Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pulses of Emotion

I've been reading Steven Shaviro's Pulses of Emotion: Whitehead's "Critique of Pure Feeling" (pdf, ht larval subjects). One of the more disconcerting ideas presented–quite apart from the notion that I might want to attend to the Zambezi's feelings–is the suggestion that repetition is not only possible, but impossible to avoid. "To establish a particular spacetime location is always, first of all, to affirm repetition, and thereby establish a difference, by referring to elsewhere and elsewhen, to other stretches of space and other periods of time" (p. 12). So if I still hold that repetition is impossible, which I might, though I haven't committed to the position yet, and I accept that Whitehead's argument is sound, must I therefore hold that spacetime locations are illusory? In which case, would illusions be the more interesting realities than possibilities? Hmm.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 9:49 AM.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latour's review of dear Isabelle Stengers bk on whitehead might be of interest to the odd passer by:


July 11, 2007 2:57 AM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Thanks, Paul.

I found it interesting that Latour says that without the concept of the eternal object Whitehead's argument becomes some kind of panpsychism. I took it as a panpsychism based on Shaviro's essay. But what is an eternal object? (Perhaps the embarassment of some commentators is understandable?) What are the consequences of saying "this thing is present in my experience in as much as it is present elsewhere as well"?

Anyway Stengers' book sounds intriguing, especially on the metaphysics of the organism. It's not available in my library system. I don't even know if it's been translated. Have you read it, Penser avec Whitehead?

I haven't even read Whitehead, though I may have skimmed something a long, long time ago. Would you recommend any titles?

July 11, 2007 5:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Isabelle's bk 'Thinking with whitehead/to think with whitehead' is in translation (maybe with Harvard).

I did read it a few years ago. It's on its way from Fremantle...

Stengers sent me the files and I printed them all out. It is a fine work. Interestingly she made a choice to not have footnotes...

I cannot help much with whitehead. I did try once, and made a little dent in the opus.
i would recommend 'Science and the modern world' as an intro. Then perhaps 'modes of thought' and then the thing.. Process and reality.
It is a cosmology and I suspect there are real problems with it. Isabelle would see me saying that as a problem...

I did have a brief discussion with Mario about w. I will find it somewhere in the files.

July 12, 2007 12:53 AM  

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