, what is not really there or there only by virtue the expert who is not unloading the theoretical postulates upon the client. Then in another light, a salient philosophical issue arises in the therapeutic theories which suppose, theoretically, the counselor and client to be involved with or otherwise co-create a

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transparent therapeutic environment (such as Feminist theory) in a neutral therapeutic space. A philosophical problem appears because there is a contradiction founded in a space occupied by two people of unequal power (the counselor/therapist holds more power). Hence, there is no ‘consensus’ between the counselor and client, no ‘agreement’ on method. Thus, we can say that any agreement is already implicitly ‘outside’ of the client’s ability to make an informed decision about any co-creation or transparency. It is the power that the counselor is already wielding (for ideological presence) which allows for the client to agree or for the two of them to come to a consensus.

One must continue to keep in mind, though, that this essay does not propose to negate by reduction of argument through the mere showing or revealing of the situation. We are involved with a description of the situation as it is philosophically – the object of counseling – while not necessarily suggesting a problem with any particular method of counseling or that an improvement can or should be made; any argument would be a part of the contradiction, a part of what we must allow to remain suspended. The two therapeutic examples above can characterize two extremes, or parameters, of possible professional psychotherapeutic involvements; though the format of the essay can convey an appearance of critique, the intention is involved with only the facts of situation. There is no ulterior meaning to glean from the situation at this point but that there are indeed these different manners of therapeutic approach and that these manners have good analogue for a segue into a philosophical consideration of the object of counseling.

The afore mentioned contradiction upheld by a methodologically withdrawn aspect is suspended in the following manner. If I am doing philosophy in an effort to get to something significantly essential (say, for counseling, a therapeutic consensus) or to say something about it and I find, in response to sustained barrage of questions about meaning and definition, that there is nothing essential that I can communicate, then I can revert to the argument that we are really only dealing with a multiplicity of thinking human beings who are all allowed (according to modern philosophy, at least) to see things differently, i.e. have different realities and worlds, and admitting that, we then move to find a reasonable common ground – which then is the phenomenological intentional consensus where what is absent is suspended. Then on the other hand, if philosophy is merely a name for what thought is capable of doing, and the arguments cycle down to suggest that thought is not doing anything, that indeed thought reflects, views and expresses only itself at all times in both perception and assertion, then I can take up an argument that there is something more essential than thought, or something else of which thought is but a weak reflection and retain the absence in presence, for example; again, the consensus. Where then are we finding a reasonable ground which conjoins these two manners of argument? In every case, the reduction must fall into a choice of subjective reason – what can we do – since there is no phenomenologically subjective manner which can objectively weight proof to either side. Any argument I would wish to propose merely relies upon one of those methods (truth procedures) which I have chosen in advance for any condition. In order to retain my subjective philosophical primacy, I will choose not to agree depending upon which condition arises: If thought has an essence, if thought is an object in-itself, then the argument will be that it has no essence, but if thought has no essence, then I will argue that I have subjective intentional primacy and privilege to create my own reality. The issue here is thus whether a common ground has any meaning, and this is to say, what ground are we speaking of? Hence, this last is the significance of the object: In terms of counseling, it is the therapeutic relationship at every instance, the consensus implied by the expert or made overt through transparency.

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In the case of much of our current eclectic and integrative approach to counseling, that which appears as more essential are the products of science, neurology and supporting research- based results to which both client and counselor are subjects. Yet, as I have already submitted, this is only because counseling as a discipline has no overt substantial philosophical basis; its philosophy (if we can indeed generalize the multiplicity of theoretical approaches to counseling into one category) tends to develop in hindsight as a theological apology. Such vacillation (between assertion of the common science and the apology for the realization of nothing common) can be seen all through the ages of Western philosophy and its concurrent events and practices. The most infamous is (the conventional misreading that is) Kant’s idealism, but the simplest example is in Jean-Paul Sartre’s primacy of existence over essence. The contradiction of having the meaning of his proposals have no initiating essence, which is to say, having really nothing to be able to comprehend because everything merely exists, including the argument, demands a theological apology, which comes in the form of the given philosophical assumption of thought – which, rather un-ironically, itself is argued to be grounded in nothing. If everything is grounded only in thought, then what grounds thought? And what grounds nothing?

In the end, both conservative and integrative approaches to counseling merely refuse to attempt to say anything about an essential ground due to the implicit idealism inherent to a certain philosophical extension of phenomenology. I submit that the refusal is based in a theological ideal which inadvertently and ironically allows, on one hand, for a philosophically unsubstantiated recourse to the scientific ‘evidence,’ mentioned above, provided by technology but without, again, having a rigorous understanding of just what technology actually is in any sense that it can or should be applied to mental health in general but what could better be called the individual psychic manifestation. Then on the other hand, creative or artistic improvisation makes up for the implicit ‘lack’ of science. In short, counseling relies upon a sort of religious hope that its methods might work. However, far from suggesting a solution to this conundrum, as though we might be able to overcome this methodological issue, this essay will instead attempt to describe how such a conundrum forms the essence of a substantial theoretical ground for the collective effort of mental health counselors, that is, the object of counseling.

The General Theory

This essay is an attempt to lay some groundwork toward a unified theory of counseling. The general topic proposes that an orientation upon objects is central to a philosophy of counseling. This philosophical approach arises in some coordination with Graham Harman’s seminal treatise on objects called Object Oriented Ontology. This essay also describes how essence has been placed as further removed from knowledge, to be defined redundantly as an ‘essential place’ or thing in-itself that is out of reach, and how this situation reveals an actual truth which can serve as the substance from which counseling as a free, curious and creative effort toward solving problems of mentality and psychic forms, may derive a sure practical validity. Essence, in this case, is what we all know as essence, the essence of which is defined in whatever manner which stays consistent with what we already understand as essence before we apply the operation of philosophy; essence is foundational as definition is itself indeed defined without having to be defined. If the subject is Existential, then the object is essential. We concede the point that whatever we define as a specific essence is itself indicating an essence as we understand it regularly. As the anthropologist cum philosopher Bruno Latour might agree, we deal with what is in front of us before it is reduced to nothing by modern phenomenalistic philosophies. While new

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ideas and philosophies should and can arise, understanding where philosophy has brought us thus far, the task of philosophy as a category, the self-identity that is philosophy and nothing else, is in our case no longer to create new arguments toward reductive metaphysical truth or to support the assertions of subjective priority. The task now is to take responsibility for what we have before us, whether it be of the past, present or future, to organize the chaos which informs us to our phenomenological nothingness, our relative chaotic realities. In the words of mental health, as counselors, our task is to be able to present viable ground upon which the generally discomforted, disorganized or disordered mentality may find a certain reflexive solace, that is, a substantial ground upon which therapy may do its work. As witnessed by the overwhelming surge of mental health issues in our society, the present philosophical ground of an unknown and unknowable relative creative or scientific therapeutic license has proven to be insufficient.

Modern philosophy shows us that there is, at once, no one method by which to ascertain the truth of a situation in order to apply a solution, but also, no multiplicity of methods which likewise is able to address all problems with success; a specific set of determined values is required in order to arrive at any solution, and this involves a question of access to excess. Access never occurs anywhere; it always occurs at a specific place, even if that place is a multiplicity of places (the place is multiple). A case in point is the generally acknowledged failure of the ‘top down’ (which is actually redundant and retroactive) psychoanalytical manner of grafting a theoretical model of psychology (the excess that the theory relies upon) upon all human beings (the point of access). This assumption of a general but specific validation of methodological activity gives rise to the discipline of counseling acquiescing silently to a “whatever works” approach that encourages creativity, intuition and empathy that we call integrative. Every creative endeavor is accepted if it produces results (and no egregious complaint) and whether or not the results can be measured; this is what phenomenology is, the phenomenon always in the end avoids ‘the other’ and slips through our fingers, under or over our grasp; discursive, narrative and open. We thus teach and seek conceptual and practical flexibility over rigidness. Whether a theoretical system of counseling, or an improvisational approach, whether religious, spiritual, or scientific, each often achieves results (within particular social and ideological limits or circumstances). Definition, while useful to get things done, does not really tell us very much about the thing in question across theoretical paradigms; always there is some aspect of the thing which alludes our understanding, which exceeds knowledge. We may indeed have a theoretically closed explanation and correspondent application, but always some, if not many subjects do not respond. Always, some are left out, by definition, that is, due to definition. It seems any conventional method is actually only concerned with most and not all suffering human beings, and this is significant to the object of counseling as a whole, that is, in-itself.

In general, the role of the counselor is to allow the client, with some guidance, to fill out their own meaning and enact their own solution, or for any term, to become empowered to themselves in the world. Again, we are dealing with essence and not merely existential definitions, not merely argumentative or researched ‘proofs’ of effectiveness; no matter what terms we use to inscribe particular theoretical methods to effect outcomes, as counselors, we want people to be able to come to their own sense of ability in the world, a solution that they own, embody or otherwise Be, whatever that is. This essay is not attempting to argue a new way to counsel nor a new theoretical approach; we have enough of them, and people will undoubtedly come up with more. What we find, though, in the general effort of counseling, inscribed by postmodern ‘idealism’ and scientific empiricism, is that even as we encourage creative and integrative approaches, the allowance for multiple effective treatments is itself an existential contradiction in

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terms solved by defining ‘universes of terms’ (the theory) and the conditions that must be enacted or brought about by both counselor and client. We find this everywhere in practitioners decrying other methods as well as adhering to their own ways despite the failures: Denial and assertion, or, reduction and assertion.

Indeed, the French philosopher François Laruelle describes for us this condition. That which is philosophically sufficient unto itself, i.e. the therapeutic approach which serves some issues but not all of them, necessarily denotes a common and unitive ‘non-philosophical’ solution outside of the particular therapy’s ability to reckon, outside of the theory’s accounting. This is to say, the contradiction involved in the general approach of counseling shows that any solution always arises in correlation, but as well as in the failures (contradiction of contradiction). In order to allow for the general effort of counseling in its own manner or manners, without negating any particular approach, while also accounting for the unique effectiveness of each under a common and specific conceptual paradigm, we call the therapeutic correlation which arises in existence, an object.

Consistency and Cohesion

The genius of Graham Harman is that he simply told us that now, with his Object-Oriented Philosophy, we going to talk about objects; in this essay, Object Oriented Philosophy (O.O.P.) will necessarily be involved with and communicate Object Oriented Ontology (O.O.O., pronounced “Triple-O”). The problem of his philosophy, at least from the phenomenological standpoint, though, is that he didn’t give us a way there. One is simply supposed to understand the conversion involved without a philosophical path to get us there. How one gets from the centralized thinking subject, or in our case, the relation of subjects such as between the therapist and the client, each who is always involved with itself, to a consideration of an object in-itself that lay outside of the thinking subject’s purview, is never shown to us or explained; it is implied in his philosophy but the method of argumentation has often yet to succeed in pulling us out of our correlational subjectivity. This is to say that his philosophy behaves from the standpoint of the not correlational, i.e. a subject ultimately free in its phenomenological ability to make meaning. Nevertheless, the simplicity of finding this apparently esoteric path comes when we understand what Harman the philosopher is doing outside of the conceptual paradigm of his philosophical proposal; by simply moving to talk about objects, he implies that all along philosophy has been invested in and constructed by a generalizable human grounding essence called thought. Martin Heidegger could not even be so forthright in his discussion What is it we call thinking? So indeed, not so ironically, it is very possible that a certain general historical effort of philosophy has been more about the doing thinking, while psychology and counseling has been upon thought and thinking. The untying of the knot of eternal subjective relativity (the given of the subject of meaning, where psychology assumes; yet, philosophy assumes) is in order for an object to be truly known in-itself. We can begin to talk about the being of thinking.

The notion is nearly ridiculous when we think about it. Here, not only do we not need to go on to reference and compare voluminous lists of philosophers and theoreticians and their respective ideas, but if we were to do so then we would have to ask why we would need to take notice about thought in this way; because, the reference would be assuming a reflex that philosophy has the monopoly for designating everything that has to do with thought (which it indeed does argue through a whole linage of ideas about language, discourse, text, sign, signifier, etcetera, the meanings of which get so convoluted, one has to wonder where one begins and one ends and if there is indeed a common thing that any discussion concerning those items really involves just

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because they use the same terms) as opposed to or within a context of various disciplines, in which philosophy is but one. We have then to wonder if philosophy is able to suggest anything about anything if indeed its method will conveniently refer out an answer to another discipline which, at any moment, it does not wish to address.

The question on the table is whether or not we are involved with philosophy itself or merely a definition of it. Triple-O refrains from reifying the centralized thinker, so many might reply, “of course Harman’s philosophy is involved with thinking, this notice merely shows the contradiction within Harman’s philosophy that makes his move weak”; or in the terms of counseling, “how could mental health not concern thought?” However, my point is that this contradiction allows for a strong move, a move which allows for a substantial ground of practice. In other words, a phenomenology of a subject never exceeds itself for anyone else to be able to apprehend or comprehend because always something is missed in the appropriation, and because any appropriation (comprehension, conceptualization, perception) is made by another subject of the same limit. Any difference, such as that posed by Jacques Derrida in his grammatology, is ultimately based in a contradiction of the phenomenal subject; this is point that Kierkegaard makes of Hegel and is also why what I shall generalize to call the Continental tradition of philosophy mainly concerns itself with the issue of transcendence or immanence: Because the contradiction that is come upon by an unproblematized given of thought and thinking (and its step-brother, reason) can only be solved by relying upon the idea, which is merely another name of spirit. Hence, phenomenological idealism and the realist counterpart Harman calls Object Oriented Ontology. Any subjective application of solution (totality) is therefore always denying the validity of the theoretical subject (definition), and that this is the significant theoretical feature that faces us for a philosophy of counseling. Harman, in effect, is saying that the philosophy which we call phenomenalism describes a condition (a totality) whereby thought is contained by itself and thus never reaches the object in-itself, and that this philosophy is but a particular manner (a definition) of thinking about things. This is a radically different take than a philosophy which historically might have typically posited (or denied) a path of itself getting to essence, or even existence. This is the crucial and significant matter at hand, for philosophy and as well, as I propose, for a unified effort for counseling; an object-oriented foundation of counseling concerns the counselor herself – “in-herself,” so to speak, or the in-itself object that is her subjectivity – and not so much the theories or methods she employs. Less how a counselor ‘sees,’ but how that seeing might miss the object: Once a counselor is indeed a counselor, involved with the therapeutic relationship, she is concerned with how the client sees because the client is the object of the subject of the matter at hand.

The Object That is The Subject

Because the distinction brought to light above is not usually made overt but is rather mixed within an idea of a common arena of philosophy, the insinuation by assumption – that a philosophy of counseling must and can only make a statement about what the therapeutic relationship is made of and or what it is supposed to do – works on our emotion, but which is here mainly our sense of want to be included in a valid community. The lack of clarity which is built into the idea of a common arena, whether we call it philosophy or counseling (the category ‘philosophy’ also speaks to a ‘philosophy of…’ counseling, in this case) is what calls for a conversion, or a change in view or orientation upon objects, for it to have any weight. By the conveying of a sense accompanying or beside what we are actually doing in philosophy (or counseling), Harman’s move communicates a norm that we did not know was in operation, which is that in the actuality of philosophy we had

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been dealing only with thought and thinking the whole time and nothing else. Thought is assumed so common that no discussion about it is even suggested outside of the traditional philosophical lineage; we find the only avenues into discussing thought is by avoiding it through speaking of where it is located or what it is made of (neurons, brain) or what it does (traditional psychology and the various theories of counseling). The significance of O.O.P. is that Harman holds this up in front of our face and defines for us this tradition by relying upon it without our explicit consent. We are thus shocked out of the love of wisdom every time we rely upon thought as an assumed philosophical given.

The confusion persists paired with this silent influence and is noticed as the assumption that we have been actually and indeed dealing with a certain kind of phenomenalism but which we did not fully acknowledge or realize we were involved with. We are hit below the belt, not only because as avowed phenomenologists we figured we did not have to be explicit in this (it was assumed a common knowledge by the term), but also because the practitioners of this system, such as within Harman’s brand of philosophy, a species of (speculative) realism as we stay in modern knowledge-cognition, we find a secret motor that reveals Object Oriented Philosophy as another name for a confused stratagem that we have come to know as postmodernism. Despite what Jean- François Lyotard, who is noted for the term, may have indicated by incredulity toward metanarratives, it is possible to view speculative realism and O.O.P. more clearly through the lens of a postmodern rehashing of phenomenalism rewritten in different terms, a central thinking subject secreted into an absolute realism by the magic of misdirection. This is all to say that this is speculative only where everything arises as a type of thought.

Further, a very short version of postmodernism allows for a ground of a thinking subject in her world justified through the ability to manipulate discourse. Harman relies upon a decried yet strangely involved speculative realist interpretation of this ability for intentional manipulation and proclaims it through the assumption as the fair game. In other words, orientation upon knowledge-cognition by simply using different words and a different palate of terms, Harman understands his playing of the game is entirely justified by the arguments that he is able to make, the main or pivotal argument of his Object Oriented Philosophy being the one that he decides needs not to be made; that is, the thinker using discourse gets to choose his topic and thereby intentionally talk about anything one wants by changing the foundational or central term around which a constellation of terms orbit; the center of gravity shifted, the map of the universe and each body within it likewise shifts; the definitional center changed, the definitions of the objects change such that they appear thus different or in a different light; the whole universe changes.

This then goes back to the gut punch which communicates that philosophy was never really about what we think it was, because in a semantic universe terms can be changed arbitrarily and at random. This is the question that Quentin Meillassoux voices concerning how if the universe is indeed discursive, or is merely a phenomenological correlation, then how there is any consistency at all? As he writes: We should then be prepared for waking up one day, or even walking to dinner one evening, to the universe suddenly having completely changed beyond recognition or totally fallen apart. In this light, we might begin to entertain what Cedric Nathaniel ponders of Slavoj Zizek’s exercise; namely, if we are able to change the basis upon which the very notion of change is understood and yet notice this change, then the very discussion of an idea of a universe is found to be about nothing, which is to say, that the only continuity in philosophy is in the argument that one is able to construct successfully. Hence, no one could have thought differently because we are dealing with a ubiquitous essence that we call thought which is able to notice this kind of change. Harman takes what was at one time (note Heidegger) only implicit and makes it explicit as though

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it was always, or should have been, obvious: We are dealing only with thought and not merely its contents. This is the significance of Harman’s extended argument presented in his book “Tool Being.” However, because Harman makes the move there to speak only about the possibility of conceptualizing thought’s contents (in this case, objects) which lay outside of phenomenological omnipresence and omnipotence, through approaching things in opposition to the phenomenological approach which analyzed the inclusivity and correspondence of thinking, he thus left a gaping hole – a conceptual vacuum – into which philosophy disappears (as we see in the recent issues of the end of philosophy, end of history, post-humanism, post-capitalism, etc., which arise after nothing, or after brute existence or after finitude) to thus leave us with the issue of how philosophy is ever suspended as an epistemological foundation by which to look into every activity, event or object that could be or have been, in the first place. This resultant conceptual force arises outside of the phenomenological primacy to point our concern directly toward what is left: Objects in general, but the specific object at the heart of the great philosophical hole, thought itself. It is this philosophical vacancy which brings about the occasion for a new psychological intervention called the discipline of counseling.

Nothing is Substantial to the Universal Object

Nihilism, or the act based in nothing and hence the act which is likewise ontologically empty, the result that is the reduction to absurdity that is called ‘nothing,’ the unproblematized given located at the center of every conventional philosophical issue, is that which is actively and intentionally denied, that which shall not be spoken of due to the embarrassment implemented by someone else making a definitive move upon a meaning which no one wanted to (really) know themselves. When nihilism is spoken, the term is itself is split into either a meaning of something that it is not, i.e. the talk about nihilism, or the embodiment of the ‘tremendous mystery’, the object by which nihilism is knowable. It is the emperor’s new clothes either upheld by the most beautiful outfit that has been made, or revealed for what they are: The new clothes allow Being to be denied through reference to something that we are able to have opinions upon but is not really there, or to be finally admitted, and thus viewable, for what it is.

We call the embarrassment which accompanies the revealing of the truth which lay at the heart of nihilism, offense. We do not know nothing even as we might know of nothing; the embarrassment is shown not by the intellectual argument around embarrassment, but by the reaction that is the intellectualism – because the intellectualized act would always wish to have nothing identify a particular essence which is not itself – to refer out to something else, instead of what it is. The discussion which continues around the topic of nothing is itself an intellectualization of a basic offense in the thinking itself and a quick move to pave over it, to act – ironically – like the problem is moot, like it is nothing. Zizek references this kind of response to the Vichy Government in World War Two; namely, a government in name only which functions but has no effective power. Similarly, philosophy, left in shambles to be a fractured ideal by the foreclosure of Laruelle’s Non-philosophy and powerless to hold itself together on its own, can only be resurrected through the act that disregards the rule which no longer has teeth. No rational act can arise except to act outside of what the argument would denote, and no argument can piece back together what has been torn asunder; the only way to hold it together is to deny that the rational act is something that arises outside of the argument, behave then as though it is inherent and within it, and to assert itself as indeed implicit to the argument. Yet by this notice, the rift is already apparent. Philosophy thereby becomes something other than what we thought it was.

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The argument that Harman successfully makes, in as much that it was the only one that has to be made for his philosophy to meet success, is that no one is able to call him out on the argument that he feels he does not have to make: It is the argument that he makes anyways, it is the O.O.P. argument. This behavior (in contrast to what it likes to make believe of itself in rationality) then agrees with Victor Frankl’s logotherapeutic assertion that meaning is that capacity of the human being which arises out of situations wherein the human being is subject to determinative powers against which she is completely powerless. Incidentally, it is possible to read Harman’s ontology as the determinative aspect of love involved with gaining wisdom.

This argument, as mentioned a couple times already, is the essence of phenomenological irony; namely, the philosopher is signaled to the embarrassment that she thought philosophy was concerned with something more than asserting the power of thinking and manipulating discourse, and due to this emotional reaction, that which is argumentatively consistent, or, that which we might enjoy seeing in the history of philosophy or the intellectual linage that can be associated with all things philosophical, must turn to some other manner to uphold its cogency. For Harman, it is simply objects. A discussion of objects which includes the human being as an object has no direct link, as yet, no bridge which connects the subject-thinker to the object outside of its thoughtful and reasonable domain. Such a move has relied upon something that exists outside of the traditional or conventional phenomenological method of coming upon the world. Indeed, Harman gives us entrance into a new world.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with having conversations or changing the topic; it happens all the time and wonderful ideas arise from them. One of the things Harman has done, though, is put that orientation upon things which I am calling conventional philosophy on notice that it no longer holds a special place for doing anything; his O.O.P. is the perfect example, i.e., it does nothing: The nothing it does is the conversion. Instead, as Harman suggests here and there, his philosophy, as well as any philosophy – now – can be put to use. Philosophers are historically in the middle of thought that is using things, such as, the use of finding out what a thing is made of or what it does; now we move into how philosophy itself is being used. Nothing, as opposed to another philosophical idea to play with, becomes a foundational substance of things and thus allows for a different kind of view upon the universe—because it is nothing to be concerned with.

Another thing Triple-O does nothing for is modernity and progress. Following Bruno Latour into his networks and time, the drum major Harman with his object-oriented ontology has signaled philosophy to ‘mark time’, or march in place, despite itself, still keeping the locked and stable tempo, but moving nowhere. The philosophical tune still plays, the drums create a sound like the band is moving, the people further along the parade route can hear the band, but the band is not coming. By now, some have gone home, but many of the people just started entertaining themselves, and we can still hear them humming the phenomenological, intentional, speculative philosophical tune with a nice motif of realism. No longer following the band into the center of town, people are forced to do their own thing. The irony inherent to this kind of philosophical presence, as well and thus the postmodern brand of phenomenalism embedded in an Object Ontology, thus allows for some reorganization, albeit vicariously caused, a building of a sort of kinetic energy, but a new kind of energy. The tumbleweeds blow down the street, the children lap their lollipops, the parade parishioners cool themselves with ornate as well as newspaper-folded and handy battery fans while leaning on street signs and light posts glancing at smartphones; some people are happy, some curious, others sad and anxious, some are mad. As well, there is people, there is happiness, there is sadness, there is curiosity, anxiety and madness. Objects begin to appear as if out of nowhere, such as the color of the street and sky, the echoes of the band around the

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corner, the scent of one’s neighbor standing there on the hot day, and the feelings of hope, as well as annoyance and irritation—a whole field of objects never encountered before. All the while the band still marks time, playing the real tune, but not moving, or as Latour might say, standing in still time. All this time, created by the move into realism, allows for things to get done, or, as might be better described, allows for things to fill out the subject that is based, now, on nothing, that is, the subject of Object-Oriented Philosophy, to its objectivity. The subject is brought out of time to be what it is as an object of the universe, or as I say, a universal object.

The Object is Substantial where The Subject is Correlational

We find significance with Harman’s ideas, even if we might disagree with his arguments, for now the question that faces philosophy has to do with how such a simple assumption disrupts what we know to call history. As discussed by Nathaniel, the problem becomes noticeable as realism just before Harman’s proposals appear, concerned with the assumed general philosophical method (the ubiquity, as philosophy is automatically assumed to be inseparable from a particular method) and not so much with any particular arguments, philosophy (the object we can call philosophy) would appear to make. In fact, as we see with Laruelle’s Non-philosophy, it is the method of argument, that which is assumed inherent to the or a ubiquitous method, through which the problem of philosophy itself arises. This is the problem of irony, but the more specific and true manner of discerning a problem located also by Latour, which is, reductionism, the flipside or mirror image of correlationalism; once the last reduction is understood we are left with a vision arising from impasse. In his book Beyond Finitude Quentin Meillassoux coined the term correlationalism to indicate the problem of how philosophy might be able to get outside of its own subjective limits.

The issue that Harman then shows us in relief of his own work is in his attempts to argue (reduce) that we are able to get outside of philosophical correlationalism by simply using different words and phrases. For example, instead of philosophy being at all times an application of the intellect to discern and solve problems of reason, philosophy is now and again the love of wisdom. However, we can also surmise why or how he came to such a solution: Less that he was dissatisfied with so many arguments and more that he was bored with the usual post-modern phenomenological developments, which is to say that he was already in love, so to speak, not alienated from it. Yet the formulation of how he was able to make such a big splash in the philosophical world now should be obvious. Thought is determined in knowledge understood as sacrosanct to philosophy and unimpeachable, and the discourse apparent to thought is allowed to be manipulated by a withdrawn aspect (the thinker) which is the subject inspired through intuition. The key to this kind of magic which occurs right in front of us is found when we understand that philosophy is addressing that which is outside of it already, which is reality itself. Hence, Harman’s philosophical position arises within and without the postmodern phenomenalism; to a fish in water swimming in a medium it cannot discern which is its natural and obvious universe, Triple-O is like a bubble floating up from some never before known ‘beneath’ to a never imagined surface beyond which a new medium can be found; Triple-O reveals not only the water to its being, but also the water to its actual universality, which is to say, as water with a threshold beyond which is air, for example.

Those Speculative philosophers in general, and Harman in particular with his Object- Oriented Philosophy, make their whole claim upon a thought that is able to address things that are not thought, not bound by thoughtful intensions; hence the speculative disclaimer. However,

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where Harman shows himself is in his rejection of what some philosophers have been noticing is more theological than philosophical; that is, in the doubling-down and raising the phenomenological stakes to its spiritual (in the local) sense and religious (in the global) sense. This downplaying of the theological reason to thus make what is ‘other than’ a philosophy appears to restate that reality has to do with communing with a transcendent, and appears rather myopic as much as it might take the theological tact in this way, for it tends toward an advocacy of thought that misses the responsibility to the world it inhabits and makes claims to for the sake of ontological authenticity as it appears to only restate postmodern phenomenalism in new clothes, or new terms, as the case may be. This faux pas is due to the implicit assumption of thought as it is conveyed into history accompanied by a philosophically proper manner of understanding the world. Harman proposes to avoid this fall into transcendence by speaking of objects that are defined as not subject to the thinker of thoughts; though beyond the scope of this essay, where Harman closes off that connection, interestingly enough at least one philosopher, Adam Miller, in his book Speculative Grace, has attempted, with some success, at opening wide this unavoidable conflation of elements.

Harman thus is involved with an intentional denial of the philosophy with which he is implicit for the sake of speaking about objects, and not subjects, and counseling typically does the same thing but subjects not objects. This is the irony at the heart of his move: There is no intellectual argumentative justification for his move beyond the actuality of the move itself. This is to say, the move is determined by emotion, or rather, love; counseling could do as well by getting out of the intellectual justification of the emotional task which is the therapeutic encounter. The intellectualization would then be left to the subject of the particular psychotherapeutic theory, whether it be for the counselor or the client. Perhaps psychology is motivated by the intellect, but we could hope that the desire to help is more motivated by love for the client, or people in general. So, by his decisive move, Harman thus is able to indeed address objects—objects that are typically and regularly understood as common, empirical, physical, “out-there”, non-subjective objects, as well as the object that has been typically assumed in the term subject, i.e. the human being. The problem highlighted by Harman’s move for us is thus indeed the subject. Yet, because Harman, in his career, is involved with a more architectural project of how objects might inscribe spaces of knowing, or how this might be the case, I take up the yoke of the object that we call the subject, or in our case, the object of counseling which is the therapeutic relationship itself.

How can this be? How can Harman actually be talking about the subject? His is called Object Ontology, the being of objects; how can I now say that the significant issue at the heart of his work is the subject? We have already been over this earlier in this essay. It is here that we find the real significance of his move: The object of his object-oriented ontology is the subject of his philosophy. In the final analysis, the analysis which once took philosophical knowledge as getting to something essential, phenomenology was found to be insoluble, which is to say, contradictory to its effort, or as I will say, contradictory to a particular manner of viewing philosophy’s (world- ) historical effort. This conclusion, or the conclusions, of phenomenological investigation such as with Alfred Whitehead, Henri Bergson, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and what can be understood as phenomenological political extensions as we find with Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, was that the phenomenon often enough is a self-justifying effort, and that this kind of philosophical justification is located in the power of the argument to concord with reason as a world-invested manifestation. Not one conventionally understood philosophy that we can label phenomenological has at its root a non-insular, expansive or inclusive justification of the subject itself, whatever that may be. The subject is routinely understood to be infinitely justified by itself including what is knowable of any ‘other’, because, as well, any ‘other-ness’ is mediated

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by the subject. This is the whole of intentional phenomenology and this is why, often enough, any example categorized as phenomenological will do to indicate a belief system, worldview, or rationale of the speaking person for any instance or circumstance. The contradiction though, again as we already have noted, is that somehow every ‘other’ gets to do the same thing. The common theoretical use of phenomenology, or the idea of it, no matter how philosophically imprecise or incorrect in its rendering, means the meaning that an individual person attests to, but without accounting for the contradiction involved in knowing phenomenologically what the other phenomenal subject is meaning; hence the speculative theological gap-stop of theology, spirituality and religion. For how could a subject have a universe of meaning into which everything is mediated and still be able to comprehend or even come across a meaning which is not that subjective meaning? It is a phenomenon, an unexplainable feature that this essay highlights. To recoup the proper phenomenology to the various authors and their own particular arguments is therefore merely to point out the proof of my assertion here; namely that phenomenology as a philosophical foundation has no actual common foundation; before the late 20th century it was called irony, but in truth it is contradictory to the nature of a certain manner of viewing objects. Phenomenology is, most regularly, the analytical attempt to reduce an inherently contradictory condition to something non-contradictory: An idea which then posits itself as involved with something that is the not itself which we regularly call ideology. It is thus by this contradiction that the subject is able to be found in-itself, which is to say, as an object, albeit, irregular to the modern conventional understanding. Triple-O accounts for the contradiction of phenomenology as contradiction itself; in Kierkegaardian terms, the thing in-itself which arises outside of the phenomenological reduction is contradiction cannot be gained through a qualitative leap.

To round back to a philosophy of counseling: The point to be gleaned here is that it is not incumbent upon the client to know about or have any access whatsoever to such philosophical gradations of argument such as their status as a human Being. The point, thus, is exactly a Non- philosophical maxim: The potential of the phenomenological manifestation of any individual, what we could call ‘soul’, is intact and not impinged upon even as conventional philosophical arguments might leave such phenomenology as an ideological residue, a contradiction and its qualia which lay at the heart of a modern ideological subject or what can be correctly called a theological, ideal spirit. In other words, the subject that is a philosophical object is indeed a subject of counseling, however the activity of counseling might proceed into its efforts. We are able to allow what is of spirit (see Derrida’s article on Heidegger called “Of Spirit”) to retain its spirituality without being engulfed by a phenomenological theoretical universe. An object-oriented approach to counseling does not say anything about how such therapy is allowed to occur or what a counselor is supposed to do—what counseling does— within that therapeutic involvement with a client; in this way, every conventionally permitted theoretical activity is not negated but only explained as to a common thing that is the therapeutic relationship.

Phenomenology identifies the space characterized by an inability to come upon the ends of thinking reasonably or even philosophically – phenomenology is the space – and amounts to the conceptual basis for why a philosophical foundation of counseling as an effort or discipline need not pry into the rooms where help can occur. Instead, the object that is counseling is more definitely outlined for what it is (a universal real object) even while it is also able to be understood only as what it is made out of or what it does (a subject of an all-encompassing universe). So far in modern philosophy, we have only entertained the subject of a ubiquitous semantic universe grounded in nothing; this could be contributing to why counseling, psychiatry, psychology, and social work – the disciplines of mental health – and all the various theories have not, in large portion, helped.

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Individual theory addresses particular instances of problem, but we are implicitly confirmed in our (post-)modern phenomenal subjectivity that our inspiration, reason and sense should allow us to apply a particular theory to every issue of mental health that arises.

The short answer to the question of how the subject is an object is usually not realized for what it means, so the long answer is found in the myriads of voluminous treatise of past authors who were concerned with the subject of the universe: The object that is typically called the subject that is regularly associated with the human being is conveyed in those works; the parameters of the subject, its limits and constitution, have been laid before us. Anything further philosophy might propose as to the constitution of the human being as a subject, such as various ways humans deal with any current real manifestation of world, biology, politics, economics, etcetera—what it is through what it is made of or what it does—ultimately has already been outlined to the philosophical possibility of how such doing does. Human creativity is endless. We will always have to deal with ideological ramifications of the subject coming up against oppressive limits, no matter what discourse appears to account for them, or vice-versa; hence the need for counseling but as well a substantial ideal for what it might be. In the end, the call for Harman’s work is the realization of the last instance of subjectivity, where, begun with Ludwig Wittgenstein, as Nathaniel describes, the subject is to be found a universal object. Once the long and the short answers have been taken, the simple answer is the term ‘subject’ is already taken. The subject is found to be contradictory in its essence, which is to say, the philosophical investigation into the essence of the subject showed only the subject and nothing else.

This conclusion of only nothing is intolerable to the knowledge understood by conventional philosophy because it means that any proposal is ultimately self-referential absolutely; as Harman has noted, it does not account for or allow room for change. The philosophical recourse to the finding of this end, then, was historically to typically and simply deny that the investigation was investigating something essential. This was the move Jean-Paul Sartre made. Sartre gave philosophy an essential justification to a subject which is ultimately self-referential, a subject which finds at its ends a freedom which extends into nothingness, into an abyss of limitlessness. His solution was that the individual must then simply deny the truth of the analysis, revolt from it, and assert its own idea of sense within the renewed limits of the common existence as though freedom itself can be redefined in its essence. We find then that the core of subsequent French philosophy simply followed suit by remaining in a silent Hegelian universe of phenomenal synthesis, which is to say, synthesizing what is able to come to mind as though what comes to mind is justified in-itself, but in a manner where the ‘in-itself’ mind stays out of the picture for the purpose of justifying its own inspired intuition, or, something that arises from nothing. With Harman’s move, the conventional philosophical method arises in opposition to staying with the limit that had already proven itself by that mind and its ways; with his move objects are allowed to be various ‘in-itself’ objects, and the human being is allowed to retain the character its philosophy may have argued for the category of the subject to become an object in-itself as well, albeit, a universal object that we can now identify as the human being. Hence, the identity we call human correlates with the condition that Meillassoux coined correlationalism, but also the sure way out of it that no conventional philosophical subject seems to want to grant credence or even notice.

Coming to Present

We have only what is presented before us, obviously and apparently. For a thing to be true, to be found in-itself, we do not have to find predecessors nor make an argument of how this may

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be the case for it indeed to be the case. The argument (any argument) that is made in this regard (that no one else, including myself in the debate, has formulated or is able to formulate a reason which proves that what is before us is universally accessible) arises in the conditions available to everyone under particular conditions; the phenomenal subject with its various personal constructions, representations and qualia of worlds and realties need only to look at the fact of its own world-constructing ability and limit to understand the subject as an object, hence, where the therapeutic relationship is the object that arises of the subject in a direct encounter with itself thus the other.

The object that is a tree is always a tree no matter what meaning we attach to it or term we use to designate it; the bat made from its wood still will break noses, the noses will always be noses and blood will spill. The meaning we make from such objects, that is, the subject, is some thing different; in coming upon this difference one either revolts or accepts, there is no middle ground. One either changes or not. Yet, the stranglehold of the existential revolt of the modern individual into a theology of subjective correlational and conventional phenomenological ubiquity can be loosened by an empathic view of one’s self. The self is where all subjects and objects reside exclusive from one another. The issue, then, is less how to get out of the infinite regression of subjective meaning, the philosophical condition wherein a counselor will never be able to encounter a client or vice versa and where theory is hopefully applied, and more to simply to see that meaning itself grants an egress by the fact that there is a specific instance of meaning which understands itself through contradiction, as contradiction, which is, that there is another subject which is doing the same thing of being eternally correlated to its own semantics (aka, Derrida’s difference). The relation to be noticed then less concerns knowledge than emotion. Rather than a soft plying of phenomenological community upon either/or reductionism and denied contradiction, the significance here is a hardline philosophical conversion; the universe fills what ideology flattens. The universe is not simply meaning made from the intentional subject, but also the meaning gained through intention offered through the universal object, which Alphonso Lingis may have liked to call a universal imperative. In session, by ethical definition, the opening is made by the counselor just as it is the counselor who establishes the therapeutic environment; the confidence implied of the encounter now gains an added measure of integrity because the counselor’s activity is grounded in a universal philosophical substance which supports her own theory of knowing, being and intervening, in contrast to a mere intellectual assertion that every Being be subject to an exclusive practical theory.

Plurality is now epistemologically permitted to actually be plural, for Being to be in its plurality considerate of multiplicity. Now open and expanding, one simply draws upon the network of objects which occur regardless of what argument one would want to make; subjective relativity now adheres to the rules which have established its justification for sensible pell-mell meaning- making instead of reifying the simple intuitive capriciousness by which it justifies the random pulling of reasonable meaning out of a transcendentally justified magic hat. The argument, instead of witnessing an eternally inspired phenomenal subjectivity, now becomes the transparent evidence of its own objectivity. This is the move from a hypothetically suspended justification of universal subjective semantic relativity (subjective praxis suspended in an essential unknown) into a substantial and categorically philosophical ground for such relation (a ground of praxis from which unknowns may be encountered in-themselves and the subject thus investigated).

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Kair: An Essay Concerning the Possibility of a Unified Theory of Counse

Moving Forward: Intension Evidences the Orientation of Sense

Within this field, now defined, we have the condition described so far, of Harman’s business, the reasons for it, the repercussions of it, the ontological basis for it, as well a basis for its practical application to the discipline of counseling; i.e. an object-oriented ontology of counseling. Yet, it is this last which shows that the argument that Harman is making does and does not follow his intension. It follows his intension in as much as he mainly uses arguments to establish a cognitive position for himself in a field of objects which have nothing to do with subjects except as a philosophical counterpart and platform from which to move onward to assert the ideas of his mind. He is able to do this and we are able to understand intuitively what he is doing due to a view upon philosophy which has thought as its impetus and foundation, a view which holds history in place and the thinker as central such that the thinker is able and validated in redefining terms and discourse to his liking, even to the extent that the thinker need no longer be confined by that historical lineage but can indeed use it to justify a flight from it, all the while remaining true to such linage.

Strangely enough, the intention appearing above makes no room for a commonality of human interaction called counseling because the ontological basis of counseling and Harman’s philosophical intention are thus equivocal, that is, both arise as phenomenologically real items (subjects of ideology and therefore argumentative); the ground is lifted again. Nevertheless, the ability to locate and describe what Harman is doing phenomenologically thus allows us to identify the objectivity involved and say that it reflects a particular orientation upon things; I submit that where Harman’s O.O.P. argues and deals with a particular and real ontology of objects, by contrast, a true philosophical effort as might imply activity (in-itself) in contrast to having been derived from activity (philosophical or phenomenological reason) concerns orientation upon objects. This concern is quantitative in the Kierkegaardian sense (faith is that which is already a leap, as opposed to the basis from which we leap in hoping); from this position we now move into an object orientation of counseling. It is a true effort because the effort does not attempt to isolate intension to a singular thinker or thought such as concerns real agency. Rather, the effort merely moves to describe the sensible situation of a particular object, albeit, one that is doing its ontological activity, or its teleology, such as the object of the therapeutic encounter. The truth of this effort allows for the objects of philosophy, which are, the central thinking subject of mind and or spirit (phenomenological, ideological or power derived, narrative, existential, cognitive, and neurological, amongst others), and the object of the subject, to rest together with equity in a very real and responsive non-philosophical, unilaterally dual space and which occur together and simultaneously, interactively and intentionally of a universe, while not necessarily reducing to one or the other, not making claims upon the other’s veracity and effectiveness, in what can be called an asymmetrical, non-zero-sum, ontological state. Here, on one hand, phenomenological Being must by its analytically synthetical (or synthetically analytical) nature, begin in knowledge to reduce all phenomenon to contradiction, and then in order to retain its real identity, anticipatorily revolt from the ideological collapse which would develop if it were not for the premature rejection/revolt: This is the subject retained in its ontological activity, of intuitively generating meaning and intentionality enacting its world through it, which is, of the subject finding itself in a meaningful field of subjects of that meaning (correlation).

Then also, yet on the other hand, there is the Being which is involved with the integrity of, what Harman calls real objects, which includes the subject itself without falling into its dominion, without reducing to a totalizing subjective semantic (which is contradictory when coupled with

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another subject). In other words, allowing for the conventional philosophical or cognitive center and the intentional subject, and due to the noticeable limits which constrain the subject as well as nullify its own essential substance (alienation), the object which arises as the subject of intension is able to be viewed, understood, analyzed and put to use without having to answer to the contradiction of reduction toward ideological unity into which its phenomenon perpetually falls and out of which the existential revolt conveniently saves. I call this the situation wherein the phenomenology of the subject is able to be an object the Two Routes upon things.

We should be careful to note such routes do not fall neatly into conventional categories of scientific and phenomenalistic; rather the two routes allow for the infinitely inclusive phenomenological subject of story and meaning to be retained while a multiplicity of such subjects likewise remain real and individual things to be encountered in-themselves. Before this distinction, philosophy and science were at odds, counted up as two of a number of human abilities, thoughts or cognitions that stem, we are to suppose, from some unknowable but arguable difference which arises spontaneously in the universe through the human being. The model of the Two Routes is suited to philosophically ground the practice of counseling in the reality of both a specific theoretical conservative ideal, such as the science of psychology, as well as a liberal integrative approach, which can likewise adhere or otherwise appropriate to various degrees—or not— scientific ideals. For example; the medical-scientific disease model which sees the psyche and mental health as a problem contained entirely by empirical science (the brain and body), the various systematic theories which suppose to explain an inclusive universe of therapeutic praxis (examples such as Psychodynamic, Cognitive and Behavioral therapies, Systems theory as well as Gestalt therapy) , and the integrative approach which tends to issues with solutions which accord with various minutiae of the therapeutic encounter, all can be specifically accounted for and retained in their unique validity through the ontological concern founded in the Two Routes, or an object oriented ontology for the discipline of counseling.

Bibliography

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Derrida, J. (1987). Of spirit: Heidegger and the question. (G. Bennington & R. Bowlby, trans.)

Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. Frankl, V. E. (1992). Man’s search for meaning. (I. Lasche, trans.)

Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press.

Harman, G. (2002). Tool-being. Chicago and La Salle, Illinois: Open Court.

Harman, G. (2005). Guerrilla metaphysics. Chicago and La Salle, Illinois: Open Court.

Harman, G. (2007). On Vicarious causation. Collapse, 2. 171-206

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Publishers, Inc.

Kant, I. (1998). The critique of pure reason. (P. Guyer & A.W. Woods, eds. and

Trans.) Cambridge University Press.

Kierkegaard, S. (1983). Fear and trembling; repetition. (H. Hong & E. Hong, eds. and

Trans.) Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Kierkegaard, S. (1989). The concept of irony. (H. Hong & E. Hong, eds. and trans.) Princeton,

New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

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Kair: An Essay Concerning the Possibility of a Unified Theory of Counse

Laruelle, F. (2013). Principles of nonphilosophy. (N. Rubczak & A.P. Smith, eds. and trans.) Harvard University Press.

Latour, B. (1988). The pasteurization of France. President and Fellows of Harvard College. Lingis, A. (1998). The imperative. Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Lyotard, J.F. (1984). The postmodern condition. Minnesota University Press.

Meillassoux, Q. (2008) After finitude: an essay on the necessity of contingency.

(R. Brassier, trans.) London, New Delhi, New York, Sydney: Bloomsbury Academic, Miller, A. S. (2013). Speculative grace. New York: Fordham University Press.

Nathaniel, C. (2018). The philosophical hack: the concluding unscientific postscript to

event. Boulder, Colorado: Od Parcel.

Sartre, J. (1978). Being and nothingness: a phenomenological essay on ontology. (H. E. Barnes, trans.) Pocket Books.

Wittgenstein, L. (1999). Tractatus logico-philosophicus. (C.K. Ogden, trans.) Mineola and New

York: Dover Publications, Inc.,

Zizek, Slavoj (2014). Event: a philosophical journey through a concept. Brooklyn and London:

Melville House.

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Harman’s Folly.

I submit that Harmans OOO is concerned with philosophical objects, and due to this focus, understands reality is hidden behind a screen of sense. We can begin to see that Harman’s real objects reflect that he sees himself as dealing with thought as the foundation of everything else, Becuase obviously he is using his proposal in a field of other equally valid proposals of thoughts, the actual object they talk about, then, withdraws from the discussion. In this way. Harman’s proposal falls flat so much as it indeed might have to do with real things.

I am skeptical of the kind of hinting that uses thought as unapproachable while foregrounding the discourse as though he is not merely using sleight of hand to not be using his centrality of thinker position, a specifically phenomenal and postmodern tack. Despite his speculative realist claim.

Even so, his does have use. As we see, and discuss elsewhere.

Standing in wonderment: The case against the psychologist who shall not be named (JP 😉).

I am intrigued about this Jordan Peterson phenomenon and so I’m trying to at least invest a little time into finding out what he is really saying.

So above is a little clip of him on the Bill Maher show. I got to say that Bill Maher just clicked down a few notches on my intelligence scale. I definitely liked him back in the politically incorrect days, but it seems as much as these two white men are talking about thinking, they are really not thinking it through very well. It sounds like they’re just patting each other on the back for being rich and famous. Lol.

Ok here’s what I really think.

For one, I don’t really like how they throw around the word “truth”. Now, I am appreciating what they are saying about offending someone or being disrespectful; I agree, this world has become a little bit too sensitive. But also I think it is very unthinking to go from people are just too sensitive – the universities are not holding up standards of truth – they are caught in postmodernism — etc..

Let us indeed be real here:

Who is actually the one who is being offended? Is it the Queers? Who is really being too sensitive? The Gays?

I think it is Peterson himself.

First of all, at risk of being immediately stuck into a category of postmodernist — as anyone who reads my blog knows I am critical of postmodernism — I will suggest that these two white men on this show are throwing around the word “Truth” like it is something that cannot be a problem. In the other videos I’ve watched of Peterson he likes to talk about “reality” also. In fact I think he relates “honesty” with being in tune with reality.

Now, the reason why I keep saying “these two white men” is because indeed this is what we are talking about that even the intellectualizing white men are not comprehending, it seems, or could give a damn about (hence the problem).

Really, ironically, what I’m saying is that this white man, Jordan Peterson, is offended down to his core; White men who are offended meet those who are disrespecting their rightful “reasonable” righteous whiteness with indignation. So to defend himself, he uses the quite post-modern method of twisting discourse so that no one can see that he is deeply offended; that deep offense of his whiteness he returns back to the discourse to keep what is offensive at the level of postmodern discourse. He is doing what he is arguing: exactly what he is saying he is arguing against the PoMos about. And this is to say, so he can argue against “postmodernism” as if it is this resolved and specific thing.

Further, It is interesting to me that he is a PhD in psychoanalysis, and yet he is totally blind to how he is repressing those aspects of reality that offend him, and that he is projecting the object of his offense out upon the world as if there’s nothing wrong. Reaction formation, I Think it’s really called. It is basic Freudian psychoanalysis. I think he needs to go back to his psychology school, take some classes, Maybe listen to some Zizek for a little bit. I think Perterson might need some counseling. 😀

And the thing is, if anyone were to call him out on this, he would use the very post-modern method and skill of manipulating the reality of the situation back to discursive definition to show that that is not what is occurring with him, but is indeed a defense mechanism of what is occurring for me, say . In short, he would be dishonest about what he is in countering in reality.

Shall I mention his short synopsis of Kierkegaard? (In the previous post, his little rambling long talk). Can we say “agenda-filled reading” of Kierkegaard? It is so incredibly off the mark of what Kierkegaard is really talking about, I think I’m about to cough up my pancreas.

And yet here he is in the spotlight, famous calming having a bunch of people enjoying his arguments and relating to what he has to say. Even being offered a fellowship at Cambridge. I mean, this is not just about a difference of opinion or free speech, it’s a literally about different levels of intelligence and education; it’s about different capacities of understanding what the issues are and how they are being addressed.

I mean, I think I have talked about elsewhere, somewhere in my other posts, that the issue of philosophy now is to be able to distinguish between types of philosophy. And I mean this in the sense of how philosophy is being used as though is it it is a unitive category. This to say that it is not merely epistemology or ontology or teleology or whatever sort of other ologies; wit is literally about how discourses are being used under the umbrella category of philosophy. I submit that philosophy is being used in two distinctly different ways.

Ok…anyways…

This is why you cannot prove that whiteness is real to people who are stuck within it, and this is why I say such subjectivity is really a religious tenet. In this case, the religion asserts the privilege of being white, that you do not have to admit when you are offended and you definitely don’t have to admit to something being true if you don’t agree with it. All you have to do is yell louder and present as a white man and you are above reproach, as you refer to the religious theological ground (truth;reality).

Keep in mind, I’m not saying that there is not a truth or that there is not a reality; Rather I am saying what we are presently involved with a religious effectuation; what in the past we have called ideology, we are finding now is really a manner of coming up on reality that really has nothing to do with whether or not my thoughts equate with a sensible object, or what that means.

What we are involved with now is getting out of these limiting, correlational structures, and the opening of oneself to the possibility of other. It is not postmodernism; postmodernism is the description of the typical religious activity of thought. (I admit, there is a certain faction in the university that calls itself “postmodernism”, but this is not a religion in the sense that Peterson calls it, rather it is a misunderstanding of discourse in the Lacanian sense).

Just because you have a PhD does not mean you comprehend this aspect; in fact, all it really means is that you can use language in a particular way. What is at issue is the person that is using these methods.

There is a much deeper rebuttal to his whole presentation, but I am just voice dictating here while I’m walking my dog and so it’s hard to edit and write a whole dissertation on how Jordan Peterson philosophical position is skewed. He is unable to see the reality in front of him; what he sees is his own justification for what appears to him self reflexively as truth and reality.

To ask what this truth is that they keep throwing around as if it’s well known, is not a postmodern tactic. Of course Peterson might say it is a postmodern tactic, but that is because he is inherently caught in the postmodern manner of appropriating reality. In my previous post, in the video where he’s talking about stuff, he even pointed this out: namely, that there is some sort of dichotomy in history, some sort of polemic through which human beings are able to behave. His ground summary and resolution to this historical polemic is that in order for a person to be honest with themselves they have to say things that are offensive to other people. And then he uses the trope “postmodernism” as a Patsy to lump people who are “sensitive” into a group of people who are not being “honest”. Jordan Peterson might be being honest by being offensive, but he has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to truth because for him truth is based in some sort of common ground of our existence I guess. All one needs to do is listen to his analysis of history to understand his orientation upon the world; he has no problem with his thinking. In fact everyone should think like him because if you’re a white Man, then you know everything there is to know about identity, biology, sex, ideology, philosophy, truth, reality… how convenient for him.

He does not see his complicity with a particular ideology of power no matter how much he wants to talk about domination pyramids. In short, he is using the post modern method of coming upon reality and being in reality as an excuse for his own ignorance. He is being manipulative and he is not being honest simply because he is not able to confront what might be some sort of truth upon his truth operating. He is utterly an example of postmodern subjectivity in the same way that Zizek has indicated Donald Trump. The only truth he sees is that which is self-evident to him. He has no conception of what correlationalism might mean, nor would any of the discussions of the speculative realist folk are talking about over in France, or even LA, have any substance for him.

In short, we can see that he is involved with a particular post- modern religious manner of coming upon the world (there is no common thing called “postmodernism”; postmodernism defines a particular paradigm of knowing and a particular paradigm of being able to come up on world) and asserting that intuitive sense as if it obviously and should be and is supposed to be everyone else’s reality. This particular manner of approaching reality is called “colonialism”. And it seems he doesn’t even know that, Or at least, in the way that he has talked about it in other places, again, He completely exclude himself from the effort of colonialism in the progress of this universal history through which reality and truth only a come about through a persons being honest with themselves he completely exclude himself from the effort of colonialism in the progress of this universal history through which reality and truth only a come about through a persons being honest with themselves. I wonder if his definition of honesty means that everyone else needs to be fucked up in the head and only people like them are allowed to be rational (wat?) .

He is caught in a confusion created by his own presence of being offended by what reality presents to him. He uses ideas and tropes that go unanalyzed and unchallenged – Indeed he uses these troops in a manner that suggests that analyzing them or challenging them is part of the fantasy or a part of not being honest– for the purpose of reestablishing the status quo, which is basically the reality And supremacy Of the white thinking man.

It is not that truth is obvious, nor is it that there is no truth. It is not even some “spiritual” truth. It is that the truth of it is not yet viewable through those routes.

The problem is not what lay at the end of Perterson’s pointing finger, as much as he likes to point at things. The problem is that the subject of this pointing finger is not being questioned; it is as if to him some sort of “spiritual – historical mandate” is being communicated from God.

Again, there is a much deeper critique of Peterson which may come out one day but, honestly, I don’t know if it’s really worth the effort because demagogues have their place too. Hence, the discussion about what humanity is by what it does by the Philosophical Hack.

Commenting on a Philosopher without giving him more undue celebrity.

I had an opportunity this morning to confront one of my biases. This one was about THe-Philosopher-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named (TPNN for short).

Look in the comments of my pervious post about Derrida for a short video of a piece of one of his talks.

I historically disliked TPNN Becuase I feel he is missing a key component of what he generallzes as Post Modern. HERE is someone who took the time to take apart another one of TPNN talks. Yet, I am not sure my disquiet about TPNN falls into that his idea of PM appears incomplete or that he does not address deeply the PM position, and then as well that his generalization is that PM is about the infinity of subjective interpretive possibility. So I have had an opportunity to look more thoroughly into my biases about TPNN.

I think my offense comes from that he only has only intellectually appropriated a general PM tenet, and thus, of course, at once misses vital elements of subjectivity as well then indeed suggests by his presence a faulty ideal of ‘going backwards’ to a Modernist position. He definitely says in that short video that the postmodernists are wrong.

One of the subtleties of my work is that I tend to stick with the argument that Graham Harmon makes in his book “Tool Being”, that it is not a power-play of one against the other. It is not that modernism was incorrect and that postmodern pointed out all the problems with Modernity and so offers a more true way of coming up on the situation, and thus we have now to show how PM is wrong. That is a philosophical naive way of viewing the situation.

Also, Zizek’s psychoanalysis does not confirm Peterson’s psychological approach either.

It seems that Jordan Peterson failed to read the authors that came out of the speculative realism conference 10 years ago, And particularly has failed to understand what Quinten Miellassoux termed “Correlationalism”.

TPNN is what I could call an overt advocate for religious reality, which in itself is not an incorrect position to be an advocate. Yet, One of the paradoxes about being in the religious mindset is that while being religious may not be an inherently incorrect or improper way of having a reality to deal with, the developed analyses and The reactionary politics that such kinds of analyses often rely upon if they do not explicitly elucidate them in initial parts of the analysis, Often show that they are not having the awareness that religious allowance does not necessarily convey or have to fall in line with a particular religious truth.

We find in our current democratic system that we can speak about God and we can allow people to have their religious beliefs as an ideal for a good society without having to advocate for the truth any one of those particular religious institutions. TPNN Tends to argue that we must adhere to a particular religious institution if we are saying that the religious view is allowed, but he is using intellectualism as a way to argue for his dogma. In short, he is misappropriating Postmodern thought towards his own ontological argument.

Quantum Computing and its relevance to Philosophy.

via A few videos on quantum computing and the physics of time I want to come back to later — Mark Carrigan

In order to move forward philosophically, we must get out of our philosophical head that everything must reduce to 0 or 1, nothing or common reality.

I begin with that statement because this is the problem that we face in philosophy: It is less a philosophical problem as it is quantitative problem in the Kierkegaardian sense; the quantum does not reduce the the classical qualitative criteria. The quantum is found exactly in what philosophy can do as opposed to its classical or conventional for of what Is.

This is to say that philosophy, as a name for a particular kind of process, exhibits and endorces as it then enforces implicitly the idea that all philosophical matter must reduce to a “all or nothing” result: All philosophical proposals must answer the the conventional ontological standard. Philosophy is caught in this problem; this is the modern and current problem of philosophy. A resurgence of Realism responds to a inability for what I term conventional philosophy to inhabit and address this problem, but its reactionary move is really a recourse to using a Sartrean Existentialist mode of psychological defense, the ‘out’ of revolt from the Abyss (which is contradiction, i.e. an answer which is not 1 or 0) back into real (political) identity.

This, of course, is not to imply, for example, that the realization of Quantum Physics somehow does away with or argues against the validity of Conventional or Classical Physics. Yet, when the quantum is approached by conventional philosophy, this is exactly its methodological response. In short it asserts that All philosophy must adhere to the Zero Sum Game (1 or 0). All philosophical proposals which do not meet the conventional criterion of amounting to a 0 or 1, is nonsense. I submit that Quantum Physics and all the wonderful applications that we have gained from it would never have arisen if Scientists were so closed minded and stubborn as philosophers. We merely need to view what is before us and stop rehashing what is –purportedly theoretically sound– already there.

*

There are philosophers who have or are beginning to incorporate quantum analogies into their proposals. Francois Laruelle, Slavoj Zizek, are only two that come to mind. AGENT SWARM somewhat often reviews authors who have entertained quantum ideas.

But we should be careful not to fall back into the conventional postmodern method of intesionalist Ontological immanence. This is to say that it is improper for philosophers, those involved with a process of engaging with the world, to figure for all instances that just because thoughts can be assembled in a meaningful manner that they therefore have real theoretical substance. We have seen what philosophical fantasies of this sort produce; strange discourses which appear to have conditional validity, and its associated incredulity, as well as blatant idiocy. A quantum computation of philosophy would not rely upon a conventional inspiration of free postmodernist range. Not everything is situational to inspired manipulations of discourse; the Kantian synthetical a priori so abused by some self-theorized Postmodernists is not as ubiquitous a self-reflecting truth as they would assert in their appropriation of the PM cannon. Some discourses actually require a more significant ground. This is what the Realist move responds to; the potential for nonsense to appear as more than nice fiction theoretical stories. While even Speculative Realism is responding, Id say, properly to check the promulgation of magical thinking, other philosophers who have indeed uncovered a realm which exists outside of the Zero-Sum Game of conventional philosophy, appear to actually be holding up a conception of a valid philosophical science based in quantum analogy.

“Keep those legs closed ! I haven’t taken my bong hit yet!”

(Who the F*^& keeps saying that stuff ???)

**

The book “The Philosophical Hack” confronts the conventional philosophical cock-block. It is a hack into the fortress of conventional certitude. It is an essay which addresses the miscommunication involved in the flattening out all philosophy to a unitive horizon. It is concerned with what philosophy can do, rather than endless ontological proposals about what is.

Out soon.

The Philosophical Hack: The Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Event” by Cedric Nathaniel. 140 pages. pocketbook format. Published by Od Parcel Press. estimated price: $7 + shipping.

We hope you will be interested in the future of philosophy.

Revisiting the Conference. 2007

dar.aucegypt.edu/bitstream/handle/10526/3479/Speculative Realism transcript.pdf

The Speculative Realism meeting of the minds transcript.

It is good to revisit original discourses, for sure. I myself am reminded of what they really are saying, pieces which through my own reliances, arguments, emphasis and repetitions, I have set aside. It is good to be refreshed, for example, Miellassoux’s original setting, his original point in After Finitude, which I read about 6 ? Years ago, Becuase I dont keep up with Ray or Quentin. Harman I feel, though, has the significant idea. Brassier never really peaked my interest, even though he touches on some cool stuff.

It is also good to be reminded of why thier discourses, their ideas mark a particular limit and thus where my work takes off. Indeed, why I find myself literally thinking outside the box that these guys defined by their own box out-siding! Lol.

I think I talked about it somewhere in my blogs :: those guys show the box because their work functions to show how the box is established, not because they get outside of it. This is key for me: they actually evidence the limit and thus allow philosophy to leave its correlational Reason-segregate nest.

Good stuff.

Repetition and Repetition. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait.

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

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

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

**

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

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

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

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

REPOST:

Reading and Repetition

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

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

The Unpopular Option.

Below is a Cool little synopsis of SR, but id like to just address that last bit at the end: “opposed to correlationalism”. 

Here is a great example of the issue i treat: Is there a difference between a Truth of a statement, and the argumentative concept of it? What is the difference?

For What is correlationalism?  We are able to define it in all sorts of ways, bur do any of these definitions ever get to what is true of correlationalist?

So contrary to the argumentative route, i would take the truth of the meaning of the definition to mean that there is no argumentative way to remove one from the corralative reality. But this is to say only in as much a one might want to ‘take sides’.

SR may be an argumentative position opposed to correlationalism, but it seems more proper to say that one can only exit what is correlational by suspending its meaning, by having it mean nothing that can be applicable to everyday life. Because when one applies such argument to everyday life, the theory goes out the window because the fact of living in reality is that the theory automatically departs from it because it is correlational.

The unpopular view thus finds how SR, and like positions, is faulty in itself as a real position. The only manner of actually leaving what is correlational is not to be opposed to it (as Harman says below of SR) , rather, it is to see that there are two situations that do not oppose one another yet do not intersect or otherwise encounter each other except at particular moments or junctures of theoretical meaning.

For really if we take all these authors, that he mentions below in the repost, for what they mean, then we have to say that Kant is right: in what manner can we ever get outside of our conception? When can we ever conceive something that is not a human conception? I would submit that there is no argument that is not a concept, and so to somehow encapsulate this Kantian notion as just another idea amongst ideas, as though his idea designates one true thing that we can get beyond by coming up with some other sort of idea, say for example that we can speculate about things that are beyond what is located of the concept — all this is a concept. That is what correlationism is. Once we take that notion and we encapsulated into a term we effectively have made it a true object, which is to say merely an idea amongst ideas, bracketing things as we go along in order to come to things that are more true than other things or argumentatively true and so much is that one agent of transcendence might argue this but another asian of transcendence argues that: all of it takes place within a conceptual universe. 

There is only one way to get out of this correlational last cycle and that is to not deposit things in opposition, to not stratify the human being in a common horizon of intuitive capacity, based upon the central phenomenal thinker. 

And the only way to do this is to take the unpopular option. 

REPOST:
The Universe in a Nutshell: A Simple Guide to Speculative Realism*

Why do things happen in a predictable way? Back in the Eighteenth Century, David Hume asked that simple question. In other words, why do some events necessarily follow other events? For example, if you were to hit a billiard ball why wouldn’t it just float into the sky? This is what philosophers call ‘causal necessity’. […]

Harman, Meillassoux, Kant, Ontology, Philosophy, Speculative Realism, Realism

https://iamled.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/the-universe-in-a-nutshell-a-simple-guide-to-speculative-realism/

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The Significant Event, Part 4b (Part 5): Hard Correlationalism: The Crux of the Problem of Speculative Realism and the Critique of Conventional Philosophy. (And no, I am not mistaking ‘continental’ philosophy; I mean Conventional philosophy.)

We are still moving toward the meaning of the pocket veto and the significant event. Here, we consider Quentin Miessaloux and the ideas presented in his book “Beyond Finitude”.

*

Meillassoux’s argument arrives through the question: when modern science, or the mathematization of the world, had taken hold, what he identifies as the Copernican Revolution, why did philosophy move away from its announcement, which is to say, away from, as M puts it, “thought’s capacity to think what there is whether thought exists or not” [pg 166, Beyond Finitude]. This is really to question thought itself, but he stays with his problem of why philosophy did not move toward this, as he terms, ancestral object, where knowledge conforms to the object, and instead move toward the object conforming to knowledge.

His thesis concerns more a proper manner of thinking, and this concerns removing metaphysical thinking, thinking that involves a transcendental element or aspect, what QM frames more precisely as that derives from ‘necessaritan probabilistic’ thinking. Such thought stems from the notion that the probability of reality manifesting in just the way it is for any moment is extremely low, nearly impossible, and so in as much as reality does indeed manifest in such a way, it is thus necessary due to a transcending element or aspect that has determined the outcome against this highly improbable outcome. Indeed, he is arguing necessity over contingency, but necessity in its absolute form that does not arise due to contingency.

It is this proposal that I agree with. I appreciate how he has voiced this situation because it quite aptly describes the issue, the pivotal discernment, the axial moment in the discussion of ideas put forth by authors of philosophy that I call ‘the point of contention’, which lays out the divergent path as a necessary outcome of the motion of conventional discursive method and thereby involves unilateral duality in contrast to — what I believe is called — a bilateral unity.

Where QM and I differ has do with with his assertion of proper thinking, a proper method by which to suggest a ‘more proper’ method. His is the same problem that is evidenced with Immanuel Kant, and indeed I would say that he is offering little more than Kant in this respect. Due to the appropriation of conventional knowledge that uses Kant’s ideas as previously stated and thus already posited object to be considered built upon as progress in the effort for the truth of conventional philosophy, one could see that a more pronounced move should indeed be indicated; this in so much as synthetic a priori, the categorical imperative and Kant’s theses did little more than arouse suspicion and debate. QM is keen to understand maybe not only why, but also how to develop a move that would emphasize or reiterate what Kant was really trying to propose. Yet the impetus for the reiteration must then also have allowed QM to see that the fault of Kant’s force lay in his (Kant’s, but also ironically QM’s) reckoning of his (Kant’s) notion by a One reality that an insistence upon a universal ethics reveals. So it is that while QM may indeed notice the error to thereby be motivated to such a new turn, aka speculative realism, his also may be thwarted by this same problem of Kant. To wit; Kant suggests that the categorical imperative may imply a ‘right action’ of sorts, an ethical (good) action, that distinguishes then in relief what actions may be questionable, and thus he resorts the real ubiquitous power of choice by which the total and universal absolute manifestation of humanity exists, decision. In this distinction, we may thereby tend to not forgive QM, for it is the statement of Kant that should by now arrive with the question that is relieved of such universality; which is to say that where QM’s mentor Alain Badiou occupies the strong point of the human situation, and Francois Laruelle the strong position, QM himself makes the weak move by indicting reason, albeit a particular kind of reasoning, as the issue at hand.

QM’s approach is upon how such an object antecedent to thought proposes likewise a condition of thought, an elementary and necessary condition of the reality for which he is arguing a new propriety, i.e. ‘reason’ — but if there is a thing in its own right antecedent to thought, what does this say of thought? Thus it is interesting that his critique is held out away from itself; where if there is an aspect that informs human thinking that exists independent of thought, and presumably QM is moving in that direction, then thought itself is brought into question; but QM invokes ‘reason’. His move is toward an imminence of thinking that should properly be understood as stemming from mathematical truth, removed from the transcendental tendency for thought that arrives by the opposite move. Yet QM leaves untouched the question of thought and instead approaches from an effect of thought, that reason, and not thought, is an ideological construction formed out of a historical misconstruing of information that he identifies as a ‘necessitarian probability’. Yet, ironically, as he proposes that the fault of reason is due to this necessary probability that surmises a unitary discourse, he is nevertheless proposing that a unitary discourse may be arrived at through a discarding of the transcendental reason in favor of a more mathematical basis. His can be taken as little more than another conventional assertion, another argument to be considered, and yet his indicts such reason as a particular incorrect reasoning.

*

His move makes very explicit the rejection of the correlationalist dictate that would reduce thoughts’ “capacity to think what there is whether or not thought was there to think it” to the thought itself, and thereby posits objects that are not transcendental in their nature — or maybe more precisely, exactly transcendent, which is to say, to the correlationalism that would reduce all posited antecedents to the , what he calls, facticity of thought. In other words, we might see that where correlationalism reduces all that is to what can be thought in the moment, what is the real condition of knowledge, such correlative reality instead thus evidences the limit of knowledge and not the impossibility that any thing more exists.

But his is supposedly not a Kantian intuition that relays the object in-itself to knowledge through a transcendent effector that then calls for an elaboration on what is true of metaphysics; he is proposing a proper basis of method for metaphysical speculation. Strangely enough, though, it is the opening by which we need not any longer rely upon a Hegelian History, an opening where the nature of the object in-itself may be identified without a need of a transcendent interlocutor, which is for current modern philosophy a real Historical Consciousness denied as such due to the investment in the potential term-object identity that has gone beyond Hegel. Thus, it is not so much that anything may exist independent of thought — this is the oriented move of the Speculative Realists — but rather more that the corresponding question has to do with the discourse from which derives the deviation and thus the question — not of reason as QM proposes, but of thought itself, which is then to pronounce the counter-partial aphilosophical move. For there is never a mathematical conception that can avoid putting its use for humanity into terms, which is discourse, and apprehension of discourse cannot avoid a transcending effect (see my earlier posts). Real discourse always involves transcendence; the move he wishes to make, though, seems more inline with developing a ‘correctly fashioned’ discourse, one that will align thought with a real-true universe, which is, ultimately, a unitary discourse of the real, a discourse that only gains its footing through an assertion of a State of Reality, again, as in the previous segment (part 3), a revolt from the limit back into the limit. And again I say it is no wonder that QM and others must call their brand of Realism ‘speculative’; at least there is an appearance of an effort for humility.

Hence the deviant move that corresponds counter-partially to Speculative Realism is that move that says the issue concerns what is not real, the move that brings thought itself into question, which is more consistent with Miessalloux’s pronunciation of the problem than he seems to be able to admit. Indeed, math appears to exist and its functions manifest despite what we may think of it, and it thereby argues an existence apart from thought that does not fall pray to the all-encompassing correlational position. What occurs then is a necessity that shows math does not get ‘discovered’ by our thinking, we do not ‘solve’ mathematical problems; rather, math is presenting itself or ‘is presented’ by its solutions to us in the only manner that is able to be presented, which then argues that the ‘thoughts’ that solve mathematical problems are determined, and not truly based in some sort of free, intuitive, inspirational or imaginative agency, which is to say, are not based in any sort of contingency. At best, it would seem QM is saying that we should limit types of thinking that are allowed to be counted as true, which appears then to fall on the weak side of his mentor’s, Alain Badiou, thesis of ‘Being and Event’.

For what are we really saying when we make an argument? We are saying that the route by which such an argument was made is true in its facticity, its fact of it being an argument as a series, that because of the trueness of the fact that such arguments were made, this argument is likewise true but also more true; the argument that is being made is that it is a furthering of the progressive movement of historical argument, that indeed thisargument I am presenting to you now argues that it makes the next step in the progress toward the truth of humanity in reality; and this is ironic.

There is a problem here, then also with QMs proposal. He is not suggesting a particular type of reasoning or manner of argument is to blame, rather, he is indicting a type of reason, a particular manifestation of thinking. He is not talking about operations of reason as reason might be a foundation upon which to make various arguments; no, he categorizes the problem as reason itself. So then how is it possible that an argument has been made upon the historical content that is argument, where this furthest consequential proposal enjoins the facticity of progress in order to thereby argue that the facticity of the series is or was based upon an incorrect manner of proposing argument? It would seem by virtue of the argument QM is making that he would not only have to understand the previous proposals through that very faulty reason but then also understand that the manner by which he comes upon this furthest argument is significantly different than his (arch-fossil) predecessors; in other words, it would seem to have to be that the argument that he makes was not made upon the proposals of those before him, but rather his argument was presented intact, and the previous authors are merely vehicles for that presentation. What we have here then is a marker of the significant event in play, and an indication of the veto.

This is the reason why I bring the issue to thought itself. Graham Harman (Object Oriented Ontology) can be brought back in here. We are dealing not with objects of thought, for this way of viewing objects we are discussing, this orientation upon objects, does not exclude in a manner shown above, which quietly and subtly deceives by leaving the intuition of the transcendent as an element outside the speaking of issues; indeed, irony is at play here. We are dealing with and addressing the facticity of being human in the world, and thereby reducing all possibility of addressing to a matter of objects, and thought is another of these objects.

The reason QM does not bring his discussion to thought is because he sees that there is some form or aspect of his ability to bring argument that has been inspired to be able to view reality significantly different than the philosophers that he is presented with; this form is thus excluded from the giving of the system or scheme of meaningful objects, and this excluded element is exactly absolute transcendence. Hence he is arguing a divergence based in the possibility of elements or aspects that are antecedent to thought, objects that exist despite whether thought is there to think them. And, because the transcendent is de facto another object as soon as we speak about it, which is to say, terms are objects, this undisclosed object, the transcendent interlocutor, the significant experience of such element, to use Otto from earlier in this essay (part 1), is frankly excluded. on the other hand, we posit no exclusions here, and thereby delineate that the significant issue has to do with discourse’s limitation and Lyotard’s caveat: How does one speak of the significant event?

Hence, Miessaloux solves Lyotard’s problem by the conventional route, i.e. by falling back into the hard correlational limit, by intuition, but a particularized inspired intuition of the transcendent, the point at which such a division was come upon by him. In other words, he is following a distinction noticed as far back as Aquinas:

“Theoreticus sive speculativus intellectus in hoc proprie ab operativo sive practico distinguitur, quod speculativus habet pro fine veritatem quam considerat, practicus autem veritatem consideratam ordinat in operationem tamquam in finem.”

{Theoretical or speculative intellect is properly distinguished from the operative or practical, that the speculative has for its end the truth that it contemplates, the practical truth, however, orders the considered operation as its end.} Translation Google.

He is thus dealing squarely with the ‘speculative’ (surprising,huh?), yet in an odd sort of way he thus is also dealing with conventional reality, attempting to pose a solution to the problems evident of it by its philosophical discursive formulations, but without investigating that by which such formulations are made. Further, inso relying upon such prior ground, such assumption of progress, his statement represents a ‘false ego’, a ‘bad faith’, for being invested in the division of labor that sees his ability not only granted by the history before him through True Objects, but likewise upon a hierarchical structure of True forms, where his position is seen as highest. And further, though he may understand certain things of Aquinas’s ‘practical’, his statement evidences an assertion of Truth (albeit speculative) that does not require an explanation of his footing, but assumes it due to the commonly understood division of labor, but also the character of the common human being in reality and its ability to conspire with or be inspired by the transcendent that informs all things as to its necessary progress. He is proposing a route to Truth based upon a foundation that is inherently unstable, indeed, fantastical in its bearings, which is to say, upon a faith in the common One conventional reality.

Such conventional assertions, admittedly of reality, as I have said, bring solutions only of the type that deal with momentary present social situations and thus require the appropriate ‘revolutionary act’ of Marx that reality demands. Thus the bridge that ones such as Slavoj Zizek or even maybe Angela Davis cross.

The issue then concerns not so much the revolutionary act, for such an act is required at all times; rather it is the feature of human consciousness that sees such an act as necessitating some posterior (of real experience) transformation, some intuition, that thereby evidences a prior (informed, given) separation of the human being from the world — as if ‘contemplation’ is withdrawn from the revolutionary act.

It is thereby Meissaloux’s work becomes an instrumental occasion to discuss the pocket veto, the significant event, and specifically but in general the human being in reality.

End Part 5.

Next up: Just Kant stop with Miessaloux. I will reiterate the problem using a generalized iteration of Badiou’s thesis of “Being and Event.

After that, I will begin to discuss more thoroughly the significant event, the veto and hopefully return at some point to the Romance ands its role in the constitution of the individual of reality.

The Significant Event: The Romance, Irony and the Veto.

Significance. What we can call the Romance is based upon and or around what I call the significant experience, which falls well in line with Alain Badiou’s ‘Event’, what could then be called the significant event. The irony that surrounds this feature of being human concerns a confusion of the individual, between what arises of the pure multiple and such Event. This confusion is being worked out as we speak; its ways, immanent. Its formulation has been established by Badiou in the distinction pronounced by ‘void’ and ‘set’, but more particularly, more humanly, the pronunciation’s initial voice is heard through Francois Laruelle and non-philosophy, as this divergence, that which is signaled by irony, is located in the distinction that has found and described the motions of philosophy, what I feel is more correctly termed ‘conventional methodology’ or just ‘convention’. The distinctive move that has been signaled, as referenced here through philosophy, can be noticed lately in the works loosely coined as ‘existentialism’ and ‘post-modernism’, but most recently ‘speculative realism’; so appropriately begun in the real, taking reality ‘into’ its object for what it is and what possibility it holds, such speculation thus calls for its counterpart, as I frame, that is specifically not real, since it is this feature of and in response to the philosophical (sticking here with the non-philosophical designation) reality, that works to deny that which originates in the Event.

The Romance is this evental feature of human experience by which we have the conventional historical designation of Romanticism or the Romantic Period or Era, and by which, so apropos to convention, we likewise have the real disclaimer that has reduced and conflated the period and human experience to one of mere caprice, of usual passionate undependability, fantasy and a specifically derogatory mode of irrationality that decries as it celebrates conventional methodology’s victory in placing the human so far from itself as the free individual for the purpose of maintaining the status quo of the teleo-ontological fortress of religio-ideological power. So compete in the assertion of itself, the conventional romantic designation flaunts its power through accentuating the discrepancy by calling what is Romantic ‘subjective’ diversity and uniqueness of individual creative and emotional freedom; though there may have been such an era, it was indeed because of the ubiquity of the true reality. We need not go into the exploitation and oppression that is the capitalization upon the discrepancy here, but suffice it to say that reality itself is romantic, whereas the Romance, a particular significant experience involving an actualization of relationship with the world, has been historically shanghaied into servitude and keelhauled under the dreadnought of historical progress — the now ‘fractalized’ Hagelian History the individualized romance of willful self determination upon the seas of manifest destiny. This is reality; it is not that people are or were having similar experiences — of the pure multiple they indeed do, and that within a particular universal horizon. It is more that such experience, by virtue of being human, may connote an individual of reality in the manner that is reducible in the same way that Badiou describes the situation of being and event, which is to say that the real individual misses the irony of Its existence for the sake of the True Object of its faith. This is not to disclaim in the effort to eject the human being from the helical oscillation upon which history makes its claim to progress, but rather to introduce to suggest that while progress is a situation of reality, the progress of reality is misconstrued in the conventional reckoning of history.

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The significant event is singular, but the nature of its significance brings all subsequent experience under or within its scope; thus the attempt to explain what this experience is or was becomes not only an ironic experience but indeed irony, for the multiple by then necessarily falls into the originating experience and becomes a singular experience — though it ‘becomes’ only in as much as it is always becoming multiple and singular in the same move due to the originating experience informing all experience. So I repeat, this occurs in the explaining of the event, but not so much in the explaining what the event means or meant, again, because the explaining of the event cannot become dismissed, overcome or otherwise detach from what the event means as the event serves to give significance to the subsequent multiple that is real life or of lived experience, that falls back and or has fallen into singularity.

Oddly, it is in the explaining of the meaning of the significant event that develops theory, rationalization (see below), as a proxy, as a way of distancing oneself from the Event because its significance as the Event, defies reality, and reality is where we all begin as an individual, our faith invested in reality. Hence we can speak of Soren Kierkegaard’s ‘sickness unto death’, ‘offense’ and ‘sin’. When one attempts to explain what the event means or from what it means or meant, then he becomes stuck in an eternal decision of how he might go about situating the meaning of what for real determinations is the eternal moment — a redundancy, a stalemate, where the ‘point of insertion’ into reality cannot be determined — that requires a type of break which will move the in-decision past its incubation into a specific topical discourse which then might become the identity of the individual. Yet the conventional methodologists will need no break for they are already invested by the break itself, that which is the offense in discrepancy, in the suture that is the effect of faith, which supplies the True Object and where discourse is about asserting proper meaning of that reality. Theirs has to do with the prevalent veto that is choice, in the particular presence that says ‘no’. That which requires a break is not the requirement for a ‘leap’ as Master Kierkegaard has termed, but rather its opposite; such a break relieves one of in-determination, necessity, which is to say, the relief is the contingency that is choice, whereas the leap is of necessity.

By contrast, yet with consistency, what one could call a ‘pocket veto’ appears in the potential of the significant event to be able to make or be the qualifying break; the pocket veto appears as something one has available for choice, to use for the purpose of stopping the reduction that will bring meaning to the significance that is the eternal moment that thus necessitates the leap, and so be able to bring what is otherwise impossible into the discourse of reality despite it not being necessary. The conventional veto rallies against the Event, where as the pocket veto enacts the instrumentality of decision once the significant event has taken hold. For it is as if within the Romance of the significant event the person has ‘held out’ on it, as if carrying something in his pocket, that though the experience may be a motion of love, the question always remains: “Is this real?” But indeed, if this discourse is any indication, it is at least ironic, for the answer one finds reveals whether the veto was ever truly in the pocket or not. This then defines the paradigm of bad faith; that which was in good faith considering the other party was already compromised for what contingency may arise to change the stakes of the original deal.

This essay concerns how the pocket veto allows for a way to describe the situation of the Event, as well as creating an opening to eventually describe the Romanitc Experience itself.

For we have two situations of the event, but really three. One where no pocket veto is ever needed, having the tool of veto readily at hand, and one where a pocket veto may be applied. But these two situations then show that they still are dealing in reality with reality, as theory is the distancing of oneself from the experience. Yet this is not a necessary discounting. Being that there is a necessary principle at work, all elements of the universe must belong to that principle. What this principle is exactly is the discrepancy between contingent and necessary aspects as such, which is also the discrepancy between the object and the talk about it, as well as the relations of particular thoughts (see my earlier essays); Quentin Meillassoux, in his book, “After Finitude” does an excellent job at describing this situation, in particular as it has to do with the object itself. So in as much as these admitted operations indeed operate, it is no problem that two apparently distinct and even opposing routes based upon the same discursive substrate, the same ‘meaningful issue’, would co-operate in-dependently to reveal its object and even say different things from the same orientation.

We have then the framework by which the dual nature of the discourse that has been called ‘philosophy’ may be apprehended. To bring in Alain Badiou’s formulations; on one hand, we have the philosophers of the multiple who are attempting to describe the One Reality of the True Object, so to speak, that I call ‘conventional methodologists’, and on the other we have the philosophers who are involved with the significant event.

The conventionalists (Francois Laruelle’s philosophers, the ‘objectours’ of philosophy) we will leave to their ‘philosophy of…’ methods.

For the philosophers (my use) of course, we need discover what might need a veto, and this concerns how irony might come about, and this concerns the significant event.

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What occurs in the significant romantic experience? A feeling of privilege and or secrecy upon intimate knowledge, one might even say a feeling toward a kind of esoteric mysticism; of being ‘let in’ to some profoundness; of being ‘allowed to make your acquaintance toward a loving relationship’. Now, when I say this, of what am I speaking? Am I not speaking of every possible experience? I am speaking of one particular experience, but in what way does it not speak of every experience? The profoundness of some ‘private’ experience, but also the common experience of the individual in reality; loving as an intimacy and loving as a basic position by which one ‘has’ an arena to act, whether one would call it ‘mystical’ is really a preference of the moment, yet in so much as we could say one ‘loves’ by virtue of the fact that there is a relationship that cannot be overturned, we can also say one has faith; in reality, here religion leads the way. So, In one move I have described the condition of the particular Event, while also describing all events, and as I attempt to put forth the unique situation the move presents the common situation, the humble and the willful.

But what happens in this romance ? The sense of love remains but the feeling goes away, and then comes back, and then goes away. In the Romance it is called repetition; in reality it is called a number of things, a mundane repetition, psychological self fulfilling prophecy, incorrect appraisal of the situation, spiritual motion, karma, magic, physical resonance, coincidence; I could go on. What is occurring? Significance. The meaning of the event in reality. On one hand, the ‘setting’ of a pure multiple within the context of the pure multiple, sets of sets. A ‘cordoning off’ of meaning to sets of meaning allows for one event to have more or less significance than another, and thus have significance. One the other hand, the event of the significant romantic experience is being ‘found’ at particular moments of the multiple, which is to say, in reality. Reality can thereby be understood as a sequence or as the arena where significance occurs, but by this designation also as the ordination of fidelitous subsequence, or that which must be not real.

For the conventional philosophers of the One Reality there are True Objects and the role of these philosophers is to be able to discern what the true nature of the ‘grand’ object called reality is. It does not matter if they suggest multiple realities or multiple universes or how they situate terms; their faith begins and ends in the True Object, in the absolutely particularized pure multiple that begins, progresses and culminates in real truth. These philosophers see theory as coming from or being about the true reality. Significance comes at moments of proper arrangement of objects, of particular situations of meaning, such as reading and studying and then coming upon an ‘ah ha!’ moment, and these significances as a matter of course are then coordinated into what is called theory, a willful assertion of appropriated facts about objects.

Hence the philosophers of the significant event thus far deal in irony, but the issue overall has been the confusion that arises in the development of theory. To wit; the former philosophers are dealing with the true object and the latter are dealing with the significant experience. It is only now that the division that is just due is taking shape. Yet, as was just mentioned above and consistent with non-philosophy, the confusion has arisen because the philosophy of the true object is the ‘greater’ vehicle, it is the discourse of power, the discourse that stems from the One Reality, that is the designation of the ‘proper’ meaning of terms. This is historical, traditional, ideological and political as it has to do with a specific ontological and ethical horizon. Non-philosophy is a blatant announcement of the division and brings into relief what the post-modernists (Deluze, Derrida, Foucault, to name three biggies) could not bring to sway; to wit, their move was inherently conventional, that is, not so concerned with the Event itself as they were its meaning. They were still attempting to account for the significant event in the One reality, as the philosophy of the true object was not seen for its stature and unrelenting power; or, they capitulated to its power because they were already invested in it for human identity, they still thought reality could be changed into something less dishonest and more human, an offering and a withholding – which is to say now of something withheld, something not real – and at that because they were inspired; they could not introduce the significant event because the One reality demands that the significant event must fall under the domain of the pure multiple, and thus be not so significant — but at least it could be a type of psychological ‘malady’ or maybe ‘form’ if it were not posed with strategy, in tactical guise of particular manipulations of terms, in short, if it were not posed in theory. So we are lead to ask how it might be that someone so disturbed or ‘not living in reality’ came to have such an effect on real discourse? That such a person could have developed such a good theory?

Hence, its significance. It is exactly this theory that does not hold water, for their theoretical position occurs only in conventional reality. Theory is supposed to be an argument, a proof for a proposal of truth, as the proposal is merely a part of coming to the truth of the True Object through negotiation; it is supposed to be a surmising of the facts in a proposal for their unitary meaning to be critiqued accorded to the relative information allotted to each critically thinking individual who are also involved in the common universal effort for the ‘whole’. Theory is not supposed to be a ‘costume’. So irony describes the situation of belonging instead of including by exclusion and confounds conventional reality. So it is that which is most honest is thus taken by convention with a pinch of salt, a skeptical eye suspecting bluff, and at times called out for its dishonesty, if not plain nonsense. if much of post-modernist theory is any indication – check out the post-modern generator website (if it still exists) – one can easily tell that conventional philosophers really had no clue what was being told. The meaning of ‘original’ post-modern/existentialist writers was taken most seriously in its capacity to hold an object for its truth, and soon enough the ‘theory’ that was being produced by the adherents of the proper method (Laruelle’s ‘philosophers’) based upon the significance that rides through conventional reality despite itself resounded with utter nonsense. This can be said to be due to the fact that there is indeed a discrepancy between what is real from what is true, that reality’s pure multiples are ‘really set’ upon a situation undisclosed to the situation of infinite sets, which should show, for conscious experience, the fidelity to the true object of coordinated sets that are romantic in various significant situations that I call conventional reality, distinct from the true fidelity that marks the void in and by ordinate subsequence, or, the significant event that I have called the Romance — but distinct in a non-philosophical manner, which Francios Laruelle has termed as a unilateral duality, one which includes and one which belongs.

The almost polemical move of ‘speculative realism’ from what could be called traditional philosophy, as well as traditional philosophy itself, both occur in reality, about real objects, whereas what is ironic, or as indicative of the counter-partial move of what is not real, is the dual move from reality. Due to the necessity of the motion of contingency in reality, the speculative and the ironic appear to reveal a necessary element or feature that is unknown or at least uncomfortable to conventional reality. Irony upsets the endeavor for the True Object, so it is not difficult to see how conventional methodology would tend away from its tellings; it holds a tentative truce with irony, setting it to a type of spiritual psychology it doesn’t enjoy, one that brings it to have to assert is power for ubiquity, urgently revealing as it does so its nervousness steeped in bad faith. Yet while Speculative Realism announces its divergence from traditional philosophy, its way is still conventional, it is still attempting to alleviate the risk of exposure of the Romance by its resorting to what is romantic; hence it is ‘speculative’. Yet it is close; its difference lay in the significant event, and may yet be an indication of where or how such a pocket veto may come into play.

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Significance occurs in three, what I shall call, venues. In my essay “the description of irony”, I discuss these but I will elaborate more here.

Events can be significant. Getting married, having children, graduating from school, meeting someone, avoiding an accident, etc… Any event may have significance. Real experience is segregated into meaningful situations, each with more or less significance. Reality is a pure multiple of attainable sets, where any set can be divided into an infinite amount of sets, and any series of sets can be a set. Infinity likewise becomes a multiple that can be placed into sets of various sorts. Like a divine lotus flower, reality unfolds, emerges, arises and falls, like an active chaotic Mandelbrot set of fractal imagery. Most people have experience and understanding that can be described and explained analogous to this type of significance, to significance that can be described with reference to such chaos and complexity, as such simple and straightforward explanation can comprise and account for reality. But the ‘incorrection’ of this type of patterning of significance is found – if I may stay consistent with the Eastern theme I have touched upon here – in the assertion of will; so much that this very statement reveals its conventionality in double, in the same way the notion of karma is seen as meaning purpose, but one that arises as one asserts oneself, ones desire for things in the very event that arose due to choices made within an essentially free universe.

Hence the difference between the event(s) of the pure multiple and the Event from which the multiple may arise in fidelity is one of significance.

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In ‘The Analysis of the Mysterium’, chapter 5 of his book “The Idea of the Holy”, Rudolf Otto describes the situation:

“Representations of spirits and similar conceptions are rather one and all early modes of ‘rationalizing’ a precedent experience…They are attempts…to guess the riddle it propounds, and their effect is at the same time always to weaken or deaden the experience itself. They are the source from which springs, not religion, but the rationalization of religion, which often ends by construing such a massive structure of theory and such a plausible fabric of interpretation, that the mystery is frankly excluded.”

His point is to get to how it is that we come to a category of ‘holy’, but my take I think he missed.

Here, the ‘precedent experience’ can be similar to an event, any event of experience, but here let’s say the significant event, the Romantic experience. We approach from a certain manner for discussion here: What is it? Otto would say that it is of the mysterium, of awe-fullness. So what is it? I say: it is only what becomes of the discourse that surrounds it, which is to say, itself is nothing.

But it has significance. The significance leaves itself to the discourse about it such that itself indeed has significance, and this is to say, the event itself is denied for the sake of the discourse about it so much that the event is the discourse about it. This linking, this suturing, is of faith, conventional faith. Faith allows for the romance to take place, for significant events to arise. But here this is only to suggest that significance motivates the will.

Differentiated from common significance of events is the significant event. Here, what is significant does not resort to individuated, multiple events and remain local or in proximity to them, such as with a first kiss or a coincidence, where discourse would speak specifically about each event and their significances. Here when a significant moment arises it refers to the singular Event, such that each significance is so of and refers to the originating event. This is to say that each significance in reality calls forth the Event so that each event refers to the Event for its significant meaning. The singular becomes multiple so the multiple remains singular. As opposed to real experience that resides in the pure multiple and ‘seeks what it finds’ by including the void in its coordination of sets, the significant experience stems from the void and ‘begins the count’, or establishes the vector, the ordination of subsequence, because such event belongs to the void, and as Alain Badiou might put it, occurs in the evental horizon. Thus one can say that moments of significance should not have ‘more’ significance, but have the ‘same’ significance, each real significant event recalling the originating significance. Hence also, reality does ordain significant events such as birthdays and great holiday vacations, but such significance can be said to be relative to the Event as one knows which has the greater significance and what actually motivates, where the cardinal value arises as a denial of such relation through relative knowledge that we have called ‘correlationalism’, or what is constituted by the pure multiple of the real possibility of coordinated sets. Consistent with real transcendence, the cardinal indicates how value is situated and meaning finds form, and with a nod to Quentin Meillassoux, how reason itself relies and substantiates upon a stable yet undisclosed substrate, which I say is demanding of faith because it is the philosophical object, its objective, the ‘philosopher’s stone’ of reason, and which he says is the ‘necessitarian inference of probabilistic reasoning’ [QM; pg 97]. Again the irony resounds.

The question has to do with this latter area of significance.

We are talking about meaning. Significance concerns meaning. When we say that there is continuing significance as opposed to ‘another’ significant event, we are speaking to the meaning that continues through the various occasions, the various significant events. It is the same meaning in different contexts, showing itself, the same meaning, through different lenses. But usually the Event is not seen in this way; the ‘lenses’, the objects, are not seen as occasions of the Event, but rather as occasions that are ‘filling in’ the object, indicating a progress of knowledge that has to do with a greater knowledge of objects, which is to say, of reality. Recall the transcendent and empirical elements of reality; this latter viewing occurs in oscillating fashion, to the effect of significant revelatory experiences that are leading one along some purpose which is the simultaneous progress of the knowledge of the True Object and the individual of reality.

The True Object and the individual are defined and specific elements of reality; they are identities in contrast (ala Martin Heidegger) to what is the same. They are ‘cordoned off’ in meaning to have real identity. In the same way, significance occurs. Such identities arise from effectively segregational meaning. In reality we build things and take them apart and find how they work and put them back together in different ways to find out what each identity is, and this process is cumulative and culminating such that typically, even when the significance continues through the multiple events, the Event is viewed as a segregate identity, that is, as above (Otto), the precedent experience is kept segregate by the virtue of the faith that is invested in the ability of the term to identify its object. This is why the Event becomes denied in reality; this accounts for why the Romance stays romantic, in the either/or condition, ala Soren Kierkegaard, instead of moving into the Romance that is marriage.

It is the continuing significance that defines how reality is situated in truth, for now we are dealing with the individual for whom events have significance because of the originating Event. This corresponds the individual in reality who comes across the romantic experience. He draws from the mystery into a relationship that would destroy reality; this relationship (for now in speaking) is the Romance. In this real situation the individual is appraising the situation in real terms such that the Romance is such by virtue of an identity with which or whom the individual has a relationship with, but which he also seeks as to its reality. The first question is always, “Is this real?” But because of the initial investment in reality that every individual has, the question of truth is not distinct; the question of truth is a precipitate of the next question playing out in the activity that is real life, which is “what should I do?”, but then as the significance of the Event passes into the terms of reality that seek to bring the meaning of the Event into reality as purpose, again as Otto above, “the mystery is frankly excluded” and the significance of the experience itself falls away, or rather becomes real. It is then sought after and is found again as progress is the investment in objective identity.

If the question “what should I do”, which connotes the meaning of the experience as purpose, is answered, then reality is saved, faith in the True Object is upheld in that the ‘mysterium’ has been solved as purpose. The significant event is set in context as ‘inspiration’, or for a probably better colloquialism, ‘spiritual experience’, but even if the inspiration denies the experience as spiritual, here inspiration itself saves reality. It is when no performable act is conveyed, and no purpose is able to be termed, that reality falters. Doubt is the operative mechanism here, for the present is only presented as ‘path’ in a retrospection that cannot project it out upon the future as ‘a path’ of inspiration; reality is changed.

Hence, what I understand of the ‘pocket veto’ rings a particularly interesting note.

The playing out of the question of reality brings the question of truth and grants thereby in relief the significance of the pocket veto. For we are not talking about the veto as it is held in the pocket; this is indeed the Romance in reality. We are now talking about the veto once it needs be played and if it can be or not. If it can be, then the mystery that has been frankly excluded is conveyed into reality intact as a real item for negotiation, as a proposal, a hypothesis, a theory, that moves reality in its progress as a significant object to be considered. Yet if the veto cannot be played – and this evidences a particular showing of a true polemic of power – then the mystery that is frankly excluded is indeed excluded in reality, which is to say, it is destroyed. And this mystery is exactly the transcendent.

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END Part 1.

I believe I should leave some bibliography, which will also do for part 2 and if there is a part 3; in fact it could probably serve as a seed biblio for what is to come.

Martin Heidegger. Being and Time, and other essays of his.

Alain Badiou. Being and Event.

Quentin Meillassoux. Beyond Infinity

Francios Laruelle. Principles of Non-Philosophy

Rudolf Otto. The Idea of the Holy

Soren Kierkegaard. The Sickness Unto Death, and, Fear and Trembling

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For a brief discussion about the Romantic Era – and as a bibliographic site: http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/lecture16a.html

And thank you Dave at Inthesaltmine.com for our continuing interaction, and his coining of the idea of a ‘pocket veto’.