All posts filed under: metaphysics

Solidity

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becoming / metaphysics / ontology

Negativity. I want to think the movement of thought, movement within stillness; the movement of nothing within the negative. To think the immediacy of this active movement or flow; to think in the very middle of what is unthought within thinking. An impossible or recursive landscape. The psychic architecture underlying cognition is not contingently but necessarily in blindness and without-vision; alien, obscure and encrypted. This labor, of thinking itself; the first work of thought which […]

Clouds

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becoming / freedom / machine / metaphysics / noise / secret / variation

A sky englobes and illuminates a terraqueous sphere in the same way a biosphere recollects the scattered spirit of an earth. The sky breathes, soul of the world. Exposing nature and history to free and limitless dynamism, to an open field of differences distributed in depth. The outer limit of vision or terrestrial abstraction. The sky opens onto a virtual whole, exposing a cosmic membrane to continuous creation. How to begin with aerial roots? What […]

Speed of Time

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becoming / machine / metaphysics

Acceleration physically denotes a second-order or cybernetic speed of speed; analogically, celerities in the technological phylum, mutation-rates of technologies of inscription (framing, writing, coding), permutational-vectors in expressive media, denote a cybernetic speed of time. A time in a way which is without past or future; an eternally ephemeral or transitional time which is light, spacing, energy. Already a kind of quantum power plant: a device to activate emergence; a virtual machine which permits transduction of […]

Eternity

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acceleration / becoming / language / metaphysics / ontology

Since before memory, certainly the Greeks, a temporal continuum supervening upon the physical universe delimited the scope of ontological speculation. This delimitation of vision to a vertical axis transpiercing the cosmos necessitates a moment of insight generated through a brutal acceleration or jerk into clarity/modernity, or alternately futurity/sightedness; at any rate unleashing an irreversible and continuous transposition of subjects, translation of signifiers, transversalization of situations. The fluidity of this image of time is experienced only […]

Notes towards a Metaphysics of Light

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acceleration / code / light / metaphysics / spirit

Every tool carries with it the spirit by which it has been created. (Heisenberg) I would like to think light as the dynamic interval between events, as a kind of singular tension between time and space, determining in the last instance both the simultaneity of the event as well as the order of succession for chains of causal relations. Light as the luminous matrix of the substrate and the glare of its utter annihilation; as […]

Exology of the City

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acceleration / becoming / exhaustion / labyrinth / metaphysics / ontology / potentiality

How to think the infinity of the city, where all is fire and shadow? How could we hope to see into its opaque and terrible darkness; or hope to enjoy a view unblinded by its brilliant light? A city explodes into a world; perhaps under the tension of this polar opposition — fragments under the weight of its multiplicity — becomes a cosmos, all streams of flowing light and immense structuring voids… The dromology at […]

Utopian

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becoming / metaphysics / Politics / sickness / thinking / utopia

“[U]topia is a fictive representation of an ideal social structure…”[1] Michel Serres names heaven the rejoining of the rational and the real. Is there not truly a disquietingly infinite distance between the celestial dream of this adjoining and the hell we have made of the world? What then is the utopian? A first provisional approach might highlight temporal disjunction, utopia as uchronia: a no-when as well as a no-where; utopia denoting a world, a city, a […]

Living

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becoming / black holes / capitalism / creation / difference / language / metaphysics / ontology / power

What is modern? It can perhaps be discerned in the radical questioning of the status of piety, a questioning which slowly infects every discipline and discourse — a questioning, in other words, coextensive with a generalized instrumentalization, experienced at the psychic level as a new asceticism. Modernity in this sense includes souls no longer living; it embodies achromatically the spirits of wildly disparate eras. In this way we may perhaps be permitted to speak of the […]

Earth

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acceleration / Deleuze / machine / metaphysics / motion / Nietzsche / ontology / Serres / sign

In the duplicity of beauty there is the strange trope of a presence which is the shadow of itself, of a being which, anachronously, lurks in its own trace. (Levinas, Otherwise than Being) Loyalty to Earth! There is a primordial immanence of the body, a primacy of lived experience; natural-and-spiritual forces are firstly constellations of singular point-signs, assembling lines of flight or death, and merely falsified (explicated at best) through signifying abstractions incapable of unleashing […]

Genesis

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capitalism / death / difference / disaster / expressivity / future / health / humanity / language / machine / metaphysics / modernity / nihilism / Politics

Genesis. Enormous psychosocial and political transformations were necessary in order to put into place the global transhistorical capitalist institutions we take for granted. Capitalism is different, genetically as it were, from all previous ways of organizing human society. It dissolves society in favor of the decoded flows of pre-individual traits and elements which will form abstract labor and commodities. This dissolution is what previous forms of society had attempted to prevent. They had precisely developed […]

Other

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badiou / becoming / difference / force / function / metaphysics / ontology / virus

A science of being is not enough. This subtraction which purifies, this selection and division which makes holy, which ‘invents’ and ‘discovers’ truth — how could ontology do anything but give us theories of the One, of the Law, of the Real, of the existing-as-such? How could it do anything but carefully induce multiplicity to subtract itself into unified theory, divide itself into functions and axioms; endlessly seduce differences into homogeneity, and minorities into conformity; […]

Involve

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becoming / language / metaphysics / ontology

    Transiency hurls itself everywhere into a deep state of being. And therefore all forms of this our world are not only to be used in a time-specific sense, but should be included into those phenomena of superior significance in which we partake, and of which we are a part.   Rilke     Ideas arrest and extrude contents from a flux and thus illuminate forms from chaos. An inversion or involution, not the […]

Mind

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being / flaw / impossibility / knowledge / language / machine / message / metaphysics / ontology / trace / truth

Where is truth — in knowledge or learning? If truth is processual, it is therefore also non-definitional; if it therefore exceeds classification, it annihilates a priori any possibility of its subtraction or division as such. Hence truth is impossible; yet this “impossible” subtraction of truth from an inconsistency, once postulated, nonetheless functions, it even begins to produce something, the impossible even becomes possible — and so perhaps produces everything. Thus the question remains, like a […]

There Is

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becoming / mathematics / metaphysics / ontology

  “There exists, if I am not mistaken, an entire world which is the totality of mathematical truths, to which we have access only with our mind, just as a world of physical reality exists, the one like the other independent of ourselves, both of divine creation. Charles Hermite       “By keenly confronting the enigmas that surround us, and by considering and analysing the observations that I have made, I ended up in […]

Invisible Writing

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alterity / desire / difference / freedom / imperceptible / language / metaphysics / nobility / outside / Politics

The outside, or Other, is accorded an incomparable eminence in the work of Emmanuel Levinas. In his penetrating account, metaphysics desires an elsewhere. It persists within an alibi, in which we assert true life as absent. But then our idea of the other would seem to hinge upon the imperceptible — that is, upon an Other which is not other like the bread I eat, or the land in which I dwell. It is not […]

Outside

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alterity / awareness / being / difference / inequality / inhumanity / language / levinas / love / metaphysics / Politics / reason / truth / tyranny / Uncategorized / violence

The relation between me and the other commences in the inequality of terms, transcendent to one another, where alterity does not determine the other in a formal sense… It is produced in multiple singularities and not in a being exterior to this number who would count the multiples. The inequality is in this impossibility of the exterior point of view, which alone could abolish it. The relationship that is established–the relationship of teaching, of mastery, […]

Difference, Primacy and Peace: Deleuze and Levinas

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courage / death / Deleuze / dialogue / filiality / identity / levinas / metaphysics / ontology / peace / Politics / state / technology / violence / war machine

Preface It is perhaps time to see in hypocrisy not only a base contingent defect of man, but the underlying rending of a world attached to both the philosophers and the prophets. Levinas, Totality and Infinity 24 I have no wish to soften the saying that to write lyric poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric; it expresses in negative form the impulse which inspires committed literature. The question asked by a character in Sartre’s play Morts […]

The Poetics of Psychoanalysis: Towards an Ethics of Expression

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art / cruelty / difference / language / love / metaphysics / morality / nature / Nietzsche / Politics / rigor / science

Introduction: Rationality and Affect The lofty prize Of science lies Concealed today as ever! He has no thought To him it’s brought To own without endeavor! Goethe, Faust (1st part, 2567-2572) Intelligence is a moral category. The separation of feeling and understanding, that makes it possible to absolve and beatify the blockhead, hypostasizes the dismemberment of man into functions. Praise of the simpleton has an undertone of anxiety lest the severed parts reunite and put […]

Wandering Shadows: Reflections on Morality and Madness

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architecture / banquet / language / machine / metaphysics / Nietzsche / ontology / Politics / time / unconscious / violence / wisdom

In the disparity between the awareness of unreason and the awareness of madness, we have, at the end of the eighteenth century, the point of departure for a decisive movement: that by which the experience of unreason will continue, with Holderlin, Nerval, and Nietzsche, to proceed ever deeper towards the roots of time — unreason thus becoming, par excellence, the world’s contratempo — and the knowledge of madness seeking on the contrary to situate it […]

Modern

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critique / decision / escape / gravity / health / language / love / metaphysics / modern / order / outside / parasite

If a person never contradicts himself, it must be that he says nothing. Miguel de Unamumo Modernity is a mass exhumation, plunging multiple, trembling, accelerating tunnels into the depths of affectivity. An ambiguous anticipation of this pure positivity can be paradoxically grasped already in the very grayness, finality, boredom and gravity of the classical categories of knowledge. For the consistency of the subject in the classical sense is metaphysical, sublime, hidden, like a secret promise. […]

Metaphysics beyond Psychoanalysis: The Unconscious, Language and Reality after Heidegger and Deleuze

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anti-philosophy / badiou / deconstruction / Deleuze / difference / heidegger / lacan / levinas / mathematics / metaphysics / negation / poetry / psychoanalysis / unity / writing

Metaphysics beyond Psychoanalysis 0: Entryways “What does it matter how many lovers you have if none of them gives you the universe?” Lacan “Lacan never pursues purely philosophical objectives.” Badiou Questions, not meanings, are forgotten. May we therefore at last refrain from inquiring what psychoanalysis means, or asking what it is supposed to signify? And, since this alone is clearly insufficient, could it also be possible to take a cautious step “backwards,” simply in order […]

On Asceticism

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asceticism / attunement / commerce / desire / exteriority / instinct / metaphysics / Nietzsche / noise / nothingness / spirit / strength / Thought

We know what the three great catchphrases of the ascetic idea are: poverty, humility, and chastity. If we now look closely at the lives of all great, prolific, inventive spirits we’ll always rediscover all three there to a certain degree. Not at all (this is self-evident) as if it were something to do with their “virtues”—what does this kind of man have to do with creating virtues?—but as the most appropriate and most natural conditions […]

Notes on Eros and Civilization

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alienation / death drive / Eros / eros and civilzation / freud / herbert marcuse / metaphysics / pleasure / psychology / reality / superego / unconscious

Notes on Eros and Civilization In Eros and Civilization, Herbert Marcuse presents Freud at the level of metaphysical psychology. That is: we find Freud engaged in overturning “conventional” metaphysics through psychoanalysis — methodically substituting pleasure and imagination for reason and logic — but paradoxically in so doing he produces a “theoretical” practice which, through its “diagnostic” methodologies and even in its “axiomatic” structure, still reflect profoundly traditional conceptions of humanity. For example, Freud analyzes the […]

Thinking Cybernetics

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algorithm / apparatus of capture / authority / biopolitics / call for papers / code / control / cybernetics / desiring machines / einstein / ethics / humanity / language / media / metaphysics / technology

(Matt Dixon) Thinking Cybernetics: Mapping the Intersections between Metaphysics, Technology, Biopolitics (abstract for panel) The purpose of this panel is to gather together ideas, perspectives, and questions from a diverse variety of thinkers and disciplines relating to the theory and practice of cybernetics. Our goal is to raise a series of critical questions concerning the intersection between biopolitics, metaphysics, and technology. While each paper is devoted to a specific author or authors and is generally […]

Language is not a Signal: Notes on Wilhelm von Humboldt

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concept / decision / dialogue / distinction / humboldt / language / metaphysics / order word / protoype / representation / segmentation / sign / Thought

Language is not a Signal: Notes on Wilhelm von Humboldt One of the earliest and most strident critiques of the signifier, Wilhelm von Humboldt’s philosophy of language refused the even-then-canonical concept of a “sign” by questioning the universal conceptual image of a language as representation. Beneath the semiotic aspect of language — the “common sense” idea of language as utterance, signalling, communicating, “saying” — Humboldt catches sight of a more profound function of language, where […]

Counter-action: Reflections on Sensory Anthropology

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counteraction / difference / ego / experiment / infinity / information / intensity / light / machine / media / metaphysics / monad / noise / origin / society / structure / transcendence

Towards a Metaphysics of Noise Let us return to the ‘alternate’ origin in noise, the conditions for any structure. From background noise to blank nothingness to signification: three distinct moments. Back again to the process of the development of the other structure: from noise into information. Mediation: the propagation of light which opens up space by filling it, makes absence present, sensible. The other structure: from spirit to letter; from ruptures, an alien coherence; from […]

Deconstructing Cybernetics

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abstract machine / catastrophe / chaos / communication / conservatism / cybernetics / decentralization / derrida / distinction / exteriority / godel / humanity / machine / metaphysics / ontology / spencer-brown / spirit / writing

Notes on Derrida and Cybernetics Let us conjecture that the invention of the transistor — an auto-controllable circuit — indicates the attainment of a critical level of development in cybernetics, a “tipping point.” Then for writing the corresponding moment is the invention of the video camera, perhaps more precisely the photograph: now seeing is writing, literally marking. Visio-literature is the only kind that can ever exists for us today — even ancient literature is post-modern […]

Systems of Control: Derrida and Machines

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automation / control / cybernetics / derrida / history / human / machine / metaphysics / nonhuman / system

(notes for an abstract) If the theory of cybernetics is by itself to oust all metaphysical concepts — including the concepts of soul, of life, of value, of choice, of memory — which until recently served to separate the machine from man, it must conserve the notion of writing, trace, written mark, or grapheme, until its own historico-metaphysical character is also exposed. […[E]ven before being determined as human… or nonhuman, the gramme — or the […]

Temporality and Power: The Politics of Absence

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alterity / concept / critique / ethics / infinity / language / metaphysics / morality / ontology / Politics / power / production / theory / time

In the relation of the human being to language, a process is reflected that extends to the relation of the human being to beings in general: The scientific knowledge has become the standard knowledge! The other: thinking, spirit of language, history, culture is still there, yet dragged along into a certain indeterminateness. It is decisive that the consciousness was lost as to where this other belongs and of what kind must the reflection be in […]

Being and Revolution

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critique / decision / determination / epoch / expression / freedom / history / illusion / Marx / metaphysics / networks / Politics / practice / production / religion / slavery / struggle / Thought

  The materialist doctrine concerning the changing of circumstances and upbringing forgets that circumstances are changed by men and that it is essential to educate the educator himself. This doctrine must, therefore, divide society into two parts, one of which is superior to society. The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-changing can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionary practice. Karl Marx

Time and the Cultural Unconscious: Nietzsche and the Future

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chaos / culture / freud / materiality / metaphysics / Nietzsche / resistance / society / subject-group / time / unconscious / value

Woman at the Window Salvador Dalí, oil on board (1925) What do we understand to be the boundaries of our neighbor: I mean that which he as it were engraves and impresses himself into and upon us? We understand nothing of him except the change in us of which he is cause — our knowledge of him is like the hollow space which has been shaped. (Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak 118) Stripped of its social connotations, […]

Imaginary

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difference / flux / God / image / imaginary / individuation / insanity / logic / metaphysics / symmetry / void

Wild Magic of the Unbeliever (Dave Makin) How much of our lives are caught up, inextricably, with the imaginary? A dangerous question only because it is silly, and stupid; why? Because it’s answer is both simple and impossible. For we know: none of it is imaginary, it is all real; and we also know: nothing is real, all of it is imaginary. A dangerous idea, a poisonous idea: there is contradiction at the origin. An […]

Bergsonism, or Philosophy of Sub- and Superhuman Durations

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assemblage / Bachelard / becoming / bergson / Deleuze / difference / duration / image / intuition / memory / metaphysics / metapsychology / ontology / problematics / time / virtual / Whitehead

Deleuze, Gilles. Bergsonism. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. New York: Zone, 1991. Bergson on several occassions compares the approach of philosophy to the procedure of infinitesimal calculus: When we have benefited in experience from a little light which shows us a line of articulation, all that remains is to extend it beyond experience—just as mathematicians reconstitute, with the infinitely small elements that they perceive of the real curve, ‘the curve itself stretching out into […]

Agency and Chaos

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chaos / metaphysics / mirrors / Nietzsche / observer / problem space / sense / singularity

(Source: NASA deep space photo) Agency demands a problem-space exactly as motion demands regulated (observed) space. Motion is distinguished from space by an observer: space is energy. Thus the discovery that space-time (energy) is at once both a pure sea of light waves folding and crashing in infinite variations as well as a discrete, orderly series of predefined, probabilistic signals, is one of the two great conceptual leaps of this century. The discovery that energy […]