Friday, January 26, 2007

Thinking Uniqueness

Adriana Cavarero directly challenges logocentrism: "Meaning–or, better, the relationality and the uniqueness of each voice that constitutes the nucleus of this meaning–passes from the acuoustic sphere to speech" (For More than One Voice: Toward a Philosophy of Vocal Expression, p. 13). She argues that philosophy has ignored not only the uniqueness of the voice, but "uniqueness as such, in whatever mode it manifests itself" (p. 9). Is the inability to think uniqueness a consequence of logocentrism, as Cavarero suggests? Or might there be some other difficulty entailed in coming to terms with uniqueness? To give Cavarero the benefit of the doubt we will have to demand that she demonstate an ability to think uniqueness.

Labels: , , , ,

posted by Fido the Yak at 9:24 AM.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Therefore the fundamental deformation consists in presenting “being” as a predication, consequently presenting everything as the result of a set of distinctions, or distinctions held as the principle of everything – thus cloaking what “to be” or “not to be” means. In that view, an ultimate formula makes reality to be, and, when considering a hundred dollar bill at the bottom of ones’ pocket, what exists there does not differ from a c-note exhaustively well crafted in imagination, since actuality, whether extramental or intramental, is always deemed an ungraspable, intangible addition, thus superfluous or, at most, a negligible contingency. That is the classical example, on the “exhaustivity” of whose imaginary crafting we should return. Nonetheless, somewhat down in the chain of these descriptive misrepresentations, the circumstance of having presented “being” as a predication yields another, well-known distortion of reality, namely the pretense that relations enjoy ontic consistency independently of their relata (“relata” are the things that a relation bring into interrelatedness). It is a classical philosophical doctrine, ironically self-entitled “realism” in the misconception that reality is indeed so. It pretends, for example, that relations can enter into relations among themselves; or, not because of the onticity of the relata that embody them."
Mario Crocco, Palindrome.

There is, of course a lot on caduacualtez in tha essay.

January 26, 2007 8:29 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Yes, Mario's is a unique voice. Do you see these issues as related as I do, whether the label is "uniqueness," "singularity" or "cadacualtex"? That's something of a paradox. Suppose that uniqueness, to favor Cavarero's language, is something that every thinking must come to terms with. This is a strong claim but it's not unthinkable. How then will we recognize the coming to terms with uniqueness? Is this only a problem to the extent that we pretend that relations can enter into relations among themselves, or is it rather a practical hermeneutic issue that puts us on the spot and calls for judgement each and every time we run across a grappling with uniqueness?

January 27, 2007 12:04 PM  
Blogger nedric said...


Your blog is quite engaging - found it through some phenomenology links.

While I am not familiar with the specifics of Cavarero's challenge to logocentrism through underscoring uniqueness, it seems parallel in some regards to Aristotle's problem of dealing with particulars. I think that, as you said, it is a "practical hermeneutic issue that puts us on the spot and calls for judgement each and every time..." Or in Aristotle's terms, we must rely on phronesis with regard to particulars (or uniqueness).

January 27, 2007 1:16 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Hi, Nedric. Love your blog.

Yeah, I guess my issue here is like phronesis but I would have thinking encompass sophia as well. Is thinking itself a particular? I don't know whether Aristotle will help me out here.

January 27, 2007 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no connection for a couple of days...Hopefully the final relocation before our place is ready.

I keep pasting mario cos I think he is relevant and I'm supposed to be editing something of his as i write this.
For this school every thinker (or rather 'person') is 'unique' or cadacualtic. Whether the thoughts of the thinker are ' unique' Is another question. In one way yes they are unique in being 'yours' - but of course they may not be very 'unique'.....
Also cadacualtez cannot be grounded in 'voice' or 'sex' - each person is cadacualtic - a blind, deaf and dumb transexual.

January 29, 2007 1:57 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Your quotations from Mario are generally quite to the point, Paul. In this case of whether thinking is unique, well, I wonder if it doesn't necessarily follow from the uniqueness of thinkers. I don't know whether philosophy (or neurobiology) is prepared to be reinvented in each and every instance of thinking, but if thinking really is this way, radically unique, then I would want to be prepared to think it. Certainly I recognize patterns of thought, regularities of brain activity, regularities of the logos. These might represent to me another layer of thinking rather than a true picture of what it means to think. I'm not sure what to make of the cycles of thinking in light of the uniqueness of who thinks. Maybe Deleuze will help, but I'm not sure. I have been mulling over introspection as phronesis and what that could possibly mean. I think it means to radically question the who of thinking--but what can I say about that?

January 29, 2007 2:28 PM  

Post a Comment

Fido the Yak front page