Category Archives: Graham Harman

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!

Analogue vs Digital Philosophy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Post Text:

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

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

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

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.

Crash Space and the Move to a ‘Science’ (of the Subject): To Ping or Not to Ping, Phenomenology and Observer Effects. REPOST

 

THREE POUND BRAIN Im finding has got some cool observations, often a manner of approach that seems insightful.

In the discussion of a philosophical scientism, the post below appears to me to indicate more a datum, a kind of data point, over a semantic content. If we hold to the idea that indeed we will be able to come upon a ‘phenomenological science’, so to speak (for lack of a term; maybe it is better voiced as a science of continental philosophy, science of the Subject, or a science of philosophy, or existential science) it will come when when the content of proposals does not fold back into itself to ask questions of its epistemological and ontological being. The problem we (as a kind of Western dominator-colonialist hegemonic discourse) have been dealing with for some time in philosophy is the problem of redundancy; that is, the recurrent check upon sovereign privilege. Yet we cannot escape the issue that surrounds the statement ‘for those who understand’, for, there is indeed an issue for those who understand, if you catch my drift*.

This is where this essay by THREE POUND BRAIN seems to have purchase. Quite compelling; these thinkers have conflated particular arms of the issue to further close the gap that occurs in the perpetual philosophical deferring of redundancy. The issue of what we are calling a science of the Subject (again, for lack of a better term), concerns our ability to dismiss ourselves from the semantic content of philosophical discourses: This only occurs for those ‘who understand’ the issue. The issue is, as I just said, the recurrent enfolding of meaning; this issue has to do with a kind of route where the thought is always extricating itself from the object of its proposal in the effort to find a more true thing of reality. So, if this be the real case, what is and has been occurring all through our history of critical thought, then what is it issue in our ‘science’ concerns an ability to be removed from that recurring redundancy.

The redundancy, the space of ‘naught’ that the redundancy covers, the ‘pass’ that maintains the current paradigm that situates ‘subject’ and ‘object’, is what the essay below calls a ‘crash space’, for another term, and aside from the struct Husserlisan phenomenological reduction, it takes a certain kind of understanding of the issue (this, itself another kind of redundancy) to see and accept the the Reduction is indeed a facet of everyday human life, over a particular methodological approach.

What we find, though, what inevitably is a part of the science that accepts instances of truth (objects) is that this essay below thus becomes another data point. In order to see this, we then need to understand what the traditional philosophical method does, and how it produces ‘Objects’, which is to say ‘ideological/mythological objects’, as opposed to witnessing and involving the manipulation of mere objects themselves.

We need notice that philosophical reduction can occur with any object, that the Phenomenologist reduction is not a particular meaning upon a particular clausal route, as if it occurs only when one thinks in a manner that Husserl denotes, describes or explains. In fact, any object may be looked into to find that its basis is naught; but this does not mean that it thus is a relative ideological manifestation, but more indeed that the ideological manifestation itself reduces to naught, that the route is incorrect in its maner of reckoning. Yet again, this does not mean that there is nothing ‘outside’ of whatever. This ‘nothing’ is the crash space. All discourses arise an an ideological mandate, as a intrinsic mythology, due to the substantiation of a single foundational fact, this fact being the uncontroversial term, the ‘given’ of the discussion.

It is here that Harman’s ‘over’ and ‘under’ determination becomes operative as relational analogous categories to describe what his occurring, again, not as substantial real components of objective quality. His arguments are against particular contexts, particular discursive ‘givens’ that he must confront as a member of the academy, for which he must produce content.

So also, we then see, as much as the essay below represents a datum over another semantic point of argument, it is because it takes another ‘given’ as a means to argue a particular point about what may be real; this time a sort of ‘brain’ or ‘physical operation’ of such real structure. The given of the physical brain producing experiences has allowed a view that sees itself as a partial manifestation of an impartial effect, and has understood that without such partiality (the partiality wherein what is impartial likewsie resides in meaning), ‘nothingness’ occurs in meaning and its corresponding ‘feeling’, which is the collaspe of knowledge into itself, collapsing upon itself. And, that this means only that when there is no view that there is no view; it does not mean that there being no view means that the world is the view. This fact reveals something about the nature of being human, and it is more than an existential nihilistic uselessness amd purposelessness.

Similar to Bruno Latour’s effort in AMIE to first identify the need for an opening, and then to allow for the facts that can be discerned because an opening has been allowed: So it is that we might begin to find these ‘givens’, and how they manifest discourse as proposing substantial content. These ‘givens’ as datum, rather than the argument upon what is reduced or produced from the discourses, which result in redundancy; seeing there discourses as results of a given situation, thereby grants us the data by which to discern our sought after science. The data will then be the content, but not in its argumentative capacity, but rather what it is doing. 

The example is, say, a chair. How much do you need to say in describeing a chair before I understand what you are talking about? Probably very little. Yet conventional philosophy says that you can never describe enough, and I will never realize what you are describing as a chair. It takes little more than this to realize that philosophy of this sort is based in a fantasy. So we might see that the idea behind these two aspects of the philosophical method is: Left only with a capacity to know, which is to say, if I already did not have a conception or idea of what a chiar is, and or I did not have recourse to a personal gesture from the first person toward the object in question at hand for reference, and or in some imaginary world where there might be a being or intelligent creature who is not human who has no access to a chair nor has ever experienced what a chair might be — in the condition of at least one of these three conditions, knowledge left to itself would never be able to convey the chair to another’s knowledge suffuciently to supply this other with ‘chairness’. Always there would be another question that would have to be qualified, and the answer to which that would fail to qualify exclusively what a chiar actually is.

Nevertheless: There is a chair right there and I do have recourse to many human aspects and relationships to be able to convey to me what a chair is sufficiently enough for me to not only use it functionally (to sit down on it), but as well to use it in communication on many levels. One might ask: What else is a chair then? Wee; it is more than ideology and political social justice, though these things are indeed necesaary and good (we should instead just call them what they are instead of lumping them into the category of ‘philsophy’.)

Conventional philsophy would have it that we have access to what the chair might actually be, but not only this. Conventional philosophy assumes as it is important that we not only acknolwege that the chair exists as ‘more than’ a chair, but also argues this importance. This is why modern conventional philosophy has been accused of being nothing less than sophistry. The aggravating issue has to be what happens when we notice what conventional philsophy is doing.

We notice that philosophy is arguing its own validity even in the face of the exposure that its validity is merely an argument. The idea is this: Do I have to argue that a chair is a chair for it to be a chair, or is it always already a chair? I would say that the chiar is a chair regardless of what I want to say about it, but that further I can say many things about a chair, but I dont have to argue its existence for me to be able to consider the many things about what a chair may be.

Now; when we look at philosophy and we realize what it is doing, what does that mean?

I say thay it means that we have found the object called philosophy despite its argument about how it cannot be found. I say that this object is conventional philosophy because most philosophers are so caught up in the method, the substance that is logic step 1, logic step 2, step 3…as of logic is more than merely a tool, that they are incapable of admitting that thier method has been identified, in fact, as an object. They will be completely mystified as to what I can possibly mean, and will use the method to prove to me I am wrong, that philosophy is not an object that can be found. Yet it is because I used no method to find it, I stick with what I am doing to call it philosophy, and distinguish the arguments of convetional philosophy as now a near empty set, an object whose content I may now use as data.

So we might continue along this idea: How much do I have to read of Emmanual Kant before I understand what he is talking about? I say not very much, because , just like the chair, once you understand what he is saying, you understand the object he is talking about. Likewsie; how much do I need to read of Hurserl? Quite soon in the reading of Husserl you see the object he is describing. What about Derrida? Delueze? Wittgestien? Hegel?

What happens when we admit the object they are talking about is indeed a common object, rather than a secret and deep, complex and elusive object? Answer: We can begin to address what these authors are saying as data, that is, as examples of what Subjects are doing with the common philosophical object. Relieved of psycholoigcal theological approximations that rely upon intuited transcedental subjective interpretations to manifest identity, we can thereby begin to view the human object, as opposed to having only the enfolded and redundant subjective interpretation of objects. Once we can begin to accumulate data on what the Subject is doing with the common philosophical object, we can begin to more fully understand what the human being is, and what it does.

 

The THREe POUND BRAIN essay evidences a certain cognition, a certain intentional acknowledgment of the issue, as well as intuiting what needs to occur. It seems that, at least here, THREE POUND BRAIN evidences a closer move toward this science.

 

 

* “The Moment of Decisive Significance: A Heresy” which will be out soon , fingers crossed , addresses these concerns, albeit in a non-conventional manner. The Revised edition has an added Preface, Preface to the Introduction, Forward and an Introduction, as well as an Author’s Note,  just to make sure everything is handled. 😄

REPOST:

 

JAMES XAVIER: Sam, what’s the range of human vision? SAM BRANT: Distance? JAMES XAVIER: No, wavelength. SAM BRANT: Between 4000 angstrom units and 7800 angstrom units.* You know that. JAMES XAVIER: Less than one-tenth of the actual wave spectrum. What could we really see if we had access to the other ninety-percent? Sam, we […]

via To Ping or Not to Ping: Physics, Phenomenology, and Observer Effects — Three Pound Brain

 

[NOTE: A variation of this comment about an essay posted in THREE POUND BRAIN forms part of the “Preface to the Intorduction” of the revised 1st edition of the book “Absolution“, that is called now: “The Moment of Decisive Significance: A Heresy“. It is copyright 2016 by Lance A. Kair.]

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.) 

Time is Longer That We Think..

If we think there was a post-modern era, and now we are in a another era, think again. While I have my difficulties with Bryant, he at least appears to engage with ideas and text in a manner that defies ‘temporal eras’. So again we have a further evidence of the need for a bifurcation, a divergence. In time we could say that there is was an era that can be identified by certain types, certain organizations of terms; yet of time we can say that post-modernism identifies, in the Lyotardian sense, a certain type that has nothing to do with objective-temporal eras.

If Byant’s post below is not a post-modern expression then I don’t know what is. Set me aside then because you are obviously, as I say, oriented upon a True Object in a manner that I see as contrary to the manner in which Bryant is engaging in his post. (I will never know what Bryant has to say about this, because i am beneath his consideration).  

In 20 some-odd years, we have not moved from Derrida and the other PMs; in 50 not a jot from Sarte or Lacan; in 100 years, not stepped on increment from Heidegger’s Dasein, in 200 years, not one minute from Hegel. What is new is interesting. What is not new is significant.

In contrast yet complicit with Latour: We are Still Modern.

Here is the evidence:

REPOST:

 

 

There is something unbearable about the Lacanian teaching; something that makes you want to turn away and flee, or at the very least forget. It is not his opaque style, though that style performs the very thesis he wishes to articulate. At its heart, the core Lacanian teaching is that there is no cure for […]

via The Ineluctable Tragedy of Existing — Larval Subjects .

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.