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Supplement, excess and the other

Discussing in my class today the gestures of Derrida in the Pharmacy of Plato (La dissémination). The pharmakon creates a logic that differs from the logic of presence (ousia), a logic of the writing, of supplement. The supplement is an addition - that as a scapegoat (pharmakos) promotes an addiction as it brings about a non-preexisting incompleteness - and as such an excess. In order to preserve and restore the eidos, the presence, one needs to add something like the logos or the writing which acts like a pharmakon, the words Socrates repeatedly uses when refering to written texts in the Phaedrus. The pharmakon is a supplement that at the same time enables the accummulation of excess - the supplement is at the same time excess and a plattform to consign excess so that it can be accummulated. (Thinking this with Bataille, we can consider how accummulation has a price and a risk - that of the pharamkon of writing - and also the price and the risk of the introduction of money as a supplement for accummulation - the supreme intelligibility of things in accummulation-driven economies. Using the scheme of the three territorial machines in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus, money is a supplement that deterritorializes the written structures of the empires by adding a faster storage place for produce and thus enabling more effective accummulation. Money is a supplement that makes it possible further supplement; it is an excess - if it comes to fill an existing blank it comes as a prothesis that adds an incompleteness to the previously existing system - that makes it possible to handle excess (in pretty much any form).

Questions were about the three associated parricides that Derrida mentions towards the end of the text: the Sophist's Stranger classical parricide of Parmenides, the one committed by Plato towards Socrates while writing his dialogues and the one writing does to speech. The Stranger creates the need for writing, as Derrida claims, for he gets rid of the paternal image of Parmenides making sure that whatever is is not going to lapse into nothingness. The Other, as a great type introduced by the Stranger, is a pharmakon brought in to cure the incipient nihilism that the Stranger sees coming - it provides a prothesis to preserve and restore being when it is less than fully presence and at the same time enpoisons being placing it among nothingness. The Stranger is also a pharmakon, writing, as it betrays Parmenides while attempting to be faithful to his voice concerning truth. Truth has to dwell with writing in order to have a chance to be preserved; it has to be consigned to words that are driven by a soul - that is, by the two horses leading the chart in two different directions. The accummulation of intelligibles can only be done through the supplement of storage, but one cannot store but traces.


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