Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Remainder

Is Kristeva's jouissance an enjoyment of the remainder?

[T]he remainder appears to be coextensive with the entire architecture of non-totalizing thought. In its view there is nothing that is everything; nothing is exhaustive, there is a residue in every system–in cosmogony, food ritual, and even sacrifice, which deposits, through ashes for instance, ambivalent remains. A challenge to our mono-theistic and mono-logical universes such a mode of thinking apparently needs the ambivalence of remainder if it is not to become enclosed within One single-level symbolics, and thus always posit a non-object as polluting as it is reviving–defilement and genesis.

(Powers of Horror, p. 76)

Our eyes can remain open provided we recognize ourselves as always already altered by the symbolic–by language. Provided we hear in language–and not in the other, not in the other sex–the gouged-out-eye, the wound, the basic incompleteness that conditions the indefinite quest of signifying concatenations. That amounts to joying in the truth of self-division (abjection/sacred)

(pp. 88-89)

I am resistant, though not impervious, to the idea that non-totalizing thought has an architecture. I rather imagine that it makes a place amidst diverse architectures that are not its own. What is the real difference, though, between a habitation and an architecture?

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posted by Fido the Yak at 11:07 AM.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

apropos of nothing:

Argentine Min of Health website:

Note on neuromarketing and neuroeconomics (added in December, 2005): A number of people nowadays come to this journal looking for technical insights useful to judge neuromarketing and neuroeconomics. While we cannot devote efforts to clarify for such special-purpose readers the untenable simplifications (not seldom called "neurobabble", neuromacaneo) rampant in most treatments of those fields, a brief conclusive assessment may be of help and is in order here. Several articles of this journal show why functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, which measures changes in blood flow in order to ascertain the average intensity of brain-wave generating activity in different areas of the brain, cannot delve into the mind.

fMRI rather does just the same as the instrumental observation of any other behavior, i.e. accurately depicts some aspects of this bodily behavior so as to allow the observer to guess its psychological motivation – if any at all.
Brain waves, far from being "the stuff of human thought", are the "movements" of the brain's electrical state – like as the movements of a limb, which also may be voluntary or involuntary – whereby the brain organ reacts either to extramental events or to mental initiatives.

September 26, 2007 12:19 AM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Nancy points to this passage from Kant's Critique of Judgement:

"And, what is very remarkable, there is one rational Idea (susceptible in itself of no presentation in intuition, and consequently, of no theoretical proof of its possibility) which also comes under things of fact. This is the Idea of freedom, whose reality, regarded as that of a particular kind of causality (of which the concept, theoretically considered, would be transcendent), may be exhibited by means of practical laws of pure Reason, and conformably to this, in actual actions, and, consequently, in experience. This is the only one of all the Ideas of pure Reason, whose object is a thing of fact, and to be reckoned under the scibilia [knowable matters of fact]."

I've been browsing through the Critiques. (I'm not trying to sell anything; they're available online). Do you think there's a sense in which the problem of freedom is the same problem as the problem of the psyche?

September 26, 2007 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what problem with the psyche. I haven't got any problems! (smile).

September 27, 2007 2:50 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...


September 27, 2007 3:41 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...


September 27, 2007 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Working thru this stuff helps me!
Psche isn't a problem - it's just a fundamental force of nature that psyschophysics encounters. There is no 'mechanism' for it.
But there is no mind (psyche) without semovience.

"When natural scientists consider the observable universe in its entirety,

• the ignorance of the universe’s justification for existence is revealed as the condition of our genuine freedom, which natural sciences find in nature: how otherwise, if not by ignorance of its motive, could such freedom elude its destruction – namely, the freedom-annihilating preemption and coercion – coming from the normative requirements that would be imposed by the mere knowing, with certainty, what the unoriginated portion of reality expects from one’s acts – or that it expects nothing from them?

• and this freedom is revealed as the motive of nature’s cosmological evolution, since the regularities of such an evolution cannot come from any automatism capable by itself of making its existence necessary – because, as discussed below, no necessity engenders by itself being, therewith turning people into self-deluded grimaces of this necessary fate and exhausting the ontic consistency of all being in its properly predicable distinctions.

And in natural science the respect that is due to every finite mind is the value that the ultimate ground grants to people.

The ground, or unoriginated portion of the reality, that causes reality to exist instead of not existing, and reality to be as it is, having the exact nature it has; that is to say the ground or portion of the reality which, in the causative level making reality real, cadacualtically circumstances each person to the body that, due to that circumstancing, becomes her or his “own” – a determination (called cadacualtez) that cannot be posited by the antecedents of such a body, nor of such an existentiality (all of which is also discussed in this chapter).

Such is the value, or respectfulness intrinsic of the minds that natural sciences find in nature: the ontology of minds, the ontic consistency of every psyche, includes value.

Regularities, once referred to as “natural laws,” caused the formation of the brain of each crocodile and each caecilian (Gymnophiona: limbless burrowing wormlike amphibians), the formation of the brain of each bird, mouse, mammalian fetus which dies in the womb, or human anencephalon child at most living a few years emotionable but blind, deaf and mentally very handicapped, and caused, still, the formation of the brain of each eventual extraterrestrial animal.

All of these brains were generated by the same basic regularities within or outside of our solar system; were it not for these regularities, our own brain could not offer matters to the exercise of our freedom. Were it not because of the unostensibility of the motives for its own existence, such freedom would vanish." (Crocco, Palindrome, long form)
"Mindfulness is then this grasp of non-existing states, needed to affirm a selected subset of them – instead of them all, as unmindful things do for transforming themselves with time – for each mindful reality to enter its time transformation. Please note that minds are never found independently of semovience. Gnoseological grasps are never found deprived of the causal aptitude to affirm some non-existing situations while rejecting others. Such a choice involves both knowledge and semovience at the same time. In contrast, rocks and autos lack minds (and thus undergo time transformation determined by the whole history of the supraquantum time relaxation of all their past states, which only yield causal determinations identical to that of its last instantaneous state) and, as a part of this deprivation, they also lack the causal aptitude to affirm by themselves a subset of envisaged states to proceed in their time transformation, so as to be able to inaugurate, thereby, new causal series in nature. Mindless things lack both mindfulness and semovience, while mindful realities have both – which have never been encountered disassociated.

Therefore, there are no mechanisms underlying “human” mindfulness. Once equipped with the preceding notion and objective definition of mindfulness, neurobiology and psychophysics encounter mindfulness as a primary fact of the universe." (Szirko, Neurobiology of Recovery).
Misidentifying minds with their minded contents, as Aristotle does in his book Perì Psyjeês (“in regard to psyche”; book titles had not been invented and essays were known by topic) 3, 429 a 24 – which contents indeed are “recipe-like” dissimilated by fungible means – results in the two following misconceptions. First, it engenders the erroneous belief that minds neither exist before their experiences become differentiated into a plurality of esemplastically intentionable objects, nor while non-thinking or “in blank” (a valuable state of mind which, however, not seldom is expected to annihilate personhood in semovience-neglecting contexts where “blanking mind” is believed to erase episodic memories and praxical availabilities). Secondly, it also generates the false belief that semovient existentialities lack any reality besides the thoughts that they think – which thoughts, by taking pars pro toto (a part as if it were the whole) often are only deemed language." (Crocco, Palindrome).

September 27, 2007 4:39 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

I think the connection between minds and semovience is intriguing--not a problem, mind you, but intriguing.

September 27, 2007 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, intriguing. If we could not semovientally direct our attention 'esemplastically' we would not have a psyche. It would just be a reactive mechanism. I think....

September 27, 2007 9:35 PM  

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