Skip to main content

Remarks for the coda

These are some bits for the coda of The deictic universe:

Metaphysics at the age of epistemic injustice


I'm writing this book on proximity and against the usual dwelling with totality in metaphysics. For a reason that is only partly hinted by me, I'm writing this in Potosí, Andes, at a more than 5000 meters above the sea level. The mountain I see more often from my doorstep is the Cerro Rico. I look around town for some information about the silver trade. The number – 16 million kilos of silver between 1503 and 1660 sent to Sanlúcar de Barrameda – is repeated often, the details, including images, documents, traces of various kinds, disappeared from town. Some of these material is in Seville, or in a colonia museum in Madrid, the Cristóbal Colón Museum. There are other numbers too, less widespread – and other minerals. In the beginning of the 20th century, a select number of tin magnates became millionaire around Potosí; the lithium fever and other open-air multi-mining projects are still lingering. The plundering of the place who has enriched the western world and made modernity possible features extensively in a book I've been browsing: the catalogue of an exhibition held in Madrid, Berlin and La Paz – called Princípio Potosí. I wonder whether substantive metaphysics and its attempts to attain a view from nowhere is something like an immaterial colonial museum. Colonial unification, as has suspected Nick Land, is a form of weakening the underlying forces of resistance. Substantive metaphysics renders innocuous the deictic operations behind any thematization of what is around. The accusation could sound brutal, but maybe it is fair. Emanuel Levinas himself remarks:
"La sécurité des peuples européens derrière leurs frontières et les murs de leurs maisons, assurés de leur proprieté (Eigenheit qui se fait Eingentum) est non pas la condition sociologique de la pensée métaphysique, mais le projet même d'une telle pensée. Projet à accomplissement impossible, toujours différé, avenir messianique comme cette présence en défaut. [...] Tout matérialisme en porte la marque, comme tout idéalisme.” Levinas, Noms Propres 88,“Derrida: tout autrement”
Silvia Benso also writes:
“What has made Western philosophy unethical is not the committing of the metaphysical murder, but the denial of the murdered and of the murderous act”. (Benso, The Face of Things, 131).


Then I think of reparations. How would they take place? The silver taken away from the mountain is still circulating somewhere in the planet – and was not thrown in the sees in many quantities. The silver could be packed back here. Maybe then it can be buried in Cerro Rico. Or sold in the local market. The Cerro Rico doesn't need money – its current inhabitants do. The Cerro Rico doesn't need buried silver, once minerals are taken off the ground, they cannot be placed back. This is the fate of the anthropocene: the soil of the Earth is like passion, according to Martin Dysart, the psychiatrist in Sydney Lumet's Equus, it can be destroyed by a specialist, but it cannot be created.



Popular posts from this blog

Giving Birth

This is a month of giving birth: 1. On the first day of the month (my birthday) I sent out my book BUG (Being Up for Grabs) to publisher. A birth-giving moment. 2. On the forth, we started the Journal, called Journal of Questions. It is a Jabèsian and Jarryian endeavor that intends to reflect in many languages about the gaps between thought and translation. It will be available soon. 3. On the 10th, day before yesterday, offspring Devrim A. B. was born. Her name means revolution in Turkish and is a roughly common name. She's very attentive and concentrated - especially on her own fingers that she learned to molest in her youth during her womb months. She was gestated together with BUG. Hope the world enjoys.

My responses to (some) talks in the Book Symposium

Indexicalism is out: l   The book symposium took place two weeks ago with talks by Sofya Gevorkyan/Carlos Segovia, Paul Livingston, Gerson Brea, Steven Shaviro, Chris RayAlexander, Janina Moninska, Germán Prosperi, Gabriela Lafetá, Andrea Vidal, Elzahrã Osman, Graham Harman, Charles Johns, Jon Cogburn, Otavio Maciel, Aha Else, JP Caron, Michel Weber and John Bova. My very preliminary response to some of their talks about the book follows. (Texts will appear in a special issue of Cosmos & History soon). RESPONSES : ON SAYING PARADOXICAL THINGS Hilan Bensusan First of all, I want to thank everyone for their contributions. You all created a network of discussions that made the book worth publishing. Thanks. Response to Shaviro: To engage in a general account of how things are is to risk paradox. Totality, with its different figures including the impersonal one that enables a symmetrical view from nowhere

Hunky, Gunky and Junky - all Funky Metaphysics

Been reading Bohn's recent papers on the possibility of junky worlds (and therefore of hunky worlds as hunky worlds are those that are gunky and junky - quite funky, as I said in the other post). He cites Whitehead (process philosophy tends to go hunky) but also Leibniz in his company - he wouldn't take up gunk as he believed in monads but would accept junky worlds (where everything that exists is a part of something). Bohn quotes Leibniz in On Nature Itself «For, although there are atoms of substance, namely monads, which lack parts, there are no atoms of bulk, that is, atoms of the least possible extension, nor are there any ultimate elements, since a continuum cannot be composed out of points. In just the same way, there is nothing greatest in bulk nor infinite in extension, even if there is always something bigger than anything else, though there is a being greatest in the intensity of its perfection, that is, a being infinite in power.» And New Essays: ... for there is ne