Tag Archives: materialism

Materialism: The Stuff We Have to Work With. The Revolution will not be Philosophized.o

Immaterialism book.

Berkeley’s Immaterialsim.

The revolution will be watered down and absorbed into institutional dogma.

I propose an alteration to history and philosophical reckoning (a proposal that will be set aside):

Materialism is the view that all we have to work with is the stuff we have to work with.         We have material to work with.

Yet, when we look at what philosophy has to say about Materialism, we come to a striking conclusion that they were talking about something rather regular and then confusing it.

So when Harman (maybe?) and Berkeley say “Immaterialism” we have to think: What?

the philosophy that is immaterial?

lol

Well. because of the convoluted and overcomplicated manner that philosophers have distorted simple things, Berkeley had to say ‘immaterialism’, but it is really nothing much more than the definition I just gave, so:

the conventional philosophical ‘Immaterialism’ is based upon the view that we have only this “stuff” to work with, and whatever it is, there it is, and we work with it. It is the material we work with in philosophy. Whether it is a table, a computer, a quark, a vacuum, a singularity, a skyscraper, a museum, a painting, a mote, a speck of dust, an anteater, a word, an object, a subject, a God, an atheist, a universe, a feminist, a philosopher, a person, an angel, an alien, speculation, practicality, ideal, forest, duck, electrons, space, density, think, thought, act, chair, blanket, act, activist, set, setting, setter, langue, parole, term, blades, bladder, piss, fuck, sex, happy, sad, rape, abuse, power authority, religion, philosophy, carpet, dog, pond, park, warm, cold, heat, hearth, internet, small mind, offense, sin, punch, intelligence …

its all material. But due to the general abusive authoritarian density of conventional philosophical method, they had to come uno with a different term: immaterial. But its so stupid; it should be called material, but this point, for now, is indeed, immaterial.

We can’t really complain; it does no good. Nevertheless.

So, we just have to go with it. We have to wonder not merely what people are talking about, but why they are speaking the way they do. When we begin to see why they use the term immaterial, we have to begin to wonder why. And this is not to say that we have to launch another investigation into the proposed progress of philosophical history of ideas because then we have not gotten anywhere. The more significant question is why would ‘material’ indicate anything else besides the stuff we have to work with? It would be like saying “please turn on the TV” and the person brings you shoes, or goes to find a pencil. What is this showing us about what humanity does? There is no irony here; the irony shows where the problem occurs.

Variability of meaning that goes into a statement such as what I’ve just made, The insistence upon the individual appropriation of clausal structure is exactly irony, and is what amounts to what people 200 years ago going forward called “enlightenment”. That we can continue, infinitely, to extrapolate into this clausal structure ‘inspiration of the truth’. The problem is not that we come to various meanings about things, it’s more that we feel that these meanings have a certain significance or that are somehow better than or more inspired despite what other people may have intuited. In other words, capitalist individualism.

***
Though the poem below does tend to route one’s picture of what is revolutionary to a particular time in Modern history, and as that to particularly social issues, the meaning is pertinent to what occurs all the time. As evident in “Immaterialism” perhaps being a fashionable idea now, as if 300 years ago they weren’t worried about the same thing…what is different is the operative mean.

Like Harman’s question: How do we get back to the thing in-itself?

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It was Fifty Years Ago Today

It was fifty years ago today

Revolution took to the streets.

In Grosvenor Square and Paris

Students sang to different beats.

In Prague too they were coming alive

Digging the jive as establishments swayed,

Responding with an iron fist

As those rebellious songs played.

They used tanks against the Czechs

And armed guards in Ohio

Tear gas in London

And swung clubs in Chicago

Give Peace a Chance

For the Street Fighting Man

As the Unknown Soldier

Asked what was the plan in Vietnam.

Fifty years on from that protest and change

Now the psychedelic colours are muted.

What is the legacy of the great revolution?

In simple terms that can’t be refuted?

Environmental movements and Women’s Lib?

Or just fashion, music and wind?

The establishment’s firmly back in control

And revolution’s been binned.

via It was Fifty Years Ago Today — Opher’s World

Opher 2.1.2018

But, the revolution was not a lie, it just already happened and people missed it!

Materialism And Nihilism. (or: What is Philosophy?)

We have to be careful when mining resources from traditional discourse. I have proposed here and there that we need to clean up philosophical discussion, and so I’m going to give an example, a brief and not exhaustive nor rigorously thorough, rendition of what I mean when I say we have to clean up philosophy.

Check out this post on materialism.

From a certain perspective, this ( the link) approach is not incorrect. The basis of his argument and indeed what he is saying is not incorrect in itself, which is to say, the content of his argument is not what is at issue here (though you can see my questions upon the content in the comments of his post). We might recall from an earlier post of mine I suggest there are two routes upon objects; the issue with today’s philosophy is really about one’s orientation upon objects. His argument is in good form in the content that is assumed of some sort of traditional heritage, in this case Wiki as a sort of base from which to place his discussion, is used as a sensible base today to make further statements. The Wiki reference to materialism might be a philosophically established definition, but it doesn’t take into large account that even the idea of materialism is debated as to what it’s really talking about. We might even be tempted to ponder how we are even able to come up with a category that is common enough to call materialism.

Let’s take a look at the opening statements of the wiki entry on materialism:

Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental things and consciousness, are results of material interactions.

Materialism is closely related to physicalism, the view that all that exists is ultimately physical.

Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting that this entry does not make sense. At least, it does have a certain sense so far as it may reference other ideas to other wiki entries and generally goes on to discuss various ideas around let materialism may be.

First, the simple question has to be “what is materialism?” Then, there are two routes to go in finding out what ‘materialism’ might mean. One route is to do a Google search (above) or go to a professor of philosophy or critical thoery and ask all these places or look up in these places, “materialism”. And you get the usual type of philosophical answers. This route is so common that it is never even questioned; in fact, I would venture to say that it is usual and of course not to question this route, but more, that the contents of the search is likewise not questioned for what it contains (as a discursive form), but the only valid manner of questioning is upon meaning of the content as if the syntax is automatically correct as a (redundantly) syntactical form that conveys direct and equivocal meaning (that can be reduced to common) .

This may sound as if we are rehashing old postmodern modes, but it is distinctly modern in the sense that the reader cannot dismiss herself from that fact that is taking place at this moment: This moment is modern. Even if we were to attach some theoretical qualifiers to define this moment as post- modern (or post-post modern, as I like to call it), the manner by which we are able to come to the idea that this particular reading is postmodern is a modern manner. The segregating present modes or forms into categorical definitions is a modern form. The theoretical denial of this fact allows us to come to certain sensibilities about what is occurring in this moment, that is, the moment of this reading (now – are you dismissing yourself from your reading! you are reading this right now. Not in the present: Only in this moment, this modern moment) which we will not go into detail here.

The question on the table is “what is materialism”? Where do I look for this answer is the next question, the supporting question. Then, for this route that we are shedding light upon (a light that many are ((color)) blind to), the next question is: What am I trying to accomplish by taking this route? I think this is really the fundamental philosophical question involved in everything that we call philosophy; but as well, it is a question that philosophy in general, I think, largely ignores. So I can say this in the original sense of postmodern, a sense that is not the common sense of our day’s view. It is a different sense that few people care about because its basis of value is different. What is the purpose I am fulfilling or attempting to complete through taking this route? To answer ‘to gain information’ is too vague, and too redundant, but if you are OK with that answer then perhaps it is not philosophy that you are involved with (hence another reason why I say we need clean up philosophy).

The first answer to the first question shows what is involved with philosophy. If my first answer is to seek the answer somewhere else, then we already know about a certain orientation upon things, and we need not look anywhere else: This route is the route which places modernity within a prior structural situation by which the agent of that structure lives out her days. This is found because the first answer is not so often: I already know what materialism is. The answer to the first question is: Materialism is a philosophical category that is defined by or otherwise associated with material. If this question is not asked and answered first, then we have a particular kind of philosophical undertaking that yields a particular kind of philosophical answer. When this is asked and answered first, then the next question becomes: What is material? And the answer again comes automatically to sense: It is the stuff that things are made out of or otherwise constituent of.

Now; lets look at a simple definition of ‘material’ without all the previous hoopla:
{Btw: I have not yet looked it up; the definition I am putting here is after I wrote this promt. So lets see:}

– Material. “The matter from which a thing is or can be made”

So now:
– ‘matter’: “That which occupies space and has mass”

OK:
– ‘space’: (we will forego the strict mathematical definitions that are given first):
“An extent or expanse of a surface or three-dimensional area”

– ‘Mass’: “1. a coherent, typically large body of matter with no definite shape. 3. physics
the quantity of matter that a body contains, as measured by its acceleration under a given force or by the force exerted on it by a gravitational field.”

I don’t know about you, but there is no definition here, in this series, that is anything unexpected forme. I bet I could go on defining the various terms, in a plain an uncomplicated manner, and never encounter a meaning that I didn’t expect (even though with physics I would probably begin to encounter definitions that I don’t immediately understand, in particular, if they began to use mathematical symbols to denote the specific meanings).

So I will ask the same question I asked at the beginning, again: What am I trying to accomplish, not only by asking the question, but by taking the route to find the answer?

*space-supernova-hd-wallpaper1

The problem I am seeing must take into account that there are different levels of learners, and that when doing a blog, I must consider the possibility that people are of various stages in their learning, but are coming across (online; through text) with a strong sense of assertion and propriety, like they have been taught to act like (sometimes, I do come across people who are humble enough to admit to their shortcomings, and that is a breath of fresh air, because then I get to learn in a whole new way also). What I mean is, while online I tend to take everyone on the same level, and deal and treat them as equals, the facts tend to show themselves to the possibility that many people are actually somewhat, either, immature in their thinking, or representative of a certain type of thinker. It is this latter that brings me to consider why we need to clean up philosophical discussion: We are not only talking about different things, we are indeed using different methods to come to various answers. But because no one has delineated or come up with a way to distinguish these types, everyone takes philosophy as a general category in which everyone participates in a sort of common arena of ideas. I am saying that there is no such common arena, or, that the common arena is an assumption that is not, or becoming, no longer a valid assumption. The common arena is not only assumed, but enforced.

It is not merely that people are in various stages of learning or in different departments, different philosophical aspects, such as epistemology or ontology, nor the worn-out continental and analytical traditions. It is that there are two different manners of enacting, appropriating and elucidating philosophical problems as well as solutions, and the assumption that these two arenas can cross-communicate is creating a situation of philosophy that we can rightly call miscommunication, or just plain, no communication. (see Leotard, Badiou and as well as a few others who grapple with this same problem, but who were, frankly, not able to enact or accompany the ‘impossible’ solution. Laruelle may be the only one who actually takes a chance – but there are probably others). The assumption that the discrepancy can be overcome is a categorical error that is enacted due to the traditional modern mode of philosophcial thinking, what we can loosely call Enlightenment thinking – but we might also loosely categorize these thinkers as those who view the failure of this Enlightenment to equate to The failure of civilization. And, in so much as we can also rightly understand modern and postmodern as complicit in the maintenance of a particular program of Enlightenment, it is then not too far off the mark to call the perpetuation of this enterprise post-postmodern, or just get un-theoretically honest, and call it Neo-modernism, a type of ages old effort of declining civilizations to rehash, and reinstate a dying ‘realism’ of yesteryear, a ‘return to the good old days’ of definite real truths (Realism).

But did we ever really stop moving forward ? Re-read (or read) “The Postmodern Condition” again and tell me if Leotard was not situating things in light of techne. Is it any wonder that a certain Realist has attempted a discussion about over- and under-determinations? Despite how short those discussions may extend, various truths about the ability and function of human consciousness must always show itself in time even if through different frequencies and angles. We are caught in a technical motion that has little to do with how we constitute our state of Being: The State is known, that is how, logistically, we are able to interact with technology the way we do. The various issues of consciousness are now inseparable from our technical world (if they were ever understood as separate). Any argument to the contrary is nearly superfluous (if not different).

*

This is not bleak; it is not an apocalyptic prophecy. Such gloom and doom are from the “prophets of the old Testament” projecting their dismay on the manner by which they only have to make a (dishonest) living (in the production of “honest” theory). They misunderstand reality; they are caught in a kind of upside-down ‘hope’ (faith), a kind of transcendental yearning for a ontological justification of a religious affect. 

In a way, we could see this effort (here, behind this essay) is the uprooting of the whole discursive paradigm by which we come to not only traditional philosophical conclusions, but indeed the manner that the tradition remains intact as a common method. By this, I mean to alarm the philosophical police, those philosophers that Slavoj Zizek mentions in his book “Event”. The philosophical police are on guard for philosophical statements or proposals that would seek to undo all our social political and ideological structures; basically, the philosophical police are the clerics of our current religious ideology (reality).

We have to ask what exactly these philosophical police might be on guard against, because so many of the philosophical police don’t even know that they’re working for the department; they naturally uphold a traditional sense of rationality and reason without even contemplating or being able to approach the idea that the sense that they have of rationality is itself an actual religious attitude. In short, what the philosophical police do is look for nihilism. They look for philosophical statements that represent or argue for, to them, nothing (good), and then basically assert their religious identity upon that which otherwise appears to them as chaos, anarchy or just plain nonsense (they have no criterion by which to discern real nonsense from logical nonsense: Real nonsense makes no sense to the practical and actual living that occurs in the real world; logical nonsense has no sense and cannot be made to have sense). They are apparently incapable of understanding what nihilism means without the context of their traditional religious dogma. The content of nihilism to them is effective negation of their belief system, or what should be more probably called a real religious scaffolding of meaning, even extending into the philosophical metaphysical justifications. Indeed; we only use the term to indicate where it lacks.

But we already know, if we understand what Jean-Francois Lyotard said in The first chapter of his essay “The Postmodern Condition”, what happens to people that are attempting to develop a discourse of the content of what is traditionally known as nihilism: They are ignored, de facto; they are unheard and they are automatically and axiomatically excluded from what is already understood – through the modern religious dogma (if I may be so bold) – as knowledge. Those who would discuss the content of what has been X’d-out and marked off on the map of real and valid knowledge as “monsters be here” are unheard.

So it is with this small and quick primer that I say as soon as someone said the word ‘materialism’, 150+ years or so ago, to continue along various definitions of how that materialism may be wrong in its definition or this materialism is a more proper way to situate it, the basic problem has been that these subsequent authors, the subsequent religious philosophers who basically are unable to consider their position as a religious position due to the same phenomenon that I’m talking about with materialism, founded nihilism – where such philosophers, who want to argue against and improve upon the definitions of fundament or and establish terms (what are they doing?) cannot bring themselves to understand the nihilistic intention behind the term itself, there do we have (do I have to really say it), the philosophical police. We then need to reflect upon where my capacity as a philosopher is breached. We have to consider that what I understand as true is different from what is real (has differentiated), and we have to consider the fact that I am able to make sense out of it that is communicated in one moment, and not in another.

So; if I am in to remain in good form, as form is form despite what tradition might say, then I can no longer take the term materialism and add or subtract something to it, like Badiou talks about. The addition and subtraction of term identities must occur in an arena that is different from that which posits the ordinary definition.

*

Then all the alarms go off with this one. If my readership goes down to zero then I know I have succeeded in offending religious sensibility. (Just kidding! Please keep reading.) Getting back to the question: Is there any part of the definitions above that indicate or inherently and automatically attaches to a referent? An imperative where things in-themselves are automatically and mutually excluded from the thoughts about them? From where does such an exclusion take hold and for what purpose? What is offensive or incorrect in the statement “Only material exists”? Material is that which we deal with. It is that which we deal with always and at all times. It is ultimately and always discursive, and any reference of discourse to something outside or beyond discourse is automatically discursive. The proof is found in the question: If there is something outside of discourse? What is it? Can you tell me without using discourse? Can discourse refer to something that is not discursive? These questions are foundational and pivotal to discerning what philosophy is able to do and what it is allowed (permitted) to do.

I see nothing in this which contradicts any of those extsnsions of definition above. Yet, once we understand this, once we see that there are indeed people who will have issue with this, then we can begin to notice where people, philosophers in general, are being somehow deceptive or at least being or carrying on a certain incognition about the state of affairs; and we have to ask them: For what purpose? I call such people ‘real philosophers’, or philosophers that are concerned with reality. Nothing wrong with that; just there is discussion that is as valid and pertinent to what is occurring that those kind of philosphers will not consider. This is not an accusation; it is a mere fact of what occurs. Am I ‘incorrect’ or am I accused because I have breasts? This is also a foundational and pivotal type of question.

*

To wrap this little ditty up, to really nail it home and sew it up tight, we must bring in Lyotard postmodern condition again and point out how so utterly honest and true his statements were: The state will be no longer of concern and eventually will be left behind all together.

Damn. What the hell was I talking about?

Bye.

Direct Tangent 4.4: science and faith.

The main problem in finding the truth is that no one cares about the truth. And, even if one may, the usual outcome is that truth is located in two arenas of knowledge, found through their respective methodologies, science and culture, that reflect only a temporary-momentary truth called theory , or as a theory is played out time and time again and so confirmed, law, or tradition-dependent truth, which likewise develops law. The two are situated into arenas that may function exclusively but also cooperate. In other words, there is no ‘absolute’ truth, but only ‘relative’ truth except that the absolute truth of the matter is that there is only negotiated, or relative truth.

But indeed, I had a periodic and lengthy discussion with someone over just this feature of truth. His position was that there is an absolute truth but we just don’t know what it is yet, that science is in the process of uncovering the absolute truth of the universe. Further, he says, that we cannot know if what we know now is even a portion of this absolute truth, but through science, in the future, we will sort this out; for example, the theory of plate tectonics. He would say that the theory of plate tectonics is absolutely true, that indeed there are continental plates that float on a layer of magma, etc…

I countered that with Stephen Hawking’s idea that what we know as truth is really a scheme of truth based upon models, and that these models seem to work for practical solutions of apparent problems. I am not sure if Hawking would say that there is as absolute truth out there that we seek in science, I think he would be content with merely saying that there is a truth out there that we uncover through our investigations, but it is a human truth, and such truth is limited in its nature but it is all we can know, that there may be more to the universe than our knowledge, but we can never know it.

I do not stop on one side of things and proclaim it for the other; I say that such ideas, both my counterpart and Hawking’s, are based in faith, that this faith lends itself to a particular kind or scheme of knowledge, and that this scheme is intimately linked with the ethical standpoint of action, as this ethics develops a humanity to a particular kind of reality; a reality which is inherently false. That is, reality is inherently mythological at its base, and in so reflects only itself upon the unfolding of existence: it is not true, but only true in negotiation.

*

I was watching a show the other night called something like “Steven Hawking’s: the purpose of existence”, or something like that. The grand culmination is, after going through all the theoretical physics and nifty science facts, after the tip of the ‘model’ limit of knowledge (above) and using the model idea to indicate, as counterpoint, the individual realities that go on inside of each of us, that, thus, we all make our own realities, and the purpose of existence is the individual’s.

Umm; what ? Such a platitudinous regurgitation of modern new age spiritual science seems hardly worthy of one of the supposed Big Minds of our day. I could only think that the poor guy must need money, or Cambridge does; I’m sure someone does, because if all the Big Minds can come up with after all this science, thinking and formulating and discussing, is that each individual creates his or her own reality and purpose for that reality – with such an act of statement they have moved from scientists into priesthood, so presumptuous they are to proclaim that their science has even taken one step into or toward investigating what they have proclaimed truth upon: it is an act of utter religious flagrancy and pomposity – indeed; the Big Minds have done nothing but propagate their faith, as evidenced by Hawking’s move here. Utter small mindedness hiding itself in grandiose bias.

What I am saying is that if i have come upon the truth of the matter, or at least the beginning of it, maybe there will be people who will investigate with open minds what the truth may actually be; but i doubt it, becuase the great thing is, no one or hardly anyone cares so faithful they are. It is the story of the ages.

* *

So back to what i see includes Laruelle in this whole thing.
Science does contribute; philosophy, now, is a wing of science, or at least tries to be; Laruelle sees this. I cannot comment right now as to what he sees as following from his project, but if he is to remain consistent, the project can only propose necessary outcomes.

Hence, I proceed.

The problem of science is that even if it is a model that grants humans a working truth, humanity and scientists such a Hawking, do not go about life as if it is a model; they go about life as if it is absolutely true. Hence a reiteration of what I propose above: the faithful humanity, guided by the priests of science (among other priests) views itself and determines its worth ‘individually’ with reference to this truth of science. It likewise cannot help but see itself in the reflection of scientific dictates, in particular, psychology. Psychology proposes to describe the true human psyche and everyone sees him or herself through a lens described by psychology. It is not difficult to see that if I am having a view of myself as a reflection of the science of psychology, as my mind may work in various ways, I immediately have self worth or not in view of the truth of psychology which is admittedly only a model of the truth – I am going to have problems that I cannot but describe either as stemming from a spiritual or psychological malady. It is no wonder that our most popular forms of spirituality and religion have to do with aligning oneself with some transcendent god or gods or what have you. Science, and by extension, psychology, creates the necessity for a transcendent entity by the contradiction involved in science being itself a model, the model being a basis for actual and absolute (relative) truth, and the assertion of individual realities – such a formula allows for the individual that hardly “knows thyself” because the self, in faith, is always relegated to the mysterious individual of free will.

Yet, this is not to say that such a faith based in a methodology of acting, of action, does not contribute, but it does so in the arena of social justice. (See my post on Feminism.)
* * *

So I must describe Laruelle as a passivist. Not a pacifist, but a passivist as opposed to an activist. What I mean by this is not that he is a pussy or that he has no principles that he will stand up for. I do not mean that he does not behave from a general standpoint of propriety or that he won’t punch someone who crosses that line. I do not mean that there aren’t things worth advocating actively. What I mean is, in so much as i understand what Laruelle is saying, I cannot escape from the position where every problem that involves the individual reduces to one answer, so I am unable to address myself ethically to solve one problem wholeheartedly without also addressing other problems that naturally and inevitably concern the initial problem. This does not mean that Laruelle or I do not live life and address problems; rather, such problems have already been solved by their reduction to one solution, which is my being consistent with myself in existence – and I am thereby activated.

On the other hand, we have the co-conspirator in the project: the activist.

The activist sees each problem as being solvable, at least potentially, and the hope that accompanies the activity of solving each problem is justified in the ethical default that at least one tried to solve that problem even though its solution may then present, lead to or have caused more problems. The activist is thereby passive, in that they pass by the aggregate of the world, the world which is inevitably the activist itself, for the sake of solving one problem, and in remaining active despite its own deficiency in solution, the activist finds itself in the solution of other.

Together, the activist and the passivist join in active praxis through their natures of having an ability to confront ignorance; ignorance is seen by both as the antithesis of an ethical human existence. The passivist confronts what ignorance there may be for the individual human itself by refusing to stop himself or herself at their own belief, and thereby the passivist might become an unbiased and un-violenced representative instrument of existence. The activist confronts ignorance by questioning others from the perspective of an ethical righteousness that takes its form from an initial individual reflection of service, which gains from an impetus toward a common human social justice.

Ok. Now before I get into the more juicy parts of the meal, Im taking a coffee break. We will return after these important messages…..

Tangent 3.9: Love

The song, “This is not a Love Song”, by the 80’s band PiL, for some unknown reason – not that i liked the song when it was around – came through my mind today.

And this seemed relevant…

Love. To me, love is more than attraction, or even intense attraction, or infatuation, or big like, and it is not just sexual attraction that can be called lust. It can be all of those, but to me, it is commitment. To me, love is the knowledge that usurps whatever reservations I may have had for what I before may have thought was ‘commitment’. Love effects me so that the feeling or thought or intuition I may have had upon what the future may hold, is accompanied by a negation of what potential desires I may be imagining of that future, such that I know that I will always have invested concern for that person in my life, that my future becomes thus ‘our life’. The commitment may not always be easy to uphold, but whatever dissatisfaction may arise, it is and will be always, to the best of my ability, tempered by love, that indeed we are committed.

Probably many people have no idea what I’m talking about. I see this is because they have no idea what love is, that to them it has to do with immediate desire. Perhaps this is why divorce is such a viable presence and why many people do not get married. And I mean married in the supra- or extra- institutional sense, as a committed relationship made between two people aside from social stamping.

** **

With this, I enter on a tangent upon the main issue of my ongoing discussion concerning Laruelle and Non-Philosophy.

Now, when commitment is seen or understood as requiring a great effort, where love has seemed to have nearly disappeared from the relationship, I would suggest that it is because love, true love, that stems from mutual love, was not really true to begin with. Love, when it has developed along side of commitment, as a force of will, only loses integrity as an effective ideal when the individual is oriented upon desire – that is unless great force is applied, and ironically, love is the great force that is usually misunderstood and so never leveraged effectively, which is to say without will. Don’t get me wrong, though; desire is a natural and inherently good aspect of our human being. The problem is when desire dominates the individual so as to fulfill one’s purpose in life, it usually inflates the sense for the need of willfullness. Want becomes the overwhelming motivation in being human; want becomes what it is to be human.

In an attempt to be more clear: In existence there are objects. In an earlier post, I write about how things are, for our being human, entirely contained in knowledge. The physical effect, such as pain, created by an object, while causing some reaction in us – the meaning of such effect is mediated and significant to us only in and by knowledge. There is not pain for a human being that is meaningless. Even if someone were to not know the reason of pain, or could not identify a source and purpose of an effect from a thing, the meaning is exactly “I don’t know”. Autonomic reaction, or reflex may occur, but not void of meaning. There is nothing real or unreal that is not contained in our knowing of it, of it being of knowledge.

The solution to the basic problem of humanity must begin with knowledge. The basic problem arises between the subject, the person or single individual, and the object, the thing. This duality has been relegated into the duality of thought and action. The problem can be phrased thus: how does one be consistent with one’s self ? How does one proceed to remain confident at all times that he or she is doing what is best for him or herself, all the while remaining within one’s own ethics such that there arises no conflict, no doubt of one’s own self in life? Is there a way to align one’s thoughts and actions so they achieve the fullest benefit of life for one self (as this may include social benefit, but it does not have to) ?

I propose that such questions align with a perception that includes the individual as a thing, and, that because an individual is thereby a thing, the individual itself, of itself, to itself, is likewise a thing. Such perception also aligns with the idea that we have a subjective, or inner self, that we are capable of thinking upon as if it were likewise a thing, in other words, objectively. This idea has been expressed many times in the ontological (issues of Being) postulates that arise as “we can be conscious of our own consciousness”, and we then get the ‘ego’, ‘super-ego’ and such psychological constructions by extrapolation.

When such a perception or idea forms the root or ground of one’s thinking about reality, history unfolds in a progression that finds psychology, which is the human being come complete as a thing, an object: a subject-object. Hence, items or objects of the psyche thus also become things and can be liked and disliked, and then not only do other individuals become appraised as to objective qualities, but the individual itself, upon itself, as if he or she is likewise an object to be appraised of qualities, is defracted, becomes, as a process of history, divided unto itself. The solution of psychology aggravates its own problem. This is our present condition of human conventional understanding. (And this is the problem Laruelle notices of philosophy. )

I venture to say, coming back to the topic at hand, that such an individual, a subject-object, has no ability to love to another human being, beyond merely desiring them to possess, as a thing might be possessed. The human being is not a thing with definite static qualities; even noticeable traits that seem consistent change. Rather, this is to say, the love as commitment achieves for such a one, anger, fear, frustration, doubt, and struggle. Attraction, linked as it is to a definite quality of thing, fails in the effervescence of the human dynamic.

Love, true love, is called up from the subject to test the integrity of the Being in the world. The problems of the world are the the failure of the subject of conventional knowledge (the subject-object).

Are we things or are we Beings? When love is true, attraction never goes away, the complexities of life do not sway one from the other but only confirm that the love is true; desire never diminishes, attraction never fades, and love grows.

*

When Laruelle talks about his project of Non-Philosophy, he is implicating that which I speak here, that i have put in terms of love.

I shall continue back into the discussion proper, after these messages….

Tangent 3.9: Love

The song, “This is not a Love Song”, by the 80’s band PiL, for some unknown reason – not that i liked the song when it was around – came through my mind today.

And this seemed relevant…

Love. To me, love is more than attraction, or even intense attraction, or infatuation, or big like, and it is not just sexual attraction that can be called lust. It can be all of those, but to me, it is commitment. To me, love is the knowledge that usurps whatever reservations I may have had for what I before may have thought was ‘commitment’. Love effects me so that the feeling or thought or intuition I may have had upon what the future may hold, is accompanied by a negation of what potential desires I may be imagining of that future, such that I know that I will always have invested concern for that person in my life, that my future becomes thus ‘our life’. The commitment may not always be easy to uphold, but whatever dissatisfaction may arise, it is and will be always, to the best of my ability, tempered by love, that indeed we are committed.

Probably many people have no idea what I’m talking about. I see this is because they have no idea what love is, that to them it has to do with immediate desire. Perhaps this is why divorce is such a viable presence and why many people do not get married. And I mean married in the supra- or extra- institutional sense, as a committed relationship made between two people aside from social stamping.

** **

With this, I enter on a tangent upon the main issue of my ongoing discussion concerning Laruelle and Non-Philosophy.

Now, when commitment is seen or understood as requiring a great effort, where love has seemed to have nearly disappeared from the relationship, I would suggest that it is because love, true love, that stems from mutual love, was not really true to begin with. Love, when it has developed along side of commitment, as a force of will, only loses integrity as an effective ideal when the individual is oriented upon desire – that is unless great force is applied, and ironically, love is the great force that is usually misunderstood and so never leveraged effectively, which is to say without will. Don’t get me wrong, though; desire is a natural and inherently good aspect of our human being. The problem is when desire dominates the individual so as to fulfill one’s purpose in life, it usually inflates the sense for the need of willfullness. Want becomes the overwhelming motivation in being human; want becomes what it is to be human.

In an attempt to be more clear: In existence there are objects. In an earlier post, I write about how things are, for our being human, entirely contained in knowledge. The physical effect, such as pain, created by an object, while causing some reaction in us – the meaning of such effect is mediated and significant to us only in and by knowledge. There is not pain for a human being that is meaningless. Even if someone were to not know the reason of pain, or could not identify a source and purpose of an effect from a thing, the meaning is exactly “I don’t know”. Autonomic reaction, or reflex may occur, but not void of meaning. There is nothing real or unreal that is not contained in our knowing of it, of it being of knowledge.

The solution to the basic problem of humanity must begin with knowledge. The basic problem arises between the subject, the person or single individual, and the object, the thing. This duality has been relegated into the duality of thought and action. The problem can be phrased thus: how does one be consistent with one’s self ? How does one proceed to remain confident at all times that he or she is doing what is best for him or herself, all the while remaining within one’s own ethics such that there arises no conflict, no doubt of one’s own self in life? Is there a way to align one’s thoughts and actions so they achieve the fullest benefit of life for one self (as this may include social benefit, but it does not have to) ?

I propose that such questions align with a perception that includes the individual as a thing, and, that because an individual is thereby a thing, the individual itself, of itself, to itself, is likewise a thing. Such perception also aligns with the idea that we have a subjective, or inner self, that we are capable of thinking upon as if it were likewise a thing, in other words, objectively. This idea has been expressed many times in the ontological (issues of Being) postulates that arise as “we can be conscious of our own consciousness”, and we then get the ‘ego’, ‘super-ego’ and such psychological constructions by extrapolation.

When such a perception or idea forms the root or ground of one’s thinking about reality, history unfolds in a progression that finds psychology, which is the human being come complete as a thing, an object: a subject-object. Hence, items or objects of the psyche thus also become things and can be liked and disliked, and then not only do other individuals become appraised as to objective qualities, but the individual itself, upon itself, as if he or she is likewise an object to be appraised of qualities, is defracted, becomes, as a process of history, divided unto itself. The solution of psychology aggravates its own problem. This is our present condition of human conventional understanding. (And this is the problem Laruelle notices of philosophy. )

I venture to say, coming back to the topic at hand, that such an individual, a subject-object, has no ability to love to another human being, beyond merely desiring them to possess, as a thing might be possessed. The human being is not a thing with definite static qualities; even noticeable traits that seem consistent change. Rather, this is to say, the love as commitment achieves for such a one, anger, fear, frustration, doubt, and struggle. Attraction, linked as it is to a definite quality of thing, fails in the effervescence of the human dynamic.

Love, true love, is called up from the subject to test the integrity of the Being in the world. The problems of the world are the the failure of the subject of conventional knowledge (the subject-object).

Are we things or are we Beings? When love is true, attraction never goes away, the complexities of life do not sway one from the other but only confirm that the love is true; desire never diminishes, attraction never fades, and love grows.

*

When Laruelle talks about his project of Non-Philosophy, he is implicating that which I speak here, that i have put in terms of love.

I shall continue back into the discussion proper, after these messages….

Tangent 3.1: Feminism

Readers may be confused by my comment on feminism, like it came out of nowhere and then was shanghai’d and made into a strange, over-milked form. That’s ok; I intend to be clear, so I should take a moment to explain terms that perhaps are not widely understood. Also, I should be clear that what I am describing some may consider just one aspect of what feminism is, a narrow aspect, but I believe that no feminist worth his or her weight will discount my presentation here. ( And I do invite critique.)

In the common world of everyday, feminism means about the same as women’s rights, except maybe a little more hardcore. A feminist of this sort maybe has become a sort of stereotype, maybe wears her hair short, but maybe not; maybe she tends toward more traditionally masculine jobs such as tree trimming or the trades, or maybe is driven to achieve in business and become a CEO, maybe she is just one who is sensitive for typical traditional Western manners such as holding a door for a woman or letting her in first. Maybe, even, she is homosexual. But also maybe – and this could be the most modern form of common feminism – she is none of these. Maybe she is a he: men can be feminists too (but not really, because they are men – wink, wink, nudge, nudge). At minimum, though, feminism is usually associated with advocating for women.

Yes; feminism most assuredly arose from the problem of women as second citizens. But feminism is not just about women’s rights. Feminism proper (and I use this ‘proper’ as a designating term of propriety, of what an end-run of analysis would bring) sees itself more as a praxis. As I explained in an earlier post, praxis can be said to be an alignment of knowledge, thought and activity into effective practice; feminists and social activists like the term ’empowerment’. Feminism thus usually concerns social arenas of human interaction, but especially uses of power.

Feminism is rooted primarily in critical thinking, and along with this, discourse. One of the basic ideas that was brought out by feminism was or is, what can be called, ideological encoding. What this means is that power is supported just as much, if not more so, through talking as it is through physical force. Power is encoded into how we speak of reality, and is developed and maintained as a manner of speaking about what is true, and what is ethically correct; this latter part forms what is called ideology. Such encoded structures of power are called discourse. Feminism arises as marginalized, or oppressed people, people who do not or have little say in what they are to do in life, begin to question what it is that keeps them down. Feminists have thereby equipped themselves with the tools to subvert unjust wielding of power. They see that every discourse has an implicit agenda, and their role is to uncover what this agenda is and how it functions in the ideological reality for the maintenance of power. Much of feminist critique concerns how such discourse occludes itself, or hides its mechanisms, from a notion of power as a part if its effect, so the other half of feminist praxis is to awaken subjects of power, to educate them, the oppressed, to their actual situation within ideological power structures.

*

I mostly agree with feminist intent, though sometimes I think it is over applied.

My comment on feminism in the previous post concerns the implicit and explicit concerns of feminism and how, though they do often and mainly serve well for what can be known as ‘the good’, they tend to convey a limitation of this good founded in social justice, as if justice and fairness is the end, that one then can go on their marry way content that they have been empowered and achieved freedom in its most ideal and essential sense. My complaint is with the ideological structure in which feminism finds its true reality. For if the end run is indeed freedom and justice, once found through social action, they can not be taken as a Mercedes Benz that one has worked so long and saved up for, the prize having arrived. While they are noble things for which we must establish stalwart boundaries to guard against that which would more crassly and overtly impinge upon such freedom and justice, once established we must be obliged by such earned luxury to renounce it as individuals. We owe it to what is known as history not to become spoiled and lax, but to continue fearlessly into the void that is left inside the barricades, that we love, the void called freedom. We should not waste it on selfishly created despair and harbor together in support against the cold, gathering chemicals to ease us and things to appease us, sick minds to comfort us. We need continue onward. This is what I say.

Thank god for the feminist infantry who man the lines; but what they offer is not the goal, it is just the beginning.

Tangent: Bad Faith, Part 3

Ok, time to get serious. One has to have the time, see, to get really serious because when one gets really serious, things tend to get really funny, so funny, that most people will hardly have the time, so serious they are about having such a little amount of time. But thats a joke.

Bad faith is about being seriously serious. What is serious, as I have said earlier, is that which confronts one’s mortality, and the biggest threat that one has is, what I shall call, the Object. The Object is that which impedes or confronts the subject. If I am talking about something in particular, I have addressed an Object, and to the extent that I might think that I have actually indicated somthing else, something that is not the subject, I have barred the subject from existence because I am speaking about a particular object. This is the problem of duality.

Most people understand duality, but it takes a little more consideration to come to the point made earlier: Religion is the convetional effort to overcome duality. The typical and most overt analogy to what I am talking about is Heaven and Hell, Nirvana and like religious doctrines. This kind of overcoming duality is where the person puts-off the overcoming of duality to the ‘moment’ of unity, which usually means (but not always) ‘when I die’ – they go to heaven. The duality is overcome by ‘kingdom come’; this is to say that this duality is overcome by the complete negation of duality called that which is ‘after-life’. This is the very secular way of speaking about this effort: and we call it ‘Religion’. One will find continuing with my essays, that convenetion mimics, or reflects, what is true, but does not actually get to or reveal anything true in itself beyond its own ability to suspend truth in relativity, which is to say, in duality.

But that route is to easy; it is too easy to point to religion, or believers, or, the faithful and relieve or justify oneself as to one’s belief. I am talking about truth, not relativity. Yet, here is the difficulty: I cannot say that a ‘unity’ is the truth either. Unity, or a One Universe, as I have said in another post, is just as a religious proposition as heaven and hell. In fact, I can only say what is true in reality, and reality is determined as conventional.

So, again, it is not truth that is at issue. If the truth is at issue then one is in a conventional negotiation. The investigation into the truth of an Object is a conventional negotiation of reality. When this effort is taken as substantial, that is, as what I shall call essential, or basic truth, as that which informs and has nothing else or prior that informs it – when we have an effort into the truth of an object, an effort that is taken under a premise that it has something to contribute to an essential truth, as opposed to contributing to reality, as if reality is de facto truth – and this is to say, when the effort is supposed to contribute to an essential truth of objective reality, we have what is conventional: we have a religious undertaking: we have meta-physics. We have an effort that is made under an assumption that is the assertion of the true Object. Furthermore, and this is key: The true Object is always transcendant: it is never found, the truth of it is always the objective. An effort which proposes to find a true metaphysical proposition is a real contradictory effort; it proposes to find the transcendent and bring it down into the world as an object, so it thereby can be immanent, and this would be the true Object. Every real motion which proposes this objective against a truth is a metaphysics, and as such a proposal elicits maxims, or actual truths, it proposes religious truths called dogma. The conventional secular world avoids its religiousness by discursive slight-of-hand, and calls its ( as opposed to Religious) doctrines as ‘ideological’; in other words, it finds the truth of reality by segregating religion from itself: it thereby cannot be a metaphysical (read, ‘false’) reality, but the reality it proposes is thus the True Reality.

Hence we have come to the most solvent presentation of what religion is. Such a presentation explains a feature of human reality without recourse to any other discussion. it contains all rebuttal; we have thus what can be called truth. It is real because it cannot be otherwise and be communicated, but it is not of reality because it explains reality: it is true, it has no prior or other referent but itself. This explanation is thus the ground of any discussion that concerns religion. Every other explanation inevitably must fall to this explanation as its premise. Conventional reality posits a transcendent true Object by its very motion, and because of this fact, what is true of reality is that it is a religious proposition.

We have found a fact of reality; a fact is that which is real, and what is real cannot be avoided except through denial. A life lived in denial is, by definition, lived in Bad faith. When we can come to a full acceptance of such a disclosure of the single person in the world, then we might be able to get somewhere. Until such disclosure is accepted, we will only make decisions based upon a mistaken apprehension of reality.

We can now rejoin the discussion upon the question: why do I say that Francis Laruelle’s project of Non-Philosophy is in bad faith ?

* * * A Further Tangent.

What I am taking about is the strange, offensive notion that whatever is there is entirely contained in knowledge. If one has an open mind, this can easily be demonstrated: attempt to describe some object to someone so that they know exactly what you mean. At some point in this excersize I bet that you will not be able to convey what that thing is without referring to an underlying assumption that that person is human. At some point you will invaribly point to it, or say it is like this or that, or say ‘you know’ and will begin at some point to almost urge that person to understand what you are trying to indicate, you will try to convince that person that they really do know what that object is. Eventually, if the other person does not give into your urging or your compelling to agree with the common humanity, you will give up under the justification that this excersize is stupid or the other person is just being obstinate. But the fact of the matter is that there is only the object there, as a true object, to the extent that both parties agree that some reasonable amount of information has already been given before the exchange had even begun; there was already an established ‘scheme’, if you will, ‘matrix’ of meaning or understanding, knowledge, that supplies the true object prior to the interaction. Yet, as one proceeds to attempt to uncover what this knowledge is, or try to find some pattern or orderly sense to the scheme or matrix, they only find a further aggrivation of the scheme. At each juncture where the investigator comes upon a ‘truth’ of a situation, a true thing there, he or she has found only faith; they have found only the margin of thier encompassing belief, that which establishes for them thier identity as a human being in reality.

Of course, what we have now a days is a new faith; we have a world where people have given up the investigation into what is true and returned to the effort for the true Object – but, this is not because there is no truth, but because thier investigation is founded in convetional methodology: religion.

And it is not difficult to see this everywhere.

(But part of the problem I am explicating is this ‘new’-ness. As if people ever were ever not interested in attaining the Object.)

Ill let this soak for a little while now…