Monday, February 02, 2009

The Dialectician

Happily Lefebvre, in his study of rhythm, begins with a critical attitude towards repetition. He says that "there is no identical absolute repetition, indefinitely. Whence the relation between repetition and difference. When it concerns the everyday, rites, ceremonies, fêtes, rules and laws, there is always something new and unforeseen that introduces itself into the repetitive: difference" (Rhythmanalysis, p. 6). Well, how critical is this stance really? Does difference relate to something that doesn't exist by a relation that doesn't exist? Does difference not exist, or not exist in some special way, say, indefinitely in an identical absolutely way, or even differently?

Lefebvre says, "Not only does repetition not exclude differences, it also gives birth to them; it produces them. Sooner or later it encounters the event that arrives or rather arises in relation to the sequence or series produced repetitively. In other words: difference" (p. 7, Lefebvre's bold). We should be critical of all kinds of mythomanias of difference and also repetition. So how does repetition, which doesn't exist indefinitely in any identical absolute way–in other words, we might conclude, there is no apeiron of repetition, no repetition of apeiron–actually produce difference? By encountering it, Lefebvre says very clearly. Of course previously he had said difference "introduces itself," we have not forgotten. But let's stick with this second attempt to think a relation between repetition and difference. Is a squirrel produced by any old encounter with a squirrel? Are we to imagine that to be is to be encountered?

Lefebvre has a method. He begins with abstract concepts, which he pioulsy mistrusts as being inadequate to the real (which apparently is not a concept), and he then moves from abstractions to the concrete. Dwelling in the concrete beforehand, making observations based on experience, and then making abstractions: this would not be a phase of Lefebvre's critical research method. And we can see the results. Something that doesn't exist in any certain way that we have been able to nail down gives rise by a process that we can't be completely certain of (because even if Levebvre didn't contradict himself the process doesn't resemble other processes of giving rise to things and would force us to adopt without any argument a radical belief about how beings arise) to something of critical importance (namely difference), though we are not sure why it is of critical importance nor how it exists.

The dreary monism of the dialectic: "everything is cyclical repetition through linear repetitions" (p. 8). The "depths of the dialectic" indeed. And we might note that this thinking both assumes and contradicts panta rhei, if we are to vigorously interpet "indefinitely": it assumes that everything exists in this indefinite way consistent with panta rhei, an assumption that follows from remembering Lefebvre's definition of repetition, and it contradicts panta rhei by positing the cyclical. That contradiction of basic assumptions I suppose is the charm of dialectical thinking. I don't mean to complain. It does have charm.

Are there secret rhythms? No! Lefebvre assures us, because there are no secrets (p. 17). Yet when Lefebvre begins to classify rhythms he identifies secret rhythms (including memory and the unsaid and the said), public rhythms, fictional rhythms, which relate to false secrets (the imaginary!–I so share Leferbve's excitement I would even speak of imaginary rhythms) and dominating-dominating rhythms (just one class here), which are also imaginary but last longer than fictional rhythms and aim for an effect that is beyond themselves. Hmm.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 9:25 AM.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

non sequitor? Justed posted this to Journal of Consciousness Studies (JCS) Online:

I am quoting Prof. Mariela Szirko, Karl Jaspers Forum (10yrs ago), NEGLECT FOR CADACUALTEZ INSTALLS MATERIALISM. Some may find the vocab. unfamiliar.

I'm not sure that Leibniz's monads can cut the mustard as cadacualtic psychai. Each one both one, and not another. Apart from the fact that they have no genuine knowledge of extramentality - no windows......but I may stand corrected. I also think the brief account of versions of 'materialism' is valuable.

The gist of materialism is fungibility. It consists in resorting to some paste, whether an eidetic, sensual, action-like, aethereal or condensate 'material', any portion of which may be indifferently taken to form realities.

Like in banks money articulates accounts, idealist materialism articulates ideas into persons while materialist materialism articulates less-subtle materials to the same effect. And likewise amiss.

Materialism is thus established once anybody takes anything to work as a material --namely, not mattering which portion of it is being taken -- to build further realities. In particular, minds.

Why does the mere taking any resource as indifferently partitionable incur in materialism? Does it perchance not matter if the resource posited as fungible is one (or a special combination) of essences, quidditates, Bose-Einstein condensates, atoms or dust? No, it does not matter.

So it is, because, beyond any coarseness or subtleness of what is posited to work as a material, what is neglected is the irrepeatability of the singular result. Therefore, building a wall with bricks and mortar, and building a text with concepts and expressions, legitimately may be described materialistically, as an 'in-formative alteration'. But such materialistic description is illegitimate to depict psychisms in full, because albeit Herbert and Mariela may 'share' some noema --say, 'the' sensation of a lazuline blue -- never each of us will avail of the noema actually availed by the other. Because we are finite, this is so.

This distinction, which may seem indiscernible and platitudinous as regards such a detached sensation of some blue hue, is notorious and momentous when sensations, covariant under the frustrability of a sedimentable semovience, do build our biographies. To build a person, it is in no way indifferent if the blue noema taken to enter in his or her constitution is the concrete lazuline blue available in Herbert, or either in Mariela. Circumstances are not just circumstantial, but as regards finite psychisms they are constitutive.

This constitutivity of circumstantiation, very much stressed in our tradition [the Agentine/German school of neurobiology], is why the modern hylozoism, which is eclosionalist (that is to say, which describes psychisms as eclosional: defined by their cadacualtez, which is the determination of a different eclosion for their existentiality in each case) can never be materialist. Eclosionalism precludes all materialisms, whether idealist or materialist materialisms.

Like the eclosion or “pop-out” of microphysical particles in the indeterminacy-ruled scenarios depicted by quantum field theory, also psyches are found to eclose, namely not to "emerge" from some specifying circumstances but rather to "pop out" from undefinable conditions. The phrase “existential finitude” denotes for natural scientists every reality able to sense and move a portion of nature while altering herself by sedimenting those causal involvements away from temporality – this refers to an “instant” and not a time sequence. The designation “away from temporality” thus means “not on a time course but inside the instant,” specifying where such reality occurs and simultaneizes the sedimented sequences (“memories”) of her reactions to her causal interactions. This is why any reality that knows itself ought to possess memory, being erroneous the Aeschylus-Plato theory imagining brain-engraved memory traces or never found "engrams" : since nature vacates itself outside actuality and consequently every thing in nature, including each mind, exists only within the physical instant, the preservation of memories is an effect due to the absence of time course rather than the presence of brain engrams.

Mind-contents certainly come from neural events, either reactively (from extramentality) or semoviently prompted. But not the finite mind distinguishing them: the substrate's history does not exhausts the determinations of the psychism grasping it.

Contrast this approach with Jonathan's:-

'That of course begs the question as to what human monads really are.
A rock is an entity in physics not because it is a 'thing' but
because it supports certain dynamic modes that have a single relation
to the universe. Examples are the 'chock' acoustic wave that the rock
supports on being hit and the spin it can have rolling downhill. I
may be considered soulless but in my view a human monad ought to
exist by dint of rather similar dynamic modes, but with more complexity.'

I copy from 'Sensing', in a paragraph entitled 'The basic fact of contemporaneous hylozoism' (copied from M. Szirko's KJF post):

Psychisms are found in nature reciprocally extrinsic, existentially disassociated and, constitutively, not taking part in each other: constrained discrete finitudes, each fully exterior to the others without any circumincession or perichoresis; consequently, isolable ('separable' and 'separability' are synonymous with 'local' and 'locality' in an experience-situating context), each noticing different happenings and working different deeds. Further, they are eclosions. That is, psychisms are primarily, or constitutively, disjunctive or parcellated. Not secondarily disjunctive or parcellated, as many fungible resources are, whose parcellation often arises as a mere matter of descriptive scale; nor unparcellated, as it is just descriptively imposed by the probabilistic treaments.

(from A. Avila and M. Crocco, 'Sensing: A New Fundamental Action of Nature', Inst. for Advanced Study, Buenos Aires, 1996, page 85; italics twixt asterisks)


"To argue in support of such replaceability of unbarterable circumstanced existentialities, this doctrine of emergentist neurobiological emergences presents as altogether fungible the portion, share or parcel of an imaginary pre-mental stuff or tectonics of the subuniverse, from where what is to 'emerge' is said to 'emerge'. To wit: just analogously in the case of your self-encountering availing of non-other one-witness finitude (and your dog, as another unjustifiable, brute fact, not availing of your availabilities), as well as in the case of the non-existential coming forth of a protein from its peptides.

'Emergence' is deliberately applied undiscriminantly to both cases, to make believe that your existential eclosion comes forth from its boundary conditions [my italics], which in fact cannot account for why you did not found yourself eclosed into another circumstance -- as, say, one of us did self-encounter, availing of one of our bodies; or, in remote situations future or past. Wherefore the empsyched brain is presented as an organ; solely, and nothing more than, an organ, just as its remaining bodily and historical circumstances; not as an existential constitutive of an eclosed finite existentiality.

Thence this nefarious emergentist doctrine asserts that, by increasing or decreasing the complexity of a system [my italics]- by complicating, say, a 'neural' network, just as other, similar doctrines accounted for such 'emergence' by purging it of stercoraceous sensuousness and perishable material structures - a leap 'from quantitative into qualitative' is achieved.

See this link for more on eclosion and Objective definition of consciousness, as realities found in nature by natural sciences


February 05, 2009 12:15 AM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

I like the connection of being irrepeatable and being outside of time, or eclosional, if I'm understanding correctly. I'm pleased to think that time is not a paste.

February 09, 2009 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TEMPEST: wITHOUT A BODY. ' Thu the frozen eyes of Paul Klee's 'Angelus Novus' and Agamben's Sacred Man, with a message from Algeria and from the small town of Ruatoki, choreographer Lemi Ponifasio has created a poignant, poetic and frighteningly beautifu reflection on the post 9/11 world.
Auckland festival March 09. Maybe you could pop over? (smile).

February 10, 2009 12:16 AM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Someday maybe when finances permit. I'd love to visit for a spell.

February 10, 2009 9:04 AM  

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