Skip to main content

Plasticity and the impossibility of the intelligible intellect

Been reading Catherine Malabou's The Future of Hegel in a reading group in this confinement. Her idea of plasticity emerges from the problems Derrida found in the remarks Heidegger does in the end of Being and Time about the notion of time in Hegel in "Ousia and Grammé". The temporality afforded by the notion of plasticity is one that is immersed in the habits and therefore on anticipation. Contemplating repetition - as Hume once claimed - a subject changes because a projection takes place. The idea Malabou finds in Hegel is that those anticipations constitute time. The Hegelian world appears as a world of expectations where therefore future is ubiquitous. Time is the trace of plasticity because through expectations it shapes things and are shaped by them (as subjects of habit). If I understand correctly, then time is intertwined with Geist and there is no intelligible intellect - the criticism Hegel addresses to Kant in Faith and Knowledge - because concepts are tied to the temporality of sensible intuitions - phenomena - through the expectations of their appearing.

If this is the idea, it is very interesting. It is as if time as habit is tied to thinking and therefore intelligence cannot be but a figure of time. (Negaretani has a similar thesis in Intelligence and Spirit.) Maybe then Malabou is making Hegel into a process philosopher postulating a world that is not oblivious to its elements that can project and shape things through habit. It is not a Hegel of a genetic command of Geist where there is no space for future or for the event (in the sense of Jean-Luc Marion) but rather a Hegel of a thoroughly epigenetic Geist that cannot live but in the time run by phenomena and their habits. Anticipation creates intelligence much as bodies are composed by their epigenetic elements that command from inside their genetic ones. Time, through habit, contaminates both the world and Geist.

That is an interesting image. The time of habit is indexical, a bit like a McTaggart's A-series. But a world made of anticipations is not yet a fully indexical one - plasticity is still, it seems to me, an account of a unified (subtantive) Geist.

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