Post-modernism’s Worth. 

When we are too close to an event, we talk about it as from a distance. That is, what we say is automatically distanced from the event, a maximum distance. The event is thus, by this occurrence, an object. As opposed to our psychotherapeutic model, the closer we are to an event, the more dishonest we are about its true bearings, that is, the truth of the matter, why it is that the (the wholeness of the) event has occurred the way it has. The impetus and the reaction can be come upon as an included item, a truth in-itself, only when we are distanced from the event. The truth of an object, as opposed to the True Object, can only be viewed in its truth from a distance. The equation is thus of inversion, of ratio.

Here then we may have a basis upon which to properly view foundational post-modern writers, namely, Derrida, Deleuze and Guittari, but others also.  To wit: Their descriptions were from a basis too close to the event, such that they attempted to quickly and finally establish a ground for the event; the event being thus so profound and significant, they were compelled to offer a reason.

They were not wrong, only rash. 

It is analogous to an explosion. We have now the data from the explosion, having encountered it ourselves, but also come across the initial first hand rationalization and fact crunching reports of the explosion itself – with that, subsequent explosions, and now the reports and experience of the aftermath(s) of explosions, we can now safely report upon the truth of the whole event. 

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Tangent 4.19: what gives? The possibility of Communicating.

What gives? This is the question.

In partial thanks to Mr. Adkins, his site translation of some of Laruelle’s writings, that these came up rather early in a Google search for ‘non-philosophy project’, as well his willingness to actually read a post of mine and then to comment on it, I am lead to more and more sites with non-philosophical excerpts, comments, takes, explanations, and even some of Laruelle’s less formal essays on his own ideas. I would give a bibliography but one need only search the Internet and find as much as I have.

I am finding that I am having a certain sympathy for non-philosophy. This I come upon reading many of these excerpts and finding that my initial impression of non-philosophy, that impression I got from reading Laruelle’s own Summary of Non-Philosophy, the link to which is found in my own Direction 3.20, is correct. With apologies to those who struggle with him: a more thorough reading of his premises are sufficient to spell out everything that appears subsequently, and, everything that follows can be said more succinctly and clearly. What he has to say and has said is apparent; that is, ‘should be’ apparent. I read some of his less formal essays and it is confirmed, but his “non-philosophy dictionary” and other more academic papers – My question all through my essays is simple: why is his language so complicated. I have offered a few reasons and continue to do so, but a significant reason has to do with what could be called ‘evangelism’ – his question of “should humanity be saved” is implicated in his use, in his appropriation of the priority discourse of philosophy, though his appropriation also has to do with the necessity of existing (see my posts: Direct 2.28 and Direct Tangent 3.1 and more on this later). One should notice in conjunction with this idea that my argument uses Laruelle ironically, as the occasion for his argument as well as his for mine: this is his position and mine and possibly others – but this is the issue, isn’t it. What the hell is he talking about? For that matter, what the bejesus am I talking about? Well, I am talking about how complicated the issue can be made to appear, and he is complicating the issue. What?

Further, once we see this we can only conclude that it is contrary to the philosophical premise and method (the proper conventional method: that extraneous details can be ruled out of the explanation offering the truth. So I must also ask: what gives of non-philosophy? Is it really different than philosophy? Only one person can answer that sufficiently: this is the point of the project.

* *

Through my investigating Laruelle himself, as well by other authors various synopses of Laruelle, I cannot get by the overwhelming drudgery and weighty cumbersome language used to convey proposed non-philosophical thoughts. I can get through it, but I cannot get by it. I cannot but help to be hit by the question of why would someone wish such entanglement upon themselves that they would have to resort to such – shall I say – unwieldy conceptualizations and to boot have them must be reflected in writing. I should think that the most simple iteration of a concept would be the more true of conveyed ideas. Are the concepts that Laruelle wishes to convey truly so complicated?

Whereas before having delved into the pit I could only almost reprimand Laruelle himself for his abuse and his evidently misleading of putting into words the obviously troubled thoughts, now I have sympathy for a soul that would have to try so hard for something that for me is so utterly simple. But yet also, I should see that Laruelle must be putting it into the simplest presentation he knows. Understandably one has to wonder how much is bogged in the French-English translating, but even accounting for this – then I have to wonder about the French as a culturally influenced discursive-traditionally trodden group of individuals who cannot help but make a discursive mess of complication out of simple truth. I only say this after reading Sartre also, never mind Badiou and the others. But I cannot blame it on being French; they just have their own way. Still I am left with other non-philosophical authors. Slavoj Zizek has a great way also, but Zizek has a different way, a talent unto himself of being non-philosophical without being non-philosophical: if there ever is a man who can act, that is perform radically immanent it is Zizek (But ill get into the radical sensible nonsense in the later).

Every one ( because maybe there is at least one ) reading my blogs should already know that it is about describing the emperor’s new clothes: his new clothes here is the non-philosophical jargon.

*

All this here leads me to wonder about mass hysteria. I wonder how just sounding important makes importance. Shit; new modern music of all sorts is all about production. One has the right look, the right sound, the right stage presence, the right lighting, the right sound engineer – it hardly matters if the music is any good because the quality of the music is all these things: and so people love it and it thus becomes good music. Of course the modern philosophical thought-ers and hipsters will counter: well, what do you think is good music? And of course we live in the relative age, where very one’s opinion is valid, especially if you apprehend the details and can talk the talk. If you can talk the talk then of course everyone thinks you are walking the walk, even if you are not . Its so great we can at any time conveniently mark away ideological, theoretical, philosophical, critical and psychological ideas of power and control, and reduce the high thinking to the lowest common reality. Thank god for individual freedom and personal preference; individualism will surely find us the right way.

As long as I am using big words, and big concepts jammed into condensed terms, and as long as I am name dropping enough I get to be important and what I say magically becomes imbued with deep significance; it hardly matters if I am saying anything significant at all because I am one of those so hysterical. I cannot help but thinking I am saying something really cool and deep because I am modeling my coolness and depth after someone I admire because of his or her complex discourse that I deciphered or was taught to decipher. Now I have something to say and I propose to be perpetuating or contributing to the great complicated idea by further complicating the issue.

If this isn’t exactly what Laruelle is decrying then his project means nothing. But this is what he is saying philosophy does. He is saying it kindly and subtly – as I said in an earlier post, he is trying not to offend anyone – because this is what he does also!

But here is a man who is indeed saying something significant. And thus my query of “Direct Tangents”, and thus my “Constructive Undoing”. Laruelle cannot have come upon such an idea and not have known the outcome, that is, the point, by the time he was beginning to write: his problem could only have been how to put it into terms. Since he must at least by now know that his premises are contradicted in its manifestation, his project must include the possibility of its being taken over, commandeered, by the masses who think they understand him; he must have already considered the possibility involved in the limitations of communication. It is obvious that what has been termed ‘philo-fiction’ stems from a particular conveyance of this limit. Indeed, in, what I believe is the preface to his book “Struggle and Utopia at the End Times if Philosophy”, he even says that non-philosophy by its mode of communicating risks being made into another philosophical object.

And it is here that we come to the only result of his project. Either he sees this and remains consistent in his argument, thus he admits his bad faith, or he does not and thus is essentially in bad faith. No amount of discursive acrobatics can alleviate this paradox. No amount and no type of argument can wind its way out from this web. The project must involve what is not real, i.e. fiction. This is one way he designates his departure from traditional philosophy, but also how he implicates philosophy to the rest of reality, and not just some part of it, some discursive arena.

Part of the answer lay in his discerning of radical immanence.

So, what gives? Does he understand the issue or does he not? What gives? ( Hint: if his question “should humanity be saved” is any indication, I would say he hopes he does.)

And so, next up: some more particular addressings….

Tangent 4.12: Resonse to Mr. Adkins comment.

* * *

[This is an updated copy of my reply to Taylor Adkins comment on my previous post, Direction 4.10. Taylor Adkins has a WordPress site called “Fractal Ontology”‘ if anyone wants to check it out. There he has translated three or four of Laruelle’s essays on Non-Philosophy.]

Right off, I am not totally up on how all this interactive media intertwines, so far a commenting and answering and/ or knowing if the commenter gets the reply or what. So I will begin with doing it this way (actually replying and then also making the reply a new post) and then I will see what happens and then go from there.

Mr Adkins thank you. And, I was rude first so if you were rude that’s fine. I welcome critique in any form. Also, to what you pointed out, as to my “working through”, I will respond with Socrates, from ‘Protagoras’, in as much as I propose, that I do question:

“Do not imagine…that I have any other interest in asking questions…but that of clearing up my own difficulties.”

I appreciate how you rounded out your comment – but I do not think I have missed the point, and, at the end you add that you are not clear of my point.

You have brought up many valid, pertinent and correct observations. Indeed, I will endeavor to have a closer read of Laruelle. Perhaps I can suggest you read my earlier posts, since I am In the process of unfolding argument. In subsequent posts, I will address your points, and Laruelle’s, in more particular fashion.

I did not realize that You translated his work; I absolutely respect your ability and perspective. So I must assume that the discursive manifestation of your translation is a ‘best possible’ version; that is, that you did you best to remain true to not only what he is saying but also where possible his actual wording for English.

Thus
My position, as to Laruelle, and philosophers in general, is exactly this: is the wording – the high-speak jargon – necessary for what he is proposing? And, what, exactly, is he proposing?
And I say it is not; or, at least, it was necessary in so much as he had no other way to say it for his ability and situation, but also necessary so much as it has been presented to me to critique. So my blog, “Constructive Undoing” is an exploration of the possibilities of why it has been presented in the way is has been, as well, a rebuttal to what appears to be his meaning. In particular, I suggest that while he indeed marks a significant issue (the repetition involved in a discussion that sees itself making progress ), I am involved in the process of explicating the necessary results of his position: If his project contradicts these necessary ends, what does this (also) mean? It is not difficult given his premises, to derive the end run.

Also, if I have misconstrued what Laruelle is saying, it only goes to further my point: if what he is saying is significant, then why do I have to decipher it? What of Ocham’s Razor ((spelling?) if I can evoke this idea)? I submit that I can say as much with less jargon and be consistent with his premises, and if this be the case, then his jargonized presentation can be seen to uphold a type of privilege – despite himself – but not only that, a conventionally religious privilege, as if – as I have said – humanity is in a common effort toward the absolute truth of the universe, an effort that is subject to the economy of a division of labor, an ideologized religious structure of knowledge.

I also will take a better look at your essays; and please, if I comment and come off as rude, do not take it personal, for I do not; it is only in the spirit of truth, of learning, that I proceed.

Direction 4.10: Jargon, Bad Faith… Part 2

Since the previous post was rather long, and really could be seen as addressing different parts of the issue, I decided to re-post the second part of 4.5 as a part 2.

This part continues with my question of academic jargon, and shows how the jorgonizers are making things much too difficult. I have then to continue to ask, why?

*

Here is a bit of synopsis of Laruelle by another author

[Gabriel Alkon,1 Boris Gunjević2
1City University of New York, Baruch College, Department of English, 455 Fort Washington Avenue, US–10033 New York, NY
2Theological Faculty “Matija Vlačić Ilirik”, Radićeva 34, HR–10000 Zagreb gabriel_alkon@msn.com, boris.gunjevic@zg.htnet.hr]

PG. 213:

“According to Laruelle, the true event for philosophy is in fact the coordinated positing of relative and absolute, combined and separate, conditioned and unconditioned, as mutual presuppositions – there is no event apart from the philosophical “decision” that sets these oppositions in motion. This decision is the “proto-event”, which is the self-positing of philosophy as the discourse concerning the relation of the unconditioned to what it conditions, or of the transcendental to the given. This relation, which becomes an immediate unity in the event, is the presupposition that establishes philosophy’s adequacy to its other. The presumed correlation of actual being to a transcendental condi- tioning power is what allows philosophy to know itself through the other by moving beyond the other as given. It is the sheer being-given of what it knows that philosophy must resist; its skill is the derivation of the transcendental – the transcendental that is its unacknowledged presupposition. The event, which undoes the given in the immediate presence of its preconditions, is the true culmination of philosophy – the moment at which it need no longer depend on its objects, which are replaced by the transcendentals that are the preserve of philosophy alone.”

Now, my problem with Laruelle is primarily founded in the high-speak of philosophical jargon. Here is another author explicating what Laruelle has said and he cannot even remove himself from the necessary jargon. It is like a disease that is contagious, spread by the mere act of dense and vague verbosity, not even the person who is attempting to disseminate into, what I suppose is meant to be, simpler language, is able to tear himself away from the sickness, is not able to get simple. In simple but jargonized terms, the great thinkers who carry a philosophical plight with them that concerns being overdetermined, themselves are being and carrying on the overdeterminism that they are decrying. As I say: they are in bad faith in the effort to not be. And Laruelle, proposes a discursive method, a method of situating terms, by which he should be supposed to not be over-determining in the meaning he asserts.

Since I am not concerned with status, position or privilege, I find the truth of the matter in much simpler terms and thus come to a more solute ground of the issue (my wording nor word count does not have a dollar or a academic discursive value attached to its effort):

The issue is the term. Since the object can never be known in itself, we are left with only knowledge. Not knowledge of it the object, but only knowledge. Knowledge concerns the object, but because of its limitation (knowledge reflects only itself) the object thus likewise must be a condition of such knowledge, and not the converse. Such conditions designate reality according to discursive relations of meaning ( I will dispense with the Big-Name droppings since there is no profit in it in truth ), relations that correspond with Laruelle’s “coordinated positing”. Such relations cannot be known in themselves without, as Laruelle also finds, resting upon silent, or denied relations upon which the new relations are thus situated for their truth, and this is Laruelle’s philosophical “decision”. Thus, to be simple, we are not ever dealing with things in-themselves, but only terms; it is not that there may be such “decision” or “proto event”‘ but how one is oriented in knowledge toward those ‘things’. Terms are thus situated in consciousness and are revealed by the manner of their use by Beings as to their orientation upon existence- this orientation operative in the questions: Is the term equivalent to its object? Does the term express a true object? Does the Being see itself essentially integral with a common true reality designated by true objects that are conveyed through terms – what Laruelle calls “the world given to knowledge” ?

When we begin to understand the issue, we will see it is one of faith; in other words, terms always rely upon an ability to express absolute truths, an object in-itself, and thus implicate, in their role of expressing truth, a transcending element. Again: We are not therefore concerned here then with what the terms may be able to express so far as absolutely true objects, but whether or how one is so oriented upon the truth that is supposed to be expressed in such terms. Hence the polemical non-philosophical and philosophical projects – which I see as better expressed as ‘philosophical’ and ‘conventional- methodological’, respectively.

It appears that Laruelle in his efforts is like Sartre (and others) in that he is attempting to describe a true world. We may find over time and repeated returns to this type of philosophy ( or non-philosophy, as the case may be), that they are indeed giving us a comprehensive picture of reality as it is/was at the time of the position. We will have then another way to view reality in existence as another sort of style or fashion, and again be able to draw from the discourse (ala Laruelle) another overdetermined analysis and assertion of a true reality. So far, in as much as every expression is an exact reflection of existence at that moment, at least, we have Sartre’s description and now we have Laruelle’s, among a plethora of others.The problem is in their bad faith of being able to present a description of a real, true world; they end up only giving us a picture of a world that existed for a moment – but without the irony that would allow their proposal to give a picture of an eternally true world. It seems the history that fractal ontology, and other philosophies, rebuts is needing a little more time to fully realize its mythological basis.

* *

I am honored if indeed anyone has continued with me this far; I must assume that if you are still here then I have been speaking to the right person.

But chances are none have ventured this far… One is very hand to find; sometimes it takes a hundred and fifty years, or 2000, as the case may be.

Nevertheless, I have only to continue, regardless.

But right now, I’ve to go to the snack stand….

Direction 4.5: Jargon, Bad Faith and a brief explanation of the non-philosophical project, its problems and shortcomings.

The other problem with truth is that everyone already knows what is the truth. They encounter it everyday and what they know is sufficient for them to go through life with at least adequate contentment; the rest they can invest in church or their respective church-like elements of their lives.

*

I came off rather strong in that last post. If I have offended anyone’s sense of truth or reality then I have struck something significant with you. It then either beckons you to a question of your reaction or to a denial of the offending proposition.

Anyways, I have only to continue. Here is a sound byte of an author taking about what non-philosophy may be.

(I hope this link is a good link to a 7 minute spoken introduction to a book about non-philosophy that just came out. )
*
It is possible that some readers may have noticed a paradoxical aspect of my presentation. Somehow I disagree with Laruelle but yet in that I am discussing his ideas I appear to agree with him. In particular, I have pointed out that his use of jargon is contradictory to what should seem to be a humanistic effort; as well, I have accused him of being in bad faith. But I do agree that there is a generally “unrecognized” arena or basis of knowledge that is ignored or denied; this is the reason I can speak to his project: because I am addressing the significant issue, and not so much (yet) the veracity of his position.

I should make a distinction in terms between Laruelle’s and my own. Laruelle has coined ‘non-philosophy’ to distinguish his proposal from ‘philosophy’; I propose that what most people consider philosophy is not philosophy but what i call ‘conventional methodology’. Hence, his Non-Philosophy is what I consider as Philosophy, and what he points at and rebuts that he calls Philosophy, I call Conventional Methodology, because it functions the same as any other effort to solve problems between things. He has relinquished a quality of term to the masses so that he just thus frames Non-Philosophy to oppose what has been commandeered and called philosophy.

Ironically, I might say that another reason he uses such “high” jargon is so he might not offend anyone, so he might be thus able to (finally) implement or explain sufficiently the truth of the matter and thus gain some other honest seekers, but it is this futile effort that explains more thoroughly the issue at hand and the phenomenon of bad faith.

The distinction that both of us have come upon has not until somewhat recently (within the past couple hundred years maybe, but particularly in the past hundred – but maybe 4000! ) been noticed, or at least not in institutional or conventional discussion. The problem is located in the assumption of common effort, which is the idea that everyone who might be considering things is human and thus are involved in the same problems and solutions that collectively are known as progress. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were the first to notice this problem, but they were caught likewise in the assumption: they still thought that people, once shown the truth, would thereby change; but this never happens because either no one cares or because they already know what is true. Again, what was clearly delineated in both their works as a break, a polemic, was and is taken up in conventional methodology, or philosophy, to be allegorical; as if K and N were really speaking of and to “individuals”, that their discussions were aimed at everyone so the individual might consider ‘new insights into existence as a human being’ – because conventional-methodological philosophy cannot have essential difference, it must reduce everything back into its common generality. I submit that such insight is entirely wrong, a misappropriation of meaning from what Laruelle would call non-philosophical, what I would call true philosophy, into philosophy, or what I would call conventional methodology. It is correct, of course, to the extent or in the belief as one is oriented in their Being towards a absolutely true, one, single, reality: as one is of an unquestioned faith.

The assumption of common effort is what Laruelle identifies as an understanding of a world given to knowledge: the understanding which philosophy ( I will now stick with Laruelle’s usage ) takes as its ground and purpose, a progress of and towards truth, a progress that Laruelle has eloquently debunked. Yet, it is also where religion gains its purpose. We should see that Laruelle is being strategic in his presentation; he is applying discursive tactics by focusing his attack on philosophy: the analysis and construction of the basic methodological approach for conventional thinking upon being human and existence (ontology and epistemology). But indeed such a critique and commentary cannot be confined without becoming that which it decries. As i have already indicated, conventional methodology behaves as a religion, functions through faith, and develops history along particular lines of control and power. If Laruelle truly sees his effort as particular to philosophy and not to reality in general, then in one instance at least, he is in bad faith. But this kind of bad faith is only of a lower type, and the more significant is being developed here.

* *

The description of the situation is only made available with or through the understanding that I have come upon, the understanding that Laruelle seems to expound. Yet we have merely come upon and agreed upon the issue; where we diverge is at his excessive and overtly positive asserting – because this seems to necessitate jargon. This is my third explanation for his excessive jargon. Laruelle is fixated upon reconciling the discrepancies of reality, and in so doing, I fear, he is really venturing no further than the philosophy he is supposedly critiquing. The positivity – that is to say, the orientation upon a one reality that attempts to describe a completeness, or total explanation of what occurs or is occurring – that Laruelle is involved in mimics Sartre: his description is so considerate of positive, historical possibility – even while describing it away in meta-synthesis – it seems plausible and credible.

*

Here is a bit of synopsis of Laruelle by another author

[Gabriel Alkon,1 Boris Gunjević2
1City University of New York, Baruch College, Department of English, 455 Fort Washington Avenue, US–10033 New York, NY
2Theological Faculty “Matija Vlačić Ilirik”, Radićeva 34, HR–10000 Zagreb gabriel_alkon@msn.com, boris.gunjevic@zg.htnet.hr]

PG. 213:

“According to Laruelle, the true event for philosophy is in fact the coordinated positing of relative and absolute, combined and separate, conditioned and unconditioned, as mutual presuppositions – there is no event apart from the philosophical “decision” that sets these oppositions in motion. This decision is the “proto-event”, which is the self-positing of philosophy as the discourse concerning the relation of the unconditioned to what it conditions, or of the transcendental to the given. This relation, which becomes an immediate unity in the event, is the presupposition that establishes philosophy’s adequacy to its other. The presumed correlation of actual being to a transcendental condi- tioning power is what allows philosophy to know itself through the other by moving beyond the other as given. It is the sheer being-given of what it knows that philosophy must resist; its skill is the derivation of the transcendental – the transcendental that is its unacknowledged presupposition. The event, which undoes the given in the immediate presence of its preconditions, is the true culmination of philosophy – the moment at which it need no longer depend on its objects, which are replaced by the transcendentals that are the preserve of philosophy alone.”

Now, my problem with Laruelle is primarily founded in the high-speak of philosophical jargon. Here is another author explicating what Laruelle has said and he cannot even remove himself from the necessary jargon. It is like a disease that is contagious, spread by the mere act of dense and vague verbosity, not even the person who is attempting to disseminate into, what is suppose is meant to be, simpler language, is able to tear himself away from the sickness, is not able to get simple.

Since I am not concerned with status, position or privilege, I find the truth of the matter in much simpler terms and thus come to a more solute ground of the issue (my wording nor word count does not have a dollar or a academic discursive value attached to its effort):

The issue is the term. Since the object can never be known in itself, we are left with only knowledge. Not knowledge of it the object, but only knowledge. Knowledge concerns the object, but because of its limitation (knowledge reflects only itself) the object thus likewise must be a condition of such knowledge, and not the converse. Such conditions designate reality according to discursive relations of meaning ( I will dispense with the Big-Name droppings since there is no profit in it in truth ), relations that correspond with Laruelle’s “coordinated positing”. Such relations cannot be known in themselves without, as Laruelle also finds, resting upon silent, or denied relations upon which the new relations are thus situated for their truth, and this is Laruelle’s philosophical “decision”. Thus, to be simple, we are not ever dealing with things in-themselves, but only terms; it is not that there may be such “decision” or “proto event”‘ but how one is oriented in knowledge toward those ‘things’. Terms are thus situated in consciousness and are revealed by the manner of their use by Beings as to their orientation upon existence- this orientation operative in the questions: Is the term equivalent to its object? Does the term express a true object? Does the Being see itself essentially integral with a common true reality designated by true objects that are conveyed through terms – what Laruelle calls “the world given to knowledge” ? When we begin to understand the issue, we will see it is one of faith; in other words, terms always rely upon an ability to express absolute truths, an object in-itself, and thus implicate, in their role of expressing truth, a transcending element. Again: We are not therefore concerned here then with what the terms may be able to express so far as absolutely true objects, but whether or how one is so oriented upon the truth that is supposed to be expressed in such terms. Hence the polemical non-philosophical and philosophical projects – which I see as better expressed as ‘philosophical’ and ‘conventional- methodological’, respectively.

It appears that Laruelle in his efforts is like Sartre in that he is attempting to describe a true world. We may find over time and repeated returns to this type of philosophy ( or non-philosophy, as the case may be), that they are indeed giving us a comprehensive picture of reality as it is/was at the time of the position. We will have then another way to view reality in existence as another sort of style or fashion. So far, in as much as every expression is an exact reflection of existence at that moment, at least, we have Sartre’s description and now we have Laruelle’s. The problem is in their bad faith of being able to present a description of a real, true world; they end up only giving us a picture of a world that existed for a moment – but without the irony that would allow their proposal to give a picture of the eternally true world.
* *

I am honored if indeed anyone has continued with me this far; I must assume that if you are still here then I have been speaking to the right person.

But chances are none have ventured this far.

Nevertheless, I have only to continue, regardless.

But right now, I’ve to go to the snack stand….