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Friday, 19 September 2014

Superposing regimes concerning the human and ignorance

Hume took modal connections to be second creation. A modal superposition on an otherwise modally disenchanted world (where everything is actual). Ampère, apparently, had a reading of Kant according to which noumena was law-like and the anthropocentrism of the phenomena meant no (weak) correlationism: the absolute can be known in itself through the laws of physics. In such laws, there would be no human part, humans would themselves be non-anthropomorphic. These are examples where regimes concerning the humans (dispositions of being, to borrow Descola's terms) that are superposed: the presence of humans produce a second creation. We can envisage different superpositions of regimes, including an anthropomorphic first creation followed by an anthropocentric second one. (We can also discuss whether the second creation envisaged by Hume was anthropocentric or anthropomorphic - in fact, on my reading of Deleuze's D&R every spirit capable to contemplate repetition and be changed by it is a second creator.)

Now, there is room for understanding Hume as postulating that we are doomed to be ignorant about first creation. Also, this understanding can be extended to Kant's transcendental distinction and would have that we can only know from an anthropocentric (allegedly Copernican) point of view but we ignore how things in themselves are. Ignorance, however, is itself anthropocentric: things are such that cannot be known by humans. There is something about everything with respect to humans that can be known - they are all (equally) unknown. The anthropological sleep becomes a proposition about the world if we consider that knowledge (and ignorance) is two-sided. To claim that no human can know things in themselves is to claim that all humans are equal in their incapacity (or rather that everyone is human in their incapacity) and therefore that no thing in itself can be revealed to humans. This is so especially because we could imagine an intelligible intellect capable to have intellectual intuitions of things in themselves - according fro Kant in the KU. So, things are not known to us but they can be known by other intellects. Maybe we can say that positing such an alternative intellect is to appeal to some degree of anthropomorphism: things are such that they can be captured by us and there are other imaginable (and to some extent anthropomorphic) intellects that prove that they are capturable. In any case, Kant seems to have endorsed this two superposing regimes alternative: the anthropocentrism of ignorance superposed by the anthropocentrism of phenomena.

The idea of a global ignorance is prey to that of a correlation with us, and to the idea that we are all the same (the anthropological dogma denounced by Foucault). On the other hand, the idea of a local ignorance is prey to the thesis that all things are capturable even though they could be not captured by anyone. Anthropomorphism, and its associated metaphysics of subjectivity, projects ignorance (and knowledge) everywhere. To think in terms of ignorance is already to measure things in terms of capture, and therefore in terms either anthropocentric or anthropomorphic.

1 comment:

  1. Benjamim has that phenomena would be completely different for those looking at them from behind.