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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Deconstruction as process philosophy

Following the lines of the last post, I read Mooney's article "Whitehead and Derrida". He argues that there are important similarities between Whitehead's philosophy and deconstruction in Derrida. Specially when it comes to deal with substances, complete presences and contingency. Derrida's conception of writing as leaving traces agrees well with the idea of prehension as a perception that could live aside some things while keeping in them somehow what was not considered. The greatest contrast are precisely when it comes to Whitehead's subjective ends - the entity's agenda - that condition the action and cannot be set aside. What is interesting is that Mooney portraits Derrida as unhappy with what is presented in Whitehead because every code can be rewritten by adding supplement, and this is always done in reading itself. The limits to supplementing code is really justice: and that shows up in the form of a conversation (or a negotiation) among subjective ends. The subjective aim is either something that can be supplemented or is something that lies outside the sphere of deconstruction (and the process of constituting things through traces that never encode complete presences). Mooney fears that Whitehead would lie in the second alternative. If this is so, subjective aim is really the source of selfishness (and self-sufficiency, satisfaction, self-containedness) of the actual entity. There is in it (in the agenda of the agent) an element of closure perhaps different from that in Leibniz's monads - for aims are constructed together with each entity and not as part of a world previously chosen - but still closure. The closure is the closure of ontologism (see last post). It is therefore inherited from the belief that at the fundamental level of being, what exists is made of a pure interior (and not an exit sign placed in its heart).



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