Skip to main content

Optimism in philosophy

Pace Cabrera.

Been thinking about strategies for mad dog optimism in philosophy - around Severino´s rehabilitation of Parmenides, Leibniz´s best of possible worlds and a bit on the interruption of being in Levinas. The combination of the first two reads like this: the past was best and lasts. In other words, the past was the best result of the action of all agents in the world and it became eternal. It is the contingent past, determined or not, that is perpetual - and not the intelligible, the perfect, the rationally conceived. The Leibnizian element is, I believe, monadological in the sense that it ought to be present in other monadologies (thinking of Latour or Whitehead). The agents in the past did their best because they acted according to their best reasons and did the best alliances with other agents they could do. They could not have done worse than the best because they are guided by reasons and never act at random. They never abstain from any alliance, the alliances are part of what they produce all the time - independent of what is registered and what is not, independent of what is preserved. So, the monadological optimism recommends: work on your reasons, work on your alliances, the past is the point of departure and the future will reveal precisely the alliances you manage to do now (and the reasons that you allow to guide you). The past is intangible - it is something ready, somewhat beyond the reach of any agent.

Now, if you add Severino´s claim that the past is eternal and no thing that ever exists collapses into nothingness but just is moved out of sight, the intangible past is precisely what was build to be and what is forever. There is no falling into nothingness - no death, no end, no break, no corruption and no passing of time beyond the movement of the horizon. Whatever you do will last forever, even out of sight. The monadological would even insist that it is available for sensibilia to come as they affect other present things somehow - like feathers scattered in the landscape. The past is perpetual, in monadological terms, because it is not without consequences; it is not written somewhere, it is dormant, and it could be woken up precisely like the intelligible (the actual ideas of Plato or the potential eternal objects of Whitehead) is dormant and can be brought back by an operation within the sensible. There is no such thing as the intelligible with its archetypes that are protected from nothingness, the past because it is past is what is protected in this manner because there is no nothingness. This monadological, parmenidean optimism makes religion unnecessary, as Severino points out. It also exorcises resentment and, in a sense, alleviates the need for memory as it points towards the atenuation of the urge for archive.

If we add to the mix a rejection of ontologism as Levinas recommends, we can think of the other-than-being not as nothingness, but as a pure drift outwards.

To be continued...

Comments

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 https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-indexicalism.html   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