Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Prome-theism and Meillassoux's inverted Christic Hegelianism

Take a moment to read the following excerpts from Chris Watkin's DIfficult Atheism book.  After summing up the spectral dilemma and M's theory of the fourth world, Watkin makes some interesting (and accurate, I think) observations.

“Unwiling to sacrifice the hope for universal justice, even for the dead, Meillassoux splits the horns of a/theism’s unsatisfying dilemma [either God exists or not] by introducing the position he calls ‘the philosophical divine.’  Like the religious believer, the philosopher believes in God, and can therefore claim as their own religious hope for universal justice; like the atheist, the philosopher denies the existence of God, and so is not saddled with having to charge current injustice to God’s account.”
“Meillassoux’s philosophy, as we have seen, embraces a messianic hope for justice.  Unlike the nihilist, who hopes for justice in another life, the philosopher hopes for immortality in this life (immortality, this time, in the sense of living forever)….But in what sense does the philosopher hope for immortality in this life?....Everything that is logically possible is really possible, including the rebirth of bodies.”
“Meillassoux couches his hope in his teleological narrative of four Worlds…the fourth World, the World of Justice and the world of the rebirth of man, is the world in which humanity acquires immortality, which Meillassoux argues is the only life worthy of the human condition….If there is to be universal justice we must be born again, because only the rebirth of man makes possible universal justice up to and including the injustice of a life snatched away.”
“When it comes to how such a justice will arrive, Meillassoux’s occupation with religious territory is even more pronounced….[A] mediator called variously by Meillassoux the Child of Man, or [son of] God, receives the power to produce the rebirth necessary for justice by the same appearing ex nihilo that brought life from matter (World two) and rational intelligence from life (World three)…..[In this way] we are God’s ancestors and not his creatures.”
“[The stages and institution of a fourth World of Justice] traces for Meillassoux an inverted Christic Hegelianism.  In Hegel’s notion of God in the Science of Logic, the infinity of God requires that He pass into finitude, becoming contingent, limited and incarnate, in order that finitude itself be overcome as the limit of the infinite.  But the inclusion of the finite in the infinite cannot be definitive, because then the infinite would be finite.  The finite must be a moment of the infinite.  The Christ must die, in order to assure the dialectic movement infinite – finite – infinite, or God – man – God.  In this Hegelian conception, contingency is subordinated to the real necessity of the All.  With Meillassoux’s Child of Man we see this process reversed.  Contingency itself is an expression necessity, and rather than finitude being dialectically overcome in the One-All of divine infinity, divinity itself is brought under the one universal condition of contingency in the dialectic of finite – infinite – finite, or man – God – man.  While Meillassoux shares with Hegel the intuition of the Christic character of the rational, the terms are reversed.”
“Meillassoux argues that with this inverted Christic Hegelianism, Man is no longer denigrated, as in religion and atheism alike, but neither is he elevated to a dangerous Promethean pedestal.  Promethean humanism is nothing but the religious vision that man makes of and for himself (promé-théisme or “Prome-theism), an instance of what we are calling imitative atheism that makes an idolatry of the power of man instead of the power of God…..In this, Meillassoux’s ethics structurally bears much in common with a Christianity that looks to Jesus the Son of Man for its ethical paradigm.  To make this comparison is not to threaten Meillassoux’s thought with parasitism, however, for this is precisely his aim.”

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem's "Soustractivism"

Awakening a theory of the "dark event"; inaugurating tragedy.

In Soustractivism there stays the most interesting question of the philosophy from the ontological difference: the difference between Presentation and Representation. Nothing is to be understood from that if the concept of Representation is applied to that which we have trusted to still know about. Soustractivism affects a radical innovation to this old term [ontological difference] and at the same time it stringlenty overwrites all the connotations that could be accepted before it.

Link HERE and HERE (Critical Secret No. 4) 

Why I'm interested: HERE and HERE.

Monday, July 29, 2013

the Matter Of Contradiction

Pete Wolfendale made a mention of this, but of course they've been around for awhile.  Matter of Contradiction has a tumblr up and there are now lots of new vimeo presentations up that might be worth looking at (at least the first and third events of 2011 and 2013).

HT deontologistics, link HERE.  You can also check out Pete's (and others') newish blog on accelerationism HERE.  It's been around for three months or so I think.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Peirce, Meillassoux, and absolute contingency: the case for an ontological fallibilism

Atheology blog has an interesting post up HERE covering Peircean fallibilism.  The post goes into some detail tracing out fallibilism as epistemological doctrine.

The point was hinted, though not explored, as to what the outcome might be when fallibilism is ontologically applied to necessity.  That is, fallibilism not necessarily taken as epistemological doctrine but as ontological fact.

I've often wondered how Peirce's "can-be" possible relates to Meillassouxian virtuality or surcontigency in this precise sense.  By a "can be" possible of course Peirce does not mean "possibility" in its traditional modal meaning of being posed against the "actual."  Rather, it resembles nearly exactly what Meillassoux means by "surcontingent" and virtual.  I think the modal nature of Firstness attests to this, as does its chaotic and creative properties that make for even the creation of time and becoming or for their potential destruction (a "would be" flat-lined ultimate generality of some sort; "death" as Peirce calls it).

I am reminded here for some reason of a comment that Latour made recently:  God is an animal containing all temporalities.   Panentheistically speaking, whatever God is - say process of cosmic development - that process's modes and temporal development constitute fallible theological knowledge, as well as necessary knowledge of contingents.

It seems that epistemologically we can have a knowledge of the absolute ("after finitude"), where in this absolute there is knowledge of a necessity regarding the contingent nature of the process of creation.  This in turn is categorically exposed in terms of fundamental modes that are necessary to the structure of contingency itself.  What's nice is that Peirce divides these modes triadically according to an (onto)logical structure.  I think that Meillassoux does this too, by according a logical principle - that of non-contradiction, which also means the law of identity and excluded middle - to the temporal process of surcontingency.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

grounding relations and object dependence

New Essays in Philosophy now available which covers the grounding of relations and object dependence, link HERE.

The idiom leans slightly in the direction of analytic philosophy but is general enough that those interested in process-relational philosophy, including those coming from a continental perspective, could easily follow or dare even use some of the material and arguments presented as ammunition for their own causes.

Zalamea guest editor of new issue of EJPAP

Fernando Zalamea, famed Urbanomic author and Peircean philosopher of mathematics whiz, is among the guest editors for a new issue on creativity published by European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy.

I have my reservations about that journal.  They solicited me for a book review but then denied my review because it wasn't a book review essay (this was never divulged as a requirement, not at least at the time).  So the review ended up being published elsewhere.  It's fair to say that my attitude towards them is, "meh."

This issue in particular looks solid and Zalamea's work is top notch.  Glimpse a nice little table of contents with .pdfs HERE or download the full issue HERE.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

preserving our dark skies

I haven't heard of this before but it makes sense (there is a "dark sky" association that lobbies for night sky conservation, see HERE).

Anyway, I found a similar article about preserving dark skies, HERE.  It is worth checking out.  I've left the photo above in a larger size (courtesy of the article) in case readers would like to click on it in order to view it in greater resolution.  It is an example of how darkness and the night sky can be quite beautiful.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

fleeing objectual reduction: accelerating speed for the withdrawl from all objectual representation

"There are no objects.  Only speeds and limits to be broken."

"In a world composed of objects there would be no so-called "objects"...[I]n a world of radical pluralism there would be no determinate reality pretenses made for another, no reduction to a singular orientation that claims to speak for another or all others in their singularity...To acknowledge the radical plurality of the world is to release all determinate and finalized epistemological orientations that claim to somehow 'speak for all' others in their own real metaphysical singularity as a totalizing claim upon what is real, for singularity evidences itself.  This is not to say that singularity is somehow relative to perspective; indeed, quite the opposite: another's freedom (of metaphysical singularity) is not to be spoken for by categorically reducing its reality as a plural singular to an item within your "oriented" ontology, your perspective rather than its own which is always plural and always excessive of a singular orientation. A philosophy of freedom and pluralism is just that: boundless and abundant in perspective as much as it is plural in reality."

The following articles speak to speed, to the breaking through of barriers formed by objectual reduction, to going "off screen," to avoiding being scanned and (hash) tagged.  Oppose objectual reduction.  Of course it's not as if P.E.S.T. created this flavor of thinking - they just introduced me to it.  And I love it.

Anyway, these articles evidence some of the ideas that I am thinking about these days.  I've been introduced to a number of things over the past few weeks - several motions of thought that seem to be intertwined.  Whether processual, libertarian, nihilist, or whathaveyou, I am not sure.  When I can concretely make a statement about how to characterize this new appearance of thought - which for me is an overarching motion of thinking rather than a specific "ism" - I'll certainly create a post.

Resist data control and representation.  Flee, withdraw, go off screen, a revolution "for and by the open."

"Escape Velocities" by Alex Williams.

"The Spam of the Earth" by Hito Steyerl

"Imagining a World Set Free of Their Objects" by B. Lozano / Speculative Materialism blog

Interesting e-flux journal (this has been out for awhile) on "Accelerationist Aesthetics," HERE.


Juenger wrote that "pain is like an illness, once we recover we are immune."

See my post HERE.

agony and ecstasy

HT dmf.

the paradox of anti-relational philosophy

The paradox of anti-relational philosophy is that it seems to rely upon social relations for its very existence.  But not all of contagion is a good thing.

After reviewing the book to the left as well as yesterday's linked article concerning the monopoly of Google (which holds true of Facebook and Twitter concerning a monopoly over social networking), it seems that a truly ecological approach to information would go beyond a "cross-platform" approach limiting itself to just two or three main networks.

We shouldn't expect one to succumb to the networks.  That is, just because an idea or figure - an individual - hasn't been subsumed by a network, its identity spread there, its shape digested by the networks' occupants, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.  In fact, because of information proliferation, the hidden or undiscovered takes on an especial integrity if one eludes the networks or voluntarily chooses to disappear from them.

Juenger's "forest fleer" comes to mind, mentioned in Eumeswil.  There is safe haven afterall - what in Juengerian flavor we might call inner emigration.

Maybe the ultimate relation is the net that I myself cast - that is, the relation which one has to "one's own" - one's own future, one's own self and the always becoming pillar of freedom that a self is.  I believe it was Max Stirner who stated that this was not only a pillar of any individual but something of the primal and inescapable relation that defines all individuals (that of self-relation).  This is the most radical form of pluralism available: all individuals are ultimate, but only ultimate because of their mutual freedom and potential for creativity (for good as well as for evil).

Agentialism of contemporary metaphysical guise is really a timeless sort of truth. 

Incidentally, Juenger referred positively to Stirner as "Saint Max."  It is highly plausible that Kierkegaard read Stirner, and we know that Kierkegaard attended Schelling's Berlin lectures which were influenced by Stirner's work.  Juenger captures this "darker" sense of what one is capable of, a sense of self-ownership developed by Stirner.  Schelling saw this kind of agency, that is, freedom understood as an indifferent power which, really, all things possess, as did Juenger, and Stirner, and Kierkegaard in his moments of despair too.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Who will stop Google?

"Snowden revealed what many of us already suspected: Google completely controls the web."

Link HERE.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

group photo from Third International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism‏

A Symposium on the Philosophy of F.W.J. Schelling

This has been around for awhile but I don't think I ever posted anything about it.

Here in Philly, so.  I have vague feelings about Temple.  Mohanty and Margolis were legends, but the program trailed off into analytic philosophy and (analytic) aesthetics, really forgetting its continental, pragmatist, and phenomenological roots.  I wouldn't call it a continental or American program, that's for sure.  Hybrid programs or those which transcend boundaries are fine, however Temple seems to be proud of its analytic orientation. 

Hence why I was surprised by this symposium.

Maybe worth looking into, who knows.

A Symposium on the Philosophy of F.W.J. Schelling
Temple University, October 4-5, 2013

Jennifer Dobe (Grinnell College, USA)
Michael Forster (University of Bonn, Germany)
Markus Gabriel (University of Bonn, Germany)
Marcela Garcia (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico)
Sebastian Gardner (University College London, UK)
Yitzhak Melamed (Johns Hopkins, USA)
Dalia Nassar (University of Villanova, Philadelphia, USA, University of Sydney, Sydney Australia)
Lara Ostaric (Temple University, USA)
Richard Velkley (Tulane University, USA)
Eric Watkins (University of California, San Diego, USA)
Jason Wirth (Seattle University, USA)

Link HERE.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

abstracts posted for "Idealism & Pragmatism: Convergence or Contestation?"

It looks like there will be some interesting talks.  One in particular by Paul Franks (Yale University) has an intriguing title but not much of an abstract, however. 

Read through the abstracts though.  It's worth it. 

Link to abstracts HERE.  Homepage of the project HERE.

The Barbarian Principle: Merleau-Ponty, Schelling, and the Question of Nature

Toward the end of his life, Maurice Merleau-Ponty made a striking retrieval of the thinking of F. W. J. Schelling. The issue at hand was the question of nature—how are we to think what is at stake with this idea?—and Merleau-Ponty took this question up in relation to Schelling’s nature philosophy in a manner that was mutually illuminating. The Barbarian Principle explores the relationship between these two thinkers, reawakening a dialogue that will be of special interest to phenomenologists, those interested in the ongoing Schelling renaissance and/or environmental studies, and all those concerned with the continuing ecological crisis.

Looks like something to watch out for once the paperback is available.  For now a library copy would work just fine.  Link HERE.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Brassier NYC 19th & 20th

Saturday's appearance starts at 7pm.

Ray Brassier, Suhail Malik, and Reza Negarestani
Blow Your Mind: On Freedom and Enlightenment
Miguel Abreu Gallery, 88 Eldridge Street, 4th Floor, NY

Friday's appearance starts at 2pm.

Ray Brassier
Speculations, “The future is ____”, MoMA PS1
J.G. Ballard's "The Voices of Time"
22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY
Link HERE and HERE

Livestream HERE or HERE.

Document for Ray's talk HERE.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Reza Negarestani "Via Finitude" (MP3 DOWNLOAD)

Reza Negarestani, "Via Finitude: A Reconstruction of Nicole Oresme's diagrams as an Allusion to A Modern Organization of Knowledge" and "Art: A Case of Extreme Hypothesis" : Two audio-recordings in one.  Q & A session featuring R.S. Bakker and B. Woodard, among others.

From the invited speaking event of May 28-29, 2013.  Western University Ontario.  (Info HERE)  (MP3 HERE)

Reza Negarestani presents "Via Finitude" 
Frequently characterized by historians as an early anticipation of Galilean epistemology and rationality's total deracination of man and gods alike in the cosmos, Nicole Oresme's diagrams of 'extensivity of forms' are simple epistemic devices developed in order to understand three classical problems: (1) The problem of variation (motion), (2) The problem of articulation of intelligibility (measurement), and (3) The problem of global integration of the variable and the intelligible (universality).

The aim of this lecture is to extract and formalize the constructive kernel of Oresme's original diagrams, latitudo formarum, as a gesture toward a conception of knowledge capable of conditioning a sharp and irreversible noetic propulsion for the subject. We shall examine the constructive phases of this gesture in forming the schematic landscape of knowledge in terms of a number of consecutive operations: Initiating epistemic ratios of separation from nature, localizing different rational orientations born by the epistemic separation, organization of local orientations according to a global transport, determining the limit projected by the global transport, mobilizing local orientations toward the hypothetical limit, recalibrating the scope of navigation by way of reorganization of local orientations, renormalization of the global transport and reprojecting the limit. 
As a conclusion, we shall argue that, following Oresme, the understanding of knowledge as a system of navigation destroys one of the enduring philosophical dogmas responsible for engendering both pseudo-rationalist myopia and quasi-mystical irrationalism, the thought of an essential bound in classical rationalism and the thought of after finitude as manifested in speculative materialism/realism: that is, the alleged incommensurability between finitude and unboundedness.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Universe Crueler, More Uncaring Place Than Previously Thought (cosmic pessimism)

This parody reminds me of a more serious thought I had some time back, HERE.

Otherwise, in the words of Schopenhauer, "Contempt is not incompatible with indulgent and kindly treatment."  From Studies in Pessimism (Link HERE.)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

another review of my Peirce book

HERE, this time in the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society which is pretty much the preeminent journal for American philosophy (not just for Peirce), The Pluralist and maybe The Journal for Speculative Philosophy aside.  

I haven't read the full review yet but am curious to do so.  HT Jason from immanent transcendence blog.

Monday, July 8, 2013

God is in pain (Zizek VIDEO)

This morning I happened to come across Zizek's recent statement that "God is in pain" and a paper/chapter that he wrote called, "Only a Suffering God Can Save Us"; timely for me as some of this relates to a paper titled "The Pain of Eternal Becoming" that I am presenting at the upcoming North American Schelling Society conference, as well as another paper that I am presenting at P.E.S.T. on something that I am developing called "bleak theology," part of my larger project of speculative naturalism.  As Zizek summarizes the idea,

This brings us to the third position above and beyond the first two (the sovereign God, the finite God), that of a suffering God: not a triumphalist God who always wins at the end, although "his ways are mysterious," since he secretly pulls all the strings; not a God who exerts cold justice, since he is by definition always right; but a God who – like the suffering Christ on the Cross - is agonized, assumes the burden of suffering, in solidarity with the human misery. It was already Schelling who wrote: "God is a life, not merely a being. But all life has a fate and is subject to suffering and becoming. /.../ Without the concept of a humanly suffering God /.../ all of history remains incomprehensible."

- Slavoj Zizek, "Only a Suffering God Can Save Us"

Link to Zizek's book HERE, video below.

Slavoj Zizek: God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse

quote of the day

“Real immanence neither absorbs nor annihilates transcendence, it is not opposed to it, but is capable of ‘receiving’ it and of determining it as a relative autonomy. Real immanence is so radical — rather than absolute — that it does not reduce the transcendence of the world — whether philosophically or phenomenologically — it does not deny or limit it but on the contrary gives it…”

Ray Brassier, Nihil Unbound (144)

(Source: Theologoumena)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

the magic of the real

I've been reading Juenger's fantastic book, The Adventurous Heart - so I have decided to repost the below, which I wrote last year.  It seems timely enough.


"The Magic of the Real"

Die Schere #27
When a "vision" takes place, the afflicted is assailed by that vague sensation which is felt by a man, who, upon returning from an excursion, is unable to give any account thereof. At the time, the vision could have passed as a dream - its realization makes one suspect that more was in play.

The scissors, appearing before only as image, can cut - this is uncanny.Perhaps memory conserves only a secondary particular, as does a note in the margin of a page whose text is smudged. Has more taken place? A similar mood can follow a heavy inebriation: the drinker does not know what drove him to it. In any case, a tie has been made - he has found his way back to his person and his norms. Drinking from the Well of Mimir is taboo.

Die Schere #29
The pre-visionary thus attended twice his own funeral, once while standing at the window, then in reality. The  relation has interlocked, the scissors of Atropos, at first seen in its potential, then took effect in actu - the scissors cut. But the visionary is hurt no more.
Second sight does not open a panoramic view, as if a curtain were ripped apart.

Instead, it is like squinting through a keyhole. The perspective is quite limited, it is mostly trifles, like a toppled inkwell, that meet the eye. However, such accidental details are perceived with great exactness. This might be explained by assuming a slight disturbance, caused perhaps by a tiny screw in the intricate mechanism of perception becoming loose - luckily merely for a moment.

E. Juenger, The Sheers (Die Schere)

What is the spirit world and what is its relation to this life?  Does the natural reflect up from within its own depths the spiritual and magical?  We are presented with options concerning the one nature and its sheered existence (Juenger).

Schelling (in his text, Clara, or On Nature's Connection to the Spirit World) offers insight into our options:

1. The spirit world enters this life.
2. The two worlds are kept completely separate.
3. There is interaction between this life and the next.
4. We may learn about the next life from carefully looking at this one.

Another question must follow.  In what way might the human be a point between these two worlds, a Schere or scissor cutting them apart?  We are not directly connected to the spiritual world, but do progress toward the spiritual through our death.  The bands of a paper cut into a moebius strip are hemmed by our perception.  

Steroscopically, the senses may zero in and unveil the magical quality of the world - the spiritual entering in through and interacting with this life.  Dreams are the direct testament to such a revelation presented before the inner senses, although others have developed the optics which, under certain conditions, perceive the truth of the revelation directly.  Whether or how this may be communicated is another story.

Novelist Ernst Juenger (1885-1998), friend of Martin Heidegger (and equally loathed because of his politics) is the phenomenologist of dreams, a "psychonaut."  Opening a new view of the everyday allowed him to perceive the spiritual alive in it.  Among the realities found in this new, deeper layer of reality, is the reality of liberation: freedom from the body.  Juenger's politicization of this inner pillar of freedom was called "the Anarch"; a figure whose religious orientation was psychical and Eastern, a figure whose metaphysics was libertarian and ecological.  Thus a unique prototype, the Anarch has the ability to "shape-shift" according to circumstance: the ultimate figure of freedom.  At the end of his life Juenger appears to have aligned beliefs about this prototype to an order whose aesthetic and spiritual ranking he seemed to confide in the most, the Catholic church (although Juenger never just "gave up" his freedom to the Church, if anything this was a respectful nod to the order, an acknowledgment of its spiritual aesthetics).

Juenger also found a spiritual freedom in the forest, evidenced in his novel Eumeswil, where he then develops a figure whom he titles, "the Forest Fleer."  Juenger's celebrated essay Der Waldgang ("The Forest Fleer") develops the theme of inner emigration, a transition from Anarch to Forest Fleer - the retreat to a spiritual zone found within the forest which is also a retreat into the self.  There, in the forest, there in dreams, we communicate with the dead.  We see the power of our inner freedom and the magic of the real.  The transition is from Anarch to Forest Fleer: the prototype drops its mask and reveals to the world the power of its inner freedom.  There in the forest the last stand is made.

I copy below a not-so-bad  translation of an article written about Juenger referencing several of the themes outline above.

credit: from 13.04.2012

Ernst Jünger (1895-1998) is polarized like no other intellectual of the 20th Century. They called him a propagandist of the war and described his poems as "Mr. Reiter's prose." Nevertheless, the German poet-philosopher for some represents an appeal like that of the '68-movement.

He was "a kind of disciple to life, surrounded by the aura of intellectual obscenity," such as former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer once remarked. A report on drug-induced "paradise" and "human salamanders" is found in the work of Ernst Jünger.

Juenger re-read

To sweep the widespread stereotypes about Juenger aside, the philosopher Gerd B. Achenbach in early April held a multi-day seminar held in the Swabian monastery Heiligkreuztal. The intention of Achenbach was to undertake some investigations into the multi-faceted, subtle work of controversial the artist-philosopher, Ernst Juenger.

You should show that Juenger may well be regarded for a philosopher, if  - as Achenbach - implies, you are not confused with footnote philology and academic term papers. In an interview with, Achenbach referred to Juenger's "strategy", namely looking to the phenomena and activities of daily life that are hardly noticed as a starting point for theoretical point of view excursions. They lead Juenger into "the pathless darkness of mystery."

A new view of the everyday

Documents of these expeditions into the mystery find themselves in the Juenger's book, "The Adventurous Heart. Figures and Capricchios". His aim was to wrest the surface of things and uncover a deeper meaning of reality with new or hidden dimensions. His goal was also to undermine the reality of the very means of art.

Much like the surrealist writers Juenger drew a new perspective on the everyday, which opened up surprising perspectives, "A falling to the ground of reality's tissue may be the start of an Archimedean point from which the poet [Juenger] sets in motion a whole world and opens up a world," wrote the writer Guillaume Apollinaire.

Stereoscopic sensuality

The means to transform reality is, from the stereoscopic view, to be discovered next to the usual perception of everyday objects in their magical quality, "as if an observant was controlled from the mysterious itself".

Stereoscopically one perceives words as Juenger did, to win from the same object simultaneously two sensory qualities, and indeed - this is what is important - by a single sensory organ. As an example he cites the cinnamon scent of clove, "of which not only the smell is aromatic, but also has the taste of a spicy quality."

Discover the magic of the real

The stereoscopic view stages a simultaneous layering of realities, impressions, memories and dreams, it leads to an enhanced perception of the object world, which thus takes on a magical quality.

Here, too, are echoes of Surrealist writers such as André Breton, where the stereoscopic gaze is the place of the "automatic writing" - translated, the letter automatically takes place. Artistic expeditions would expand the range of factuality and reality into the realm of the numinous, the mysterious, the wonderful advance that defies logical and rational access.

    "Often it seems to us that the sense of depth can be created only from the surface, the rainbow-colored skin in the world, where the sight moves us urgently. Then again, this colorful pattern is created solely from letters and symbols by which the depths talk to us through their secrets. " (Ernst Jünger)

The shortcomings of the administered world

The stereoscopic view is trying to evoke a sphere which was displaced in the Enlightenment by the "disenchantment of the world". Such refers to the paranoid delusion of the Enlightenment era, which tries to explain all phenomena and define all rationally - "The geometry of reason obscures a diabolical mosaic, sometimes shockingly alive world".

The will of the realm of the numinous, the wonderful world, was disenchanted into a flattened world - spoken by those who celebrate on the weekends in the supermarket's buying frenzy, - a substitute for the loss of the Saints. Jünger's critique of the one-dimensional life-world that resembles the life of lemurs, meets with the analysis of Theodor W. Adorno.

The parade intellectuals of the "Frankfurt School" deplored "the damaged life" of the individual who will be sacrificed by the late capitalist industrial society on the altar of profit maximization. For Adorno, this form of society "is completely wrong," the "hell of human existence" was a total loss of the individual, demoted to "Lurch".

The Doors of Perception

Many were convinced that the use of drugs also opens up access to the area of ​​the numinous - beyond the usual bleak one-dimensional world. With the use of hashish, opium, mescaline, cocaine or LSD, Juenger designed singular experiments where created a sense of that archaic phenomena of ecstasy, which were usually hidden in the process of Western civilization .

High on drugs, there was the unexpected, "wholly other", which was already described enthusiastically by the English author Thomas de Quincey as divine. He spoke of a God-like state that occurs after the ingestion of opium. This condition is also experienced after taking LSD, which Juenger shared with Albert Hofmann, who took the substance which he had created (Hofmann, a chemist).

In the book "Approaches and drug intoxication," Juenger said LSD was a possible access to the "divine which moves everything." Back in 1949 he had presented in his novel "Heliopolis" the spiritual adventurer Antonio Peri, in addition to his everyday life wrought by the hallucinogenic drug "artificial paradises". This "artificial paradises" now promised "good news, eleusinisches light." You can, however, find out that these experiences- "turn out to be mirages, a pretend the true oases, but without a closer reality".

Regarding the use of hallucinogenic drugs, Juenger wrote, "Once is enough, you will have gained an idea of ​​the dimensions within which they move as a blind man once plumbed the depths, the yawns among the planks of their boat."

Waldgänger and Anarch

When thinking - and living Juenger propagated the "forest transition" or "retreat into the forest" - he who defies the world and manages the consumer frenzy. The "Forest Fleer" is an outsider of civilization, one who situates their self at the edges, and is very skeptical of the normativity of common sense, who always knows that people are not "good."

The radical aversion to socially binding norms affects not only the late-capitalist society, but is directed against any religious or ideological coercion corsets. The "Forest Fleer" is simultaneously a "Psychonaut", which always seeks out extreme conditions in order to expand consciousness. He is also "Anarch", not an anarchist, who still has the illusion of being able to change the world rather than one's self.

The "Anarch" refers to Max Stirner's "unique one" who has made his cause on nothing. He defies not only every act but also any public articulation of his only developed inner secret thought:

    "When "Anarch" I am determined to get involved with anything, but not taking anything too seriously - but not in a nihilistic way - as a man's land is between tides, eyes, and ears." (Eumeswil)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

why a relationless universe cannot be

Take every distinct thing that there is and begin subtracting those distinct things one by one until you get to the very last thing that there is in the universe.  In order to be "that thing," it must depend at a minimum upon those things which were subtracted before it.  Further, you would not be able to subtract "it" if subtraction were not the principle which individuated things to be subtracted one by one.  This thought experiment suggests that relations are actually factors of dependence rather than properties we merely "insert" between any two things in order to subsume that insertion into the category of "thing." 

The self-same identity of a thing is not a simple Fichtean matter of I = not-I.  Rather, it is an issue of dependence in terms of what is being negatedThere exists no thing that is not dependent upon what has come before it, whether to bring it about or take it away (generation and perishing: whatever is is because it comes to be and then perishes); whether to offer a route of how it may develop in a future state (all things suffer change, there is nothing exempt from time if time is part of what a material universe is fundamentally); or some other form of causation.  This is all to say that to be is to affect and be affected by some other.  Aristotle was not incorrect to say that whatever is can be described in terms of causal properties.  We do not live in a static, frozen universe.  If we did, the annihilation and utter extinction of our own universe would not be a possibility.

The minimal relation that nothing can escape is what I call a "triadic" temporal-causal relation, which is required for self-same identity.  There is nothing spooky or magical about it.  Here the cause relates to its past, again, in terms of dependence - all things depend on what has come before it (asymmetrical dependence).  But the identity of any thing (in order to be "that" thing and no other) also relates to a future in terms of what "that" thing can be.  In other words, something can only be what it is with respect to its own past and its own possible future states.  This triadically splits whatever is "its own."  To be "one's own" - distinct, individuated - is to be relationally split into a temporal triadic structure.

To say something is relationless is to say that "that" is not a discrete "thing" which stands upon its own.  To deny relations is a move which in all actuality denies the real individuality of whatever is.  Thus, the self-same individual suddenly disappears without a principle of individuation grounded in temporality.  We would be left with monism without that principle.  Hartshorne has a fine example about those who in the attempt to isolate things from relations are like those who attempt to put four hinges on a door.  In seeking to isolate the door by using hinges on all sides, suddenly the door becomes a wall.

Nothing ever stands upon its own in an absolute totality except (possibly) one being of ultimacy, whose ontological standards of relation and dependence are not just metaphysical, but also theological.  Yet, following Hartshorne further, even that being depends on the world it has created.  But it does so supremely.

Nothing therefore is absolutely dependent nor absolutely independent. Nothing is without some form of relation, even the "isolated" individual we are left with in an all-but-one subtracted universe.  The individual must forever at a minimum relate to its own temporal career in order to possess any distinct integrity warranting "it" as "it" and no other.  Death may be no ones' in particular, but the life of particulars is distinctly each particular's own as much as it is a general feature of anything which is.

Negation may also serve as a standard of integrity, in terms of denying one possible course of action over another.  This being has chosen this particular future, that being another.  No two futures can be identical.  Nevertheless, a being is always related to the possibilities it chooses or denies, to the past it has accumulated.  In other words, time and causation mean relation.  Unless we deny the very reality of time (yet time and matter are one if matter is corruptible), then all is related via change over time.  Here a supposedly outdated existentialism states a rather untimely truth, that of metaphysical "agentialism" - a more broad metaphysical description of how whatever is is by virtue of its dependence upon a non-determined future and an accumulated past.  (Nothing can be what it is "absolutely all at once," for this would invoke incompossible possibles.)

With agency in mind we can simply say this: nothing can escape the triadic modal structure which logically, cosmologically, and ontologically, governs the universe.  Ontological solipsism, the outcome of a relationless universe, is false.

is blogging a valuable supplement to scholarship?

Follow up thought to yesterday's link, HERE.

Monday, July 1, 2013

should graduate students blog?

Article link HERE.

quote of the day

"Badiou’s mathematical ontology is a frozen ontology, which is why he needs the conception of the event to make existence dynamic."

- Crockett & Robbins, Religion, Politics, and the Earth, p. 114.

(Source: Theologoumena)

Peirce's melancholy

New article in the Pocono Record about C.S. Peirce (HT Jason immanent transcendence, a wonder how he found this).  I think the tragic aspects of Peirce's life are often over looked.  Alot of people just don't "get" Peirce, because his work is so difficult and it requires alot of background to comprehend.  But he was an American genius, a prolific writer, and anticipated (perhaps along with Whitehead as his closest ally) what today we would call "speculative" metaphysical philosophy.

Nevertheless, the details of Peirce's life are just as fascinating as his philosophy.  I've been to the Peirce house at least twice, as far as I can remember.  I'd like to go again.

Link to the article HERE.

Charles seemed capable of undermining his interests himself," said Samuels. "He had nerve pain in his face and bipolar disorder, which may also explain why he wanted opium. He was an ingenious, difficult man, sometimes violent, who couldn't keep a job. No one understood his mania. But for 20 years after he died, Juliette tried to get his work published.

See also:

"Peirce the Melancholy Prestidigitator," review essay on Charles Sanders Peirce: A Life, by Joseph Brent, Semiotica, Vol. 94, Nos. 1 & 2, 1993, pp. 85-101. [download]


"Peirce's Melancholy," Semiotics 1991, ed. Deely & Prewitt, (Lanham, MD: The University Press of America, 1992), pp. 332-340. [download]

relational realism

HT Jason immanent transcendence.  Link HERE.  Relations do not presuppose objects; rather, objects presuppose relations - if not at least presuppose one (triadic) relation fundamentally so that any self-same identity can hold as such: that of a current processual self to its past as well as future self. 

Even eternal objects, which do not change, still must relate to some form of change had by others.

I've posted about this HERE, HERE, and HERE.