Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Logic of Freedom

Nancy describes the logos as the free access to its own essence, and he says that "it is only on the surface of philosophy. . .that the logic of freedom passes, for it answers to nothing other than the existing opening of thought" (The Experience of Freedom, p. 63, Nancy's emphases). Again he considers existence as thinking, and says this is "not a thinking about anything unless it is a thinking for the freedom of being-in-the-world. In short, it is the praxis of the logos (or 'practical reason'), which is not so much a 'theoretical practice' as that which brings the logos to its limit, on the very limit of existence, which the logos 'grasps' not by absorbing or subsuming, but instead by assuming the fact that the freedom of existence is what gives it–and strips it of–its own essence of logos" (p. 65, Nancy's emphases). Am I wrong to see in this a critique of intentionality? We could try to salvage something of intentionality in the form of a consciousness for. But is it worth salvaging at this juncture? Nancy has already exposed an other thought. Are we dancing here with the praxis of this other?

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posted by Fido the Yak at 8:11 AM.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't read it but Deely has published a bk: 'Intentionality and Semiotics: a mutual fecondation' which you might find v. interesting. He is a clear and sometimes witty and perceptive writer.


And now for yet again something completely different. I was browsing an essay by Mariela Szirko:

'1.1. Struggling against time. Explicit or implicit presentism, the view that only the present (the three-dimensional world at the instant 'now') exists, is the standard view on reality. Some research in history of ideas [2; 3, pp. 567-823, 963-4] concluded that presentism is generally disowned only in some human groups where inner coercition is specially important and thus appreciated, such as very stratified social organizations instanced in rigorist settings as much diverse as certain pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures, the shoguns' Japan, and academic societies devoted to logic, mathematics, or theoretical physics.
Those rigorisms go along with a societal need of looking for exemptions to waiting [e.g., for getting commands done, or for measuring frequency: 3, p. 312] and of denying reality to the irreversibility of time elapsing, whence efficient extramental causation becomes denied and imaginarily substituted by relations among subjective, mental contents; these contents, when generalized, are often understood as Platonic Ideas, connected not by way of efficient causality but by their inner buildups or idiosyncratic, essential 'virtues'.

In the thus built reality, no 'present' state of affairs is privileged with the exclusive possession of powers to metamorphose itself into other states of affairs.
Rather, it is claimed, every situated observer's experience crawls upward along its worldline collecting sensory information, but incorrectly interprets this information as meaning that only a constantly changing reality exists – whereas, in fact, past and future states are ontologically analogous to the present ones.

1.2. Observation matters. Yet, which scientific observation would lend any support to rigorisms? Where on earth one could witness past and future affairs?..." (Szirko, 'Why is time Frame-dependent in relativity'?).

October 12, 2007 2:21 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I put Deely's book on my wish list. (Building up quite a backlog.)

I downloaded Szirko's article. I have a feeling this is going to go way over my head.

Good to hear from you, Paul.

October 12, 2007 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Mariela's article is 'difficult'.

I am currently re-reading Isabelle Stengers 'La Sorcellerie Capitaliste' and thinking it would be good to see it in English...

In the 'Empowerment' chpter I like the following footnote (v. rough trans):

1. "This word, empowerment, is diff. to trans. in French. The worst so far proposed has been 'responsabilisation', and thus links directly with the 'free and responsible' choice to subscribe to a pension fund, to work 70hrs/wk etc.
But it's not only for that, that we leave the word in English. It's also to salute thoes who have created, there where theories of alienation claimed to offer a solution.
It will be the same, later, with the word reclaim: the absence of a suitable french word is coupled with the (relative) absence in the 'french speaking' world, of practices of which the culture recognizes the poisons which need to be cured and the fact that good will isn't enough."

And a web link:

"These practices are primarily transmitted on the internet:

'Don't forget to add 'direct action' to empowerment, so as not to be drowned in 'managerial' litt.'

The footnote also refers the reader to bks by 'Starhawk'. I wonder what you'd think of her website...

October 12, 2007 10:41 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Starhawk is not my cuppa, though I share with her some political goals.

In the United States, in my experience, what activists call "direct action" does less to empower people than coalition building. But it can in some cases be used effectively to draw attention to an issue.

October 13, 2007 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I think Stengers is primarily proposing a 'culture of aprenticeship and relations, - and collectives capable of creating new manners of resisting what we are subjected to..' Another world is possible...
I find the bk quite inspiring..
The whitehead bk will no doubt be pop. in the states.

October 14, 2007 12:19 PM  

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