Category Archives: Alain Badiou

Ray Brassier Social Philosophy.

the REPOST first :

Originally posted on >ect podcast: >ect explores why philosophers are compelled to try to understand the social reality of which philosophy is a part https://soundcloud.com/ectpodcast/ect-9-in-conversation-with-ray-brassier “To really distinguish the ideal and the real is to understand how they are distinguished in practice, and not in thought – in what we do, and not in what…

via >ect 9 In Conversation with Ray Brassier — synthetic zerø

When the Speculative Realism symposium occurred, I think everyone acted like 1950 rock and roll fans. If Zizek is Elvis..

(But this is more on the mark)

then the SR guys were like the Everly Brothers…

Ray Brassier was at both of the Conferences.

Now,

we should not be too unavailable to the whole presentation embedded of these figures and their reception. But when we begin to discount what is occurring here, we are likewise able to have a view.

From the first moment of SR, those philosophers were attempting to put down the popularity. This seems to be because all the hoopla was around another sort of idealism, despite what the SR’s would be saying in their respective philosophies. The reaction to their popularity can be found even in the fact of the authors attempts to dismiss themselves from some a sort of common “philosophical school”. Even as I can say “the SR’s” we should be careful not to lump them into some organized category; each purports to have different views on various topics. But the main thing that organizes (-ed) them is they all felt that there should be a way to get outside of what we know all too well, the “central phenomenal thinker” as this aspect tends toward exclusivity. It is no wonder that they decried their pop-star-lartity.

This ‘new’ idea of getting outside of the central thinker was the right move at the right time, but the manner that they proceeded, and proceed, is and has been a let down overall; a let down to philosophy, that is, but actually really good (in this case, at least) in the area of critical thinking, social structures, and social justice. Though many did or do not realize what happened, the basic fault is that the only way to get outside of the central thinker is to set the issue of the CPT (central phenomenal thinker) aside. As I have said, perhaps we need to begin to be more clear about what philosophy does, is capable of doing, and is allowed to do. Maybe Im splitting hairs, but it seems like Brassier has become less a philosopher and more a critical theorist. He even proposes that it is less ‘thought’ and more ‘practice’; Sounds like he’s falling right in line with Pierre Bourdieu and those other social French.

What this does, or did, was close-in the walls of free thought into the defined parameters of religious theology. Basically, the flattening out of the activity of the mind to a defined category called “thought” announces as it proclaims that every philosophy is basically and universally based in central thinking that will no longer be individualized within a universe of possibility. 700 years ago we would have called this given “the soul”, and even 100 years ago “the spirit”, and argued over not only it’s the stance of quality but indeed how it is supposed to be situated in the truth of the human being and it’s world. Now, the free thought will be organized within a defined limit that we call the universe, as the universe is now defined as the given region where thought occurs over a common category of being called human; this then is suppressed to be given, unnoticed, as an essential substrate no longer addressed, to be enlisted in the common goal of “humanity”, now another defined object amidst a multiplicity of universal objects, a universe of ‘social’ situations. If we never had an actual “humanity”, the SR’s allowed for us to confine our situation to there by begin the long historical process of sterilizing it, commodifying it, to there by establish more thoroughly and definitely its worth as a thing of the (catholic/capitalistic) cosmos; a thing to be used for the purpose of furthering the interest of humanity, or as they would have said 700 years ago, “God’s Plan”.

OK. no problem. If there is a problem then I should hear about it.

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This then allows us to gain purchase on what Brassier is really talking about.

Pave over the distinction between “appearances” and “reality”. In short, our current moment is occupied by a need to account for random and apparently uncontrolled occurrences. Something is occurring from the “outside” that we have not been able to account for nor control; things like Trump, addiction, climate change, Russia, China, market fluctuations, technological authoritarianism, commercial manipulation, etc..Ray’s lecture is a short theological report of how humanity can come to terms with a freedom that is confined (imposed religion), with the apology that it such a confinement is needed if we are to ethically address these obvious social concerns.

We can’t have thinkers who are really free contaminating the scientific research toward of anarchistic, random fluctuations. We are on a species (special) mission of control.

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It is at this point that we are able to come upon a significant philosophy. Of course, this is not to discount the need for critical thought and creative solutions for actual social problems. But if you look at the over arcing statement by Ray we have the implications of the discourse that moves towards authoritarianism rather than creativity itself; he says that any philosophy that does not consider it’s route and what is social should not be taken seriously.

Here we have the usual divisional strategies that go along with authoritarianism.

With a layman ear, the ear that most people will hear him through, even those intelligent, educated and lettered “laymen”, he is not just saying that society and considering social solutions is very important, he is saying that any critical philosophical thought that does not found itself in these issues is not a serious philosophical pursuit.

“To really distinguish the ideal and the real is to understand how they are distinguished in practice, and not in thought – in what we do, and not in what we represent ourselves as doing.”

“A philosophy that doesn’t try to understand social reality – that doesn’t try to understand its own connection to a world that wasn’t created to be philosophisable – is not being done seriously.”

This kind of statement should put us on notice, but also we don’t want to be too reactionary to this reactionary statement and proclamation. Yes; as I have said elsewhere in this blog, philosophy should consider actual real issues. Yet, of course, philosophy and social reality cannot be distinguished except under particular conditions, conditions that allow for what is particular. I am not sure why or how any one could write anything that has any meaning or purpose behind it and not be considering the social arena. We could even go so far as to say that a discourse, or philosophy, that would situate itself in not having to do with the social realm is actually a move that finds itself in contradiction such that its meaning would have to be non sequitur to the proposed area that it addresses. Indeed; as I have indicated of a certain non-philosophy: It is done in Bad Faith. But then isn’t that the real issue? The issue of Reality?

So on one hand, Brassier is situating us to not look at the contradiction; SR itself is a move away from the further consideration of contradiction, a move into that region where contradiction is the marker of what is true of reality over what may be true in itself. So in considering Brassier’s proposal here, we might consider an original panel member of the Speculative Realism talk, Graham Harman, who advocates getting back to the thing in-itself. We are dealing here with an agenda, a specific and particular manner of speaking about things, a particular manner of using things, objects. for a certain purpose. Right now, the single most necessary object we need to deal with is a social one, so this object has been associated with what is ‘real’ because of the necessity involved with being human in the world right now.

On the other hand, we should at least understand that he is involved in an institution which, after his “great” contribution to the SR, Along with his growing need to appear relevant in the academic community, must be upheld. He has reached a certain position of authority and stature that must be maintained if not as a conscious choice at least as a theological man date required by his position: he has no other way to make a living and so he can’t really suggest anything too radical, that is, except by reducing the object of that “radical” to something that is actually not very radical at all. We begin to see why SR became so popular for about a half a second and now has kind of falling into philosophical mediocrity: Because thats what people want: to offer reparations to a claimant for an issue that they do not understand.  In other words, communication is likewise taken as a given potential accross a unitive category, even as we alteady know such a category is highly problematic.

yet, This is not a fault of Brassier; the issue has been laid out by his mentor, Alain Badou, and I doubt it was missed by Brassier. I like him, and I like SR, but it is a truth that, once pointed out, is commonly set aside as an indicator of intension to rebuke or deny. This is not the case with me or this post. This post is a description, a laying out what is before us in its blatancy. This is to indicate a certain categorical set where communication does occur. Again; it is not so much that we don’t need to consider Society it’s problems and ways to solutions through thinking critically, it is more that philosophers tend to lump “philosophy” into this generalized common category that as they go on in their institutional position are seeing more and more to be speaking to the whole category of not only philosophy but humanity in general as indeed a common ethical substance.

When we begin to understand what this motion is, and that an acknowledgement and recognition of this type of motion does not negate the validity of what is moving, then we begin to understand how such philosophical statements such as Ray’s here is really, often enough, limited in its scope of appropriation and provocative only in the sense that he is promoting a particular type of theological belief, at that, A necessary one that we call social justice.

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We have stepped even deeper into that domain about which institutional and conventional philosophy becomes nervous.

In particular, we should see that the issue of race relations, in particular, problematizing Whiteness, is presently salient. In light of this, we would be remiss if we didn’t look to the end as it involved the reality of being human: If we at some point gain a sufficient equity of peoples such that race no longer can be used as a marker is power and oppression, what then, of a real humanity, do we have then? Do we think that Medieval Fuedal Europe was about race? Or the Ottoman Empire, or the Chinese Dynasties? or Pre-European Africa? Of course, because we are currently enmeshed in a pertinecy of race relations, we will inevitably see power and race being wielded everywhere, but if we take a cue from Descartes tac (highly unfashionable in this moment), we might just glimpse that race is not always the central issue. The issue is always power, that even within what we could generalize a homogegeous cultures, power is still wielded in an oppressive manner through manipulative systems and tactics upon people regardless of what type of people that might be. In fact, we might see that the discussion of race might move over into having to define what is not actually or specifically racial into it being the case, or analyzable through the racial trope. This is the post-modern condition we have; we need not go into how discourse may or may not determine reality and the repercussions of such an ideal here.

But to make short what could be a very long essay, I ask the reader to consider what systemic racism means in light of the following statement, and how that might have to do with philosophy, the turn away from the CPT, and the defining of the parameters of what should be taken “seriously”:

There are people who continue to write outside of white standards, to our collective benefit. But to reap the social fruits of their labor we must remove the standard of white-centric history.” ~Andre Perry, The Hechinger Report, Jan. 30, 2018

The issue of correlationalism and access appears to haunt the SR/SM thinkers; a very obvious and easy way to set this issue aside (the SR’s love ‘setting aside’ as a methodological tenant issues that directly challenge thier positions) is to move into the ‘social’ maxim.

HERE’s SOME MORE ELVIS TO GET YOU THROUGH YOUR PHILOSOPHICAL CONTEMPLATIONs!

Anslem’s Argument for the Proof of the Existence of God, the Disruption of Time, and the Categorization of Philosophical Behavior.

I seem to have found a significance for Anslem’s proof. It may be that it is not significance for whether God might exist, but, as I have said, significance for how I present ideas.

We will start with the rendition from Princeton’s site. I think they have a pretty good rendition there.

Without all the strict logical hoopla, I think the simple way to put Anslem’s idea is that God exists because we can think of It.

The significance of this notion appears to disrupt what we generally consider of time, it’s ‘natural and directional’ progress.

The Princeton site says that Anslem was addressing a particular issue that, actually, we still find totday in atheism. Basically, Anslem is confronting two ideas:

1.He understands the claim that God exists.
2.He does not believe that God exists.

Now, I have done only the most preliminary research into Anslem and his ideas. I am just taking the very popular simple version, and considering these two situations. There is no ‘hidden’; whatever Anslem’s results most probably are quite apparent, and the ones that are not – well, what point am I trying to make here? I have already said in my earlier post that there is no logical argument that sways me in any direction or causes me to believe something I didn’t before. So any extension of argument must be involving something else; perhaps I am attempting to get at what this something could be.

I think the main point Anslem makes is that, as Princeton puts it, this is an inherently unstable condition of being. What we might call the ‘founding essence’ can be understood to be responsible for this instability. Somewhat similar to a ‘thing-in-itself’, this founding essence would be a kind of gravity well, if you will, of mental activity. The instability arises because of the knowledge (the known-ness) of what something is able to be. The question arises: How can I know what something is if it doesn’t exist? The basic assumption in this question, what philosophers tend to lump into the category called ontology, is that existence is, that there is no need to discern what existence is because to argue for or against the being of existence does nothing to displace the argument except as much as it merely denies existence. The point of saying something exists thus should equate with what can be known, and so the instability of the situation is found in the human ability to choose on whether what exists is actually true. In this case, though, Anslem is dealing with the basis of all that exists as a category, namely, God; God, in this sense, as we cannot but apply our modern sense to consideration of it, is merely the name of the category that contains all that can exist as an active element, the element by which all else can be said to be. The extension in time to Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’ can be understood as a factual description of this situation, and thus, rather than an opening up unto Being, ironically as a closing of Being unto itself and thus a factual description of what human beings do: The identification of the in-itself of human Being. More on that elsewhere.

The resolution that Anslem posits of this unstable situation occurs because of the foundational nature of the knowledge itself. In this Medieval Christian context (which I argue is still a modern context), the resolution (the clarity, the definition) that must be referred to must be understood in a context not so much of mind, but of the essential God-inundated mind that is able to uphold and entertain knowledge, which for our context might be the mind that exists. In short, the condition of knowledge is/was such that all things referred or otherwise are established in existence due to an absolute situation, a situation whereby all things gain their status in the universe, what we usually index by the idea of an absolute ethics, in a manner of speaking. In this condition it thus appears that a reflective mind will naturally be drawn into the the contradiction involved in making a choice as to the (true or false) existence of something that (already) exists (in essence), and will therefore correct (or become the correction) the instability by virtue of their own existence (in the absolute universe, or the universe that is indexed by absolution). The question of whether something actually, or physically, biologically exists, such as a race of human beings that live in the midieval antipodes, e2c1fd0e8fc468d9d55d018231578e47

unicorns, dragons, spirits, extraterrestrial aliens, etcetera, has no baring upon existence because of the absolute reference and access of mind to God (existence). What can be incorrect of knowledge as to what is true of existence finds its resolution in the posited (assumed) basis of existence. 

The Medieval as well as Modern mind is consistent in this ideal of progressive understanding of the universe. What is significant of this orientation upon progress is the mind’s innate access to what is true of the universe with reference to an assumed basis of that truth, what we can say is an assumption of stability unto which all knowledge will inevitably resolve; despite whether we posit that there is no actual resolution or that everything is flux, or whatever conditional conditions we define, the result of any positing is always toward ends, toward a resolution. Even if we say that the universe and the knowledge of that universe is completely and utterly contingent, this contingency must be absolute; hence we say that the effect of such terms within any scheme of knowledge or organization of definitions is what we can call a “founding term”. 

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Oddly enough, we are able to find purchase into understanding what human beings do by looking at what philosophy does. Not, as Graham Harman might have it, that everything we might do automatically falls into a subjective appropriation of semantics that defies our attempt to locate such philosophical behavior. Rather, at some point we should be able to locate a mark by which we are able to be dismissed from this correlational philosophy that wants to avoid any critical gaze upon its method.

Once we find this mark (which I do not go into here), we can extend this situation (of existence and deferment) to apply to everything that might exist: Within this situation, a person can understand and then decide upon it. There is no thing that escapes this formula, and Anslem is making an accusation about it: It is unstable, and it will eventually resolve itself to the conclusion that the thing in question exists, in his Medieval case, God, and in our Modern case, perhaps, the object of empirical physics.

The point he relies upon is the idea that God is the greatest being or thing that can exist, for, so long as we can conceive of something greater, then that is not God. Similarly, we can use this conversely and say that because we can conceive of ‘that which nothing is greater’, this greatest thing exists as a foundational ontological ground of Modern effort as well: The ‘greatest’ thing is the most substantial. 

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What interests me is that this simple notice occurred late in the 11th century. Here, already, is a situation made notice that no one noticed until very recently, like 10-20 years ago with the philosophers such as Alain Badou, Francois Laruelle, an then for the younger folks (of the time), of the Speculative Realist Conference. In particular, the idea is that there may be something that exists outside of our knowledge (not necessarily our ability to know), and as for in this situation, that which is greater than the greatest thing we can know. This category has brought modern philosophy (again) to consider things like voidnothingnesschaos and such things, and the corresponding ideal that whatever works to create identity is all good. But if we are honest, we might be able to glimpse the same ruminations of Scholasticism (St. Anslem is said to be one of the founders of the Medieval Scholasticism), occurring in our Modern philosophies, but under different terms. Indeed; I argue (along with Jean-Francois Lyotard apparently) elsewhere that Postmodern scholarship is really a religious apology for Modernity.

In this post I confront the veracity of some of our current philosophical modes and arguments by asking what seems to me to be a most obvious and significant question, a similar question that Graham Harman asks of Heidegger’s “tools“: Why did no-one  notice what Anslem had opened up until now, some 1000 years later? We are able to understand Anslem’s argument to this day; no one proposes that the thinkers 1000 years ago were any less astute than our thinkers today. Why is it only now that we are addressing the possibility of what might be ‘beyond’ or ‘at root but not part of’ (Badou’s consideration of set theory) knowledge? And then we might even ask more confounding question if we find that philosophers during the interim of the thousand years also considered the same question over and over. 

I submit for consideration that we have gotten not very far in philosophy. We might begin to understand the vastness of time and how slowly and incrementally human beings, as a group, accomplish knowledge, and how it is much more like a science than philosophers are capable of arguing. Indeed, if we think into this situation, we can then find often the situation that we have already come across elsewhere; namely, that on one hand philosophy is the way we situate the conditions of our times, how we work out logistical problems of being in a semantic world, and on the other, merely reflections of people (the authors) in-themselves. But if this is all philosophy does and is doing, then we also might see that we are actually merely re-contextualizing not what what has already been contextualized (as thus a re-contextualization), but in actually what we’ve already done, making the same arguments over and over but under different terms. We are reminded of Shakespeare’s “a rose by any other word…“.

Upon this conclusion, we are careful to not move too fast as we might then jump to the conclusion that such an idea should negate the ontological status of what I am calling conventional philosophy, as though such a proposal should then move beyond what we have and what we get through philosophical method. This is not the case. It seems near ridiculousness to figure that we can commandeer reality by a stroke of the pen (or a keystroke) except that we might be involved in such philosophical endorsement; we should then ask how is it that am I to get beyond it merely saying something in a particular manner? No. We cannot ‘turn’ the truth of the matter; we have but to see the power that is invested in the leviathan of religious interests, of maintaining a particular formation and method to know that, as the philosophers have argued, I cannot escape it unless I wish to perform some magic, perhaps some discursive slight of hand. We should ask if we can be done with all this trickery of the ontological police. Then, all we have to do is speak of facts instead of the essential Being of things, to speak teleologically instead of ontologically. We can argue the conditional nature of real essence for the rest of eternity and never get anywhere further than circling back and forth away from and back into Medieval type scholarship. And thats fine, and thats the point: This is the factual nature of reality, the impossible aspect of what we have to deal with in reality. Of course there will be those who will argue that what the philosophers are doing now days is not Scholasticism and who will produce all sorts of argumentative and ultimately circumstantial evidence to support their claim. Great! Perfect! Does this sway me to believe something that I don’t already know?  The proper response, in this case then, is that this is not a proposal toward any popular or social change, and in fact it has little to do with how political ideology might be at any moment; we can of course use it for such purposes (identifying our moment from the past conditional moments of history, for example, etcetera…), thats what Badiou and Zizek tell us…

We are not so much learning anything new as much as we are justifying our limited manner of Being in the world, and this is an end in itself that should be heeded but not as a call for change, as though we can somehow transcend what we are — we can only transcend was we identify with as political and ideological subjects. Rather, we should see this situation as a mark of what is true of being human, as a mark of significance, which is to say, a mark of fact. So another of my indictments of philosophy: Despite all the great discursive gymnastics and the twistings of subtle argumentative semantic juxtapositions, philosophy works to avoid having to look at itself as a human behavior. Conventional philosophy refuses to allow itself to be seen as an indicator of behavior, perpetually argues itself as an exceptional incarnation of divine intuition and inspiration, a blank spot of Being, and then uses this fact as a means to absorb all activity under its purview back into the real political and ideological limit — to say that this is all there is. I see the constant and basically automatic referral of all things ‘thought’ back into this kind of philosophical pond is self defeating to the effort of progress, even as progress itself is routed back into this (touted) ‘speculative’, or ‘realist’, or  ‘post-post-modern’ maxim. It is no wonder outside of capitalism is so difficult to think!

As Amoreinblog has argued somewhere, perhaps anthropology is the way out of this philosophical conundrum; despite all the philosophical misappropriations of ideas involved with the AIME (An Investigation into Modes of Existence) project of Bruno Latour (even by Latour himself, lol), his book can be read as an argument for the need to open up a space (perhaps, in his terms, create a pass) whereby we can avoid this modern philosophical whirlpool that we have been involved with for at least 1000 years. It seems that only now, with Postmodernism, but as of late Post-postmodnerism (must we find a Post-Post-Postmodernism also?) do we really get an idea, but also an actual way to understand and realize what human beings are doing.

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Time itself may be the issue that is involved with Modernity invading as it usurps all discourse into its machinery. The issue that opens up after Postmodernism (but is not itself Postmodern scholarship) is the break from Enlightenment Ontology. So it may not be so much that we have to philosophically get out of this temporal mode — that kind of move would be philosophy attempting to avoid itself through arguing itself out of itself, redundantly, establishing as it maintains reality for everyone. It may be as simple as admitting that there is no escaping the philosophical limit, and realizing a kind of anti-Husserlian manner: Of finding the independent object in the bare fact that we know that there is an independent object, and perhaps that we need not speculate about how it can be so in order for it to be so. Of course we can discuss how it can be so…and indeed we will, but that does not mean that we cannot stay where we are at and let the pagan-Christian rollercoaster come around again and again.

Maybe we need to make a clean break.

Philosophy, Colonialism and Partition.

Perhaps the title should have included “non-philosophy”. lol

This talk concerns the opening whereby philosophy is indicated to its method through the ending that supersedes its domain. Specifically, and in the context of Francois Laruelle’s “Christo-fiction“, that which supersedes any conventional appropriation is the quantum. In particular, there is no philosophical posture that is able to bring any feasible critique against its own effective omniscience, omnipotence and proposed as assumed omnipresence. The indictment is made unto its method, which is the argumentative method that is made by agents of transcendence. This alternate posture is thus outside of (conventional) philosophy’s purview, since its route is one of scientific verification over the conventional argumentative method. This alternative method is thus of allowing for a particular framework in which philosophical experiments are allowed, but it no longer includes the framework within its domain of critique.

But we are only at the very preliminary stages of this work; we are in the long game. This talk is an attempt to lay the theoretical groundwork (the breaking of ground has already occurred with the likes of Laruelle, Badiou, Zizek and Latour, to mention only the few still living), to describe some of the conditions by which such a foundation is needed and will be laid. It departs, albeit significantly, with the recurrence embedded in the conventional method’s approach, whereby human beings have access to resources that while arising from some ‘unknown’ source (immanence, transcendence, biology, neurology, evolution, creation, or whatever…), a source that is never found but at all times presents itself within the discourse that proposes to be ‘finding it’ through the conventional method of delegated agents (what I say are ‘agents of transcendence’), nevertheless still function effectively to supply a true reality, elements of which I call ‘True Objects’; the delegation process instigated by humans is at all times assumed to have the support of providence, regardless of what people might assert as the discursive conditions of such providence (such argumentative establishments are redundant).

This alternative route, in its beginnings, is involved with the effort thereby of verification. Currently, seeing that the conventional philosophical method works to obscure facts, we are involved with creating an opening whereby the facts may be noted, upon which such a scientific method may be laid. The only way forward in the effort, it appears, is through the enactment of a partition.

 (I just noticed that it cut off about the last six minutes of the talk. Sorry). 

Philosophy, Colonialism and Partition.

The first Webcast of the Philosophical Hack

…and sowing the seeds: Reply to Blake with draft excerpts from “The Second Moment”.

Reply to Terrence Blake’s recent post over at Agent Swarm:

As usual Terrence you pegged it. It’s strange how I view it and actually I can totally agree with you and yet somehow there’s something that I’m not agreeing with and really that has to do with my work, The strange situation that I find myself in reading you and is also what I’m trying to sort out. It’s actually really great.
For indeed I would say the same thing as you,  and add a few other authors to your list who really kind of saying the same thing. Yet I don’t think that Laruelle is merely repeating what these other people have repeated in a better way. I do not think that’s all that’s going on here. I would put it more in the framework of the question of why Laruelle appears in a religious context; as you kind of say his acolytes or his believers. Lol. I agree, yeah. I would say inasmuch as people are appropriating his discourses in such a way that it is organized around a proper ordering of his definitions, whether one would either believe or not believe, or that they would be ‘congregants’ or not, is a misappropriation of what Laruelle is really saying.

This further goes to my point about Laruelle himself, that he is missing the significance of what he saying (oddly enough,about the event, the object of the discourse) as a further dynamic in the whole discussion.

“…if we can talk about Kierkegaard or Nietzsche in the same or similar context, that they indeed mark sort of turning point, or at least a sort of speaking in a certain way about a certain particular thing, then it is because before this mark (that is such talk) people of such an experience, what I call the significant event, still felt or still thought in terms of a common human standard,  within  a stratified horizon of human experience where all human beings can participate in the same context of any world through the manipulations of discourse. I’m not sure what others may make of Laruelle’s ‘unilateral duality’, but to me such a term defies the stratification to which his ideas are typically applied. The idea that thus takes hold and thus usurps the meaning of Laruelle’s notions is that mode that says “if I can just explain it well enough, if I can shred up a given term into its proper real elements, if I can deconstruct a term so thoroughly that I can present it to anyone and they will understand, potentially” …(from “The Second Moment”)

This is the enterprise that you’re talking about, and indeed that’s exactly what Laruelle does, exactly the effort that he’s involved with, which is why I say he is in bad faith. For if we can take a certain lineage that involves those characters as you brought up, if not more and other ones, each of those authors attempts to situate a certain type of experience within a communication of discourse, and actually not only that, but each of them is putting it in such a way that it is clear to them, such that their project then extends into explaining to others in rebuttal and response what they already explained, yet ,in further differentiated terms as if they will somehow at some point be able to communicate what they’re really saying to these other people.

Think about phenomenology. Husserl, from what I gather, tried to put forth a science of phenomenology, and Heidegger had the same idea and difficulty with his students. You can also feel the frustration in Nietzsche’s writings and you can hear the despair in Kierkegaard. After Kierkegaard and Nietzsche pretty much that’s it. The rest of it is just a reiteration and a repetition by someone who is come upon a certain type of experience attempting to improve upon the initial explication or pronunciation of it…”

Strangely enough, the science that authors might propose seems untenable because of the very mode that they are caught in; which is to say, the mode of Enlightenment thinking, which is really evangelism under a philosophical guise. The science they ‘feel’ is untenable because they are involving ‘everyone’ in the possibility that ‘everyone’ does not as a free agent participate in. Just think if a molecular biologist had to get an OK from everyone who was involved, or who ‘proved themselves’ to be involved with biology: Nothing of molecular biology would have ever gotten anywhere since everyone thinks they know something of biology because they are ‘by definition’ a biological creature. The conventional philosophers tend to work upon a level that is supposing everyone and everything, metaphysically, but the fact is that they can never dismiss themselves sufficiently enough from their own thinking (and thus everyone else’s opinions as they are positioned upon a hierarchical transcendental scaffolding) to thereby gain an objective quality of being to thereby gain a single fact to base such a science upon,  and yet they suppose this of themselves and their ability at every turn. This is the significant issue: That they cannot allow for a humanity that is truly ‘different’; the very notion of difference becomes all too often merely an ideal notion of essential thought, as this is justified in the common thing that is the being of human. They cannot enact a science that they feel should be available precisely because they are involved in a failure to understand the mode by which they are being allowed to posit ‘being’: They are involved in an effective distance whereby they cannot ever philosophically approach the object that is human; they are ‘caught’, involved in, saturated by (if I may bring in Heidegger) the destitution that is their spirit…”

So what I see  in the period of time that goes between say the 1850s (though it  extends back further, its just at that time that a certain manner of appropriation of the object has arisen to discourse) up until now or until Laruelle, is we have the extension of the failure of the discourse that is attempting to explain a particular type of experience. And what this failure is, is involved with the religious type of orientation upon the world, which is to say that if I have (one person, i.e. the philosophical author) had this experience then everyone else should be able to understand it and should be able to realize the significance of this experience also because we are all human beings, common in the potential for communication. But what do we find in Nietzsche? Irritation and frustration at that no one can hear him. And what do we find in Lyotard? We have an evolved situation of the same experience. Here though, the Postmoderns have taken a different tact. They noticed a failure and so they use the failure as a means to establish a whole new manner of speaking about it, a different manner, so to speak. This is why postmodern is often associated with irony, because while they were sitting there talking about deconstructing everything and grammatology and such things, they are/were really trying to indicate the same thing that Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were indicating but couldn’t effectively communicate. So we have the postmodern admitting that there’s a failure in communication and making another whole  series of clausal structures based upon this different type of view of the same object.

So then what we have after the Postmoderns? We have another attempt, but this time the attempt is in the deconstruction itself. The ‘post-Postmoderns’, as I call them, Laruelle and Badiou at least, see the failure of the postmodern tact and so they think that they can improve upon what is occurred over the long +-200 year extension: If they can just deconstruct terms sufficiently enough. Laruelle is the most extreme example of this kind of  deconstruction in the sense of attempting to convey the object of knowledge that is been going on since before Kant, but just reached a certain type of saturation with Hegel and Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.

Badiou admits the total failure, and calls this failure, the object that is failed to be communicated, ‘void’. And yet because it is still there (being there) and the failure involves communication, as communication is taken still as upon a stratified human horizon, his tact is to posit how it is possible that it still arises ‘apparently somewhere’. So his sensibility is that the void erupts into multiplicity, because the problem seems to be that there is this single object that is being spoken about in a very specific manner that is somehow not being apprehended in its specificity.

In contrast, Laruelle still supposes to be able to deconstruct the term (object: terms are objects) sufficiently enough to be able to make a solute communication. But what we find is that he’s crossed the line. We find that in the attempt to deconstruct the term so thoroughly as to be able to communicate that object, that object is now apprehended as a religious type of assertion. So, instead of viewing the blowback of multiplicity, Laruelle sees that the problem lies in a prior decision of how objects are apprehended and or how people/human beings are oriented upon them for how they can be situated in reality. He blames the incongruity upon the fact that there is some other order through which objects are appropriated, that is interfering in the direct communication of this said object…”

Now for me, because I understand what the object is (the subject that is the object or purpose of the discourse) when I read these authors, there is no miscommunication about what they are saying. It is obvious to me; this is why I say all these such and such authors are really talking about the same thing, and it is why I understand the problem that they all face as well why it does not take very long to figure out and  understand the approach that they take…”

Laruelle’s ‘in the last instance’ is significant. Because somehow intuitively he knows or knew that this would be the last instance of the given of reality; that after his effort reality would precipitate out within this understanding such that it could be begun to be described as a religious institution itself (an actualized unilateral duality would begin to pronounce itself). But not just through his work; this is the long game…”

—-( Excerpts from the upcoming 2017-18  book tentatively called  “Darkness: The Second Moment of Decisive Significance”)

REPOST:

CLEARING THE GROUND (1): Laruelle’s rearview mirror

Laruelle: the mountain of jargon that gives birth to a mouse of common knowledge. One of the evolutions of my thought on this blog is the passage from a relatively favorable attitude to Laruelle to a great disappointment. This evolution stemmmed from my return to Laruelle, after having dismissed his non-philosophy as unworkable turgid repetition […]
https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/clearing-the-ground-1-laruelles-rearview-mirror/

Gggh

Ghhhrkness

A Brief Outline of the Bases of Object Orientation.

I find often that philosophers love to complicate everything and then turn around and tell you its simple, and then write a paper that uses all sorts of jargon. 😉

I think many philosophers dont even know any more wtf they are talking about.

One might want to say or think that object orientation came about due to various really in depth analyses of philosophical texts. They are wrong.

And this is not ‘realist’ or OOO. It is merely sensible given the matter at hand.

Here is a very unconventional talk, presented in a quite rebelious, anti establishment manner, about not only the reasoning behind object orientation, but also how object orientation diverges from the conventional philosophical reckoning.

(Please bare with the slow start.) 

The Modern of Post Modernism; The Anthropocene, Object Orientation and the Possibility of Ground.

 

I feel it is time to clear the air; the smoke of post-modernism still seems to linger. It is time we come to terms with what Post-Modernism means, what it meant, what it is.

There is no debate in this; any debate that would uphold a sort of PM catch-all has missed the issue. I think it is this apparent problem for which I address by suggesting a divergence is warranted.

Post modernism is a manner of dealing with reality where metanarratives fail. PM Is a response to the failure. But in that it is merely a response, it must itself be based in a metanarrative, albeit and however unsure and undisclosed as it may be. But we need no longer hesitate in this mire of indecision and doubt. Where the post-modern is indeed necessary, it often fails in that it wants to repeat itself, to reify itself, to eternalize itself; ironically, this is a Modern trait that Post-Modernism attempted to confront.

So it is we may see many authors attempting to place this indistinction, this temporal hesitation. This is where Bruno Latour attempts to make an opening: So the PM metanarrative, itself a kind of ‘unconsolidation’, might find the meaning of the void (but only void by virture of the Modern metanarrative, or the metanarrative that is modern) where by PM finds its ability to call into question metanarratives by allowing what has been silent to speak.

The task now is to find that narrative that accounts for the, now twice avoided, silence; which is to say, we need admit that we all have been colonized despite PM, that PM is was an ironic vehicle to establish and reify Modernity.

Perhaps an apparent geology, what mane are calling the ‘anthropocene’, will snap us out of the magical glamour of PM ironic transcendency, and stop fantasizing that ‘I’ have some sort of communion with ‘un-god’, some ‘extra universal’ situation. So we can get back to some sort of ground.

I have read and am somewhat familiar with 4 of the (in)famous PM authors; Michel Foucault, Jean Francios Leotard, Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Derrida. Of Baudrillard Ive only read tiny bits here and there. Virillo ive not heard of. Of course, there are other PM authors that are not so famous that I have read, and even some that are not considered ‘post-modernist’ but yet are speaking of similar issues.

While i do like and understand these PM authors i have read, i also see that Lyotard was probaly the best at seeing through history. Foucault, oddly enough, was caught in a ‘vertical’ dynamic even as he posed a ‘horizon’, and Deluze was still too high, too near to the event to be able to see past self centrism. And also that at least Lyotard and Deleuze are mis-appropriated as they are mis-applied; this last is the issue Alain Badiou and Laruelle address, as well as Bruno Latour.

It is or should be a fact, by now, that the nature of humans is to have real worlds, or a Real world, as the case may be. The issue of all if not most of many of the Big Names, as well as many smaller names, of the past 200 year of philosophy, but maybe even longer, is the difference involved in what might be called ‘truth baring’, and ‘reality baring’ operations. Every great philosopher addresses this issue, but the issue of this issue is how the telling of the ‘first’ issue often finds itself awash in the second issue, the effect that Badou describes and addresses. Yet these authorial addressings, these worlds, are, in effect, metanarratives.

There is a disentanglement of philosophy that must occur if we are to even get anywhere, if we are to stop having ‘turns’ and ‘eras’ and such. But if we must swim in this pit of eternal denial, then we can say that in a certain sense the Post-modern wanted to propose some sort of new reality, but alas we find that PM was no different than the realities anywhere else or any time, and that this is the fault of the second appropriated issue. The difference lay only in the terms that are used. Derrida said good things about discursive limitation, what for other terms is indeed the Modern/Post-modern paradox, but he too was caught in a vertical situation likewise that inevitably puts him in a modern sorting, which is to say, of a metanarrative. As a witness to this paradox, Lyotard, I’d say, was closest: The ‘post’ thus was is not meant to be some temporal suggestion; more, it was is a description of a situation and its logical defaults based within the ‘modern’ discursive scheme. Yet, that people took and continue to take it as some sort of historical era or attitude, thus shows that mis-appropriation as mis-appropriation (denial as showing what is true) is of the issue of the second type.

I say PM is more about orientation upon objects than it is about some attitude or argumentative position. What I see of PM, and Lyotard specifically, is he was come upon by his experience, his metanarrative, of himself, and found, through an engagement with history, through what is already established for by to bring what is true and real unto a person, with the discourse of reality itself, that his metanarrative could not be justified by this real discourse; upon reflection he finds that what constitutes himself is different than what the metanarrative says of himself and what he should be. This his issue presented in his book “The Differend”. So, ironically, because of this situation, he saw that indeed the discourse by which he came (comes) to know himself is incommunicable, because he must use the discourse that is already there, and by this usage avoids that which he is trying to communicate. This juxtaposition of Being, thus allowed (s) him to bring a critique against the discourse that is not ‘hearing his case’, and thus calls this critique ‘post’ modern, because the real discourse is, or is seen as, ‘modern’ and the metanarrative that is incommensurate with this modern is thus post, or after, posterior. He thus finds this ‘modern’ reality involved with meta narratives (as he was involved) that are ineffective yet being used in a behavior as if they are effective, which is to say, communicating, and moves to expose this ‘human’ facet by (ironically) critiquing it; that is, not only critiquing the metanarrative by which he comes unto the world, but the idea of metanarrative itself. He there by opens the door to the removal of the subject, and the entrance on the scene of the Object, or what has been developed ‘post-post-modern’, SR and OOO and such.

The problem, though, is always the setting aside, forgetting, and then plain mis-appropriation of the ironic paradox. It is not so much that one needs to write with some subversive or double meaning, but that the irony of the situation by which one comes unto reality must remain intact. As even Nick Land seems to notice; one must come upon a certain type of knowledge that orients one upon what reality is, what the case of reality is, such that a critique of reality stems ultimately from an honest confrontation with that route by which one is coming upon that very reality. And this is to say, one confronts ‘the world’ by attacking the basis by which he or she has the world; to segregate the issue into some objective world and some subject-agent-operator is of the second type of issue.

This is the issue at hand, as well as the feature that distinguishes the reason why we need to ‘clean up’ philosophical discussion, as well why I advocate a kind of divergence.

 

the Divergent Proposal.

The other week I read a post that I believe was by Donna Haraway ( I could ne wrong) that was addressing something to the effect that was “the cresting and crashing of the Speculative Realism wave”, and again I was left in an odd sort of state. I don’t remember just what exactly her point was – probably due to the lurch I find myself in when I read about the philosophical turns and phases; but it doesn’t matter. The significance of coming across the essay has been an occasion to speak: What, exactly, ‘crested and crashed’?

The Entry into Discourse (the very first posting of Constructive Undoing) and the subsequent essays of the Direct Tangents concerned one thing: Why is Francois Laruelle using such complex and verbose language to express such a simple idea? Why did he have to have a “Dictionary of Non-Philosophy”? A better question now, one that goes to the point of this essay here, one that answers the obviousness of the mistake inherent of Haraway’s proclamation, is why would readers need such a dictionary?

It seems obvious that what prompted the Dictionary (of NP) is people did not understand what he was saying, or maybe that it was difficult to keep his definitions in order to be able to make sense of it, to thereby understand what he is saying. It is this that indicates that indeed a divergence in the estimation of occurrences is needed. My position has always been that I understood him at first read. Now, of course, those who need the Dictionary, those who in this specific case feel that NP is/was something really cool, but also those who delve and delineate and smash and ponder others’ ideas to get to what that other is actually saying, but as in this case with Laruelle, will say that I do not understand him. The same with Alain Badiou. I will not go into the whole of my dealings that are the first half of the Constructive Undoing posts; suffice it to say that no matter what I might say to paraphrase in the attempt to describe how I understand Laruelle, those so well read and versed in the Dictionary will always retort with the the definitions. In fact, they have learned the definitions so well (probably better than Laruelle himself) that they will string together Laruelle’s terms into sentences that propose to describe to me what he is saying, or what Non-Philosophy really is, or is really saying, to tell me how I am wrong in what I have gleaned and understand of Non-Philosophy. My question back is what exactly do these definitions they are flouting mean; just what are those definitions referring to? Invariably I get in response more of Laruelle’s Non-philosophical definitions. In other words, they offer me no substantial nor tangible meaning, no basis from which or for which the terms they are using have any meaning for me that says they understand what he is saying. They are incapable of telling me ‘straight’, for a colloquialism, but constantly refer to terms that have a meaning of which one needs to be informed as to a particular meaning that further has no meaning without again referencing terms that occur to meaning along a line a clausal order that lay, some how, outside regular experience. What they do use in place of this substance I seek, this relation to my direct and very real everyday experience, is more philosophical jargon, referencing various other philosophers as to their usage of terms that relate to Laruelle’s usage either through some academic and or traditional lineage, or philosophically historical lineage of ideas.

Their defense can come from an equivalence they see of their philosophy and physics. Specifically, they take the presentation of thesis measured against a common human’s informed ability to reason, as this ability is gained through the learning of just what it is to be informed to the issues of the reasoning. In short, it claims the same type of privilege that physicists claim. They call their philosophical ‘science’ metaphysics, as if to emphasize not only the ability of reason to create a path, as well as potential for development of a method, but also the ability to apprehend a truth, much like physics, that goes beyond, deeper or higher than pedestrian or regular everyday reasoning. The difference, though, between physics and metaphysics is that physics holds its claim as a science because it only gains and proceeds by what is offered of objects. The scientific tradition is verified due to its offering nothing, but only that which is offered to its method. The problem with the supposed philosophical science of metaphysics is located in the fact that what is offered to the supposed philosophical reason has no common object, but rather the assertion of such a common object occurs only within the assertion itself, of the supposed reason that is proposing to be come upon by what is offered of the common object. This is to say, there is no object that is offered to philosophy but what philosophy makes for itself. Whereas physics developed its method through response to what was and is given by the common object, philosophy problematizes this very same object through an assertion, but then justifies its method by avoiding this very fact, as if the object treated by physics and metaphysics is indeed the same object. This move is why we can attempt to identify what is or was ‘modern’; modernism has been identified as having to do or otherwise concerning a number of ideas that can tend to appear similar or of a common type. This type has been ‘of ends’, teleology, concerned with oneness, involved with meta-discourses that propose upon a proper and correct manner of the universe.

Yet, when we begin to look at philosophy we begin to see there is an insidious persistence about its presence on the scene, so to speak. For example, it is not difficult to see that any move that proposes to be done with such meta-discourses is itself an assertion toward an encompassing meta-discourse. What we can see, and say, then, is that the only thing that happened with the exposure of the ‘modern’ philosophical problem, in so much as this problem may have been already exposed, at that, by the post-modernists, is that we now have a situation of many people proposing meta-discourses who are hoping to propose the meta-discourse that ‘wins’. In short, we see that the post-modern proposals went heard but unapplied, unrecognized as to their meaning and or the origin of their meaning; rather, the application was upon a mistaken appropriation of the meaning. This is to say that despite the post-moderns’ supposedly exposing some ‘problem’ with some ‘previous manner’ of coming upon World, it appears that in response to this exposure, ‘philosophy’, or the designation of the operator of the modern philosophical metaphysical method, is still occurring, still behaving in the same manner only now ‘hiding’ it, or at least attempting to obscure the fact that indeed nothing has changed in how the modern philosophical method functions, and whether it is realized or not, the philosophical operator is still involved with the attempt to establish a true object through an investment in the fetishized commodity; which is to say, concerned with establishing identity through capital marketing. What we have now, of this situation, is what we may call a “pass”; part of our effort is to look into what is occurring with these ‘passes’. It is the description of the event of Being that even reveals Being unto itself, and the movement that occurs with the description in hand evidences such passes.

When one looks at this, it is not difficult to see that such ‘philosophers’ (the ones I’m in a discussion with, the ones who ‘know’ about Non-Philosophy, but also many modern philosophers) are lost in dialogue, what I’ve noticed has been categorized as an intellectualism. They are caught up in terms, in complex ideas, in historical schemes of sense, in lineages of meaning that are supposed and proposed to be talking about fundamental, basic and or essential ‘Truths’ of reality. In fact, when you discuss anything with such heady philosophers, it is rare that you can get them to admit anything that can relate to everyday experience. They are incapable of speaking to reality without recurring disclaimers and conditional terms on one hand, and then without constant referral to what other people think or have thought or said. This is the overt aspect of the conventional route. They are ready to announce their prodigious intellect and memory of various authors and their individual contributions and how these ideas relate to other authors and their ideas. Papers and book are written which are nothing more than comparisons, proposals of established and novel ways such ideas might intertwine and make distinction, which end in the authors offering their great syntheses of their opinion of what ideas might be better or worse, and or how various ideas might be applied to various social and political occurrences and events. This overt conventional manner is quite analytical as opposed to what has been coined as its philosophical counterpart, continental philosophy. Thus it is really the continental school that offers the greater obstacle to the overcoming of conventional route, for one’s interest is often insufficient to find what they are looking for in the continental library, especially if they are busy colliding ideas to see what comes out.

The question concerns the view by which such modern practices, as an embodiment of what is modern, are able to be questioned, since if we understand Zizek we should not be able to have such a view, that the view itself is a symptom of that which it is viewing. What we are seeing, though, or beginning to see, what the post-post moderns (Laruelle, Badiou; I feel Zizek and Latour deserve their own catagory) revealed by their descriptions, now that certain philosophers are offering their own estimation of what is ‘new’ (Brassier, Harman, Meillassoux, Bryant, to name a few) is that the historical traditional philosophical designations fail in their conventional estimations: That the speculative and practical designations fail, and are unsuited anymore to any precise discussion of what is occurring. The aggregate of philosophical wisdom has been reduced to a discursive fashion, of sorts, such that we need now diverge from the philosophical fad that obscures the truth of the matter as it asserts the proper manner of coming upon the situation by the mere over-concern (what has been called in certain circles overdetermination) that people have with establishing themselves as an identity. What we are calling out is just this reflexivity of the Zizek sort: Zizek should be properly classified with the identity he presents by the presentation of his ideas; namely, he argues the exact position he exhibits through his proposals, and that what is occurring is not as much what he proposes except in as much as he occupies a particular historical niche, so to speak, a historical position that coincides with the post-post-modern. It is once this is acknowledged that what is divergent can be revealed as to its own presence, which is to say, its own ontological basis. This is the difference that is always negated in the conventional determination, by its assertion of omniscience and omnipotence.

The essential question one needs ask is: What about such over-reaching philosophical assertions is apparent in my daily life?