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Showing posts from November, 2011

Truth and sponsoring

Went to the local conference on truth and logic and presented a sketch of a Latour's theory of truth. Text below. Assigning Truth or, Is truth what holds? Une phrase ne tient pas parce qu'elle est vraie; c'est parce qu'elle tient qu'on la dit vraie. (Latour, Irréductions, 2.4.8) I'm going to do no more than to unpack this epigraph. My unpacking, however, will carry a metaphysical baggage which I will motivate but will be likely to do less than fully defend. The baggage is strongly shaped by a framework provided by process philosophy, inspired by Whitehead, Souriau and Latour himself. This will take me to a substantive account of truth. If the account is plausible, it will place truth (and some parts of logic) outside the places reserved to it by the maneuvers of the linguistic turn in its heyday. Latour's dictum together with the metaphysical baggage will take me towards a very rough attempt to look at truth in terms somehow a

Remarks on the future of ontology

This is the text I presented in the Anarchai Colloquium on the future of ontology. Estas são algumas observações sobre o que me parece ser o futuro da ontologia. Começo com uma análise de conjuntura filosófica bastante geral e termino com uns projetos de trabalho. 1.Renascimento da metafísica: os agentes provocadores Nos últimos anos temos assistido a uma retomada do interesse pela metafísica da parte de quem faz filosofia. A cena filosófica parece hoje ter mais espaço para questões acerca do que há e um rumor que está bastante espalhado diagnostica que alguns projetos associados à crítica à metafísica – entre eles as concepções de filosofia oriundas a partir (do correlacionismo) de Kant, a concepção de filosofia como estudo do método da ciência, a virada linguística e a concentração da fenomenologia na consciência – estão exauridos e precisam ser substituídos por uma nova injeção de reflexão metafísica. A idéia é a de uma retomada da concentração sobre como as coisas são, de uma retom

Epistemic virtues in the first person

Paper with Manuel is to appear in the Croatian Journal of Philosophy The idea was to show that epistemic virtues could also be not first-personal enough. I transcribe below a bit of the argument in the middle of the paper. Surely, rejection of the privileged status of first-person access admits of degrees: we can merely claim that avowals are sometimes insufficient to establish everything one believes (or desires, or fears); in circumstances where first- person access is silent, one could appeal to third-person procedures. This weaker version of the claim that the first-person access falls short as the ultimate authority fails to have all the authority over my beliefs (and other mental states) can be correlated with the following versions of Moore paradox (which I shall call MI for Moore Ignorance): (MI) I don’t believe p, but p. In this version, I claim ignorance about p and, at the same time, I take p to be the case—presumably because I have some reason (for example, another s

My talk on Anaxagoras and Anaximander

Some people asked me to explain a bit in a short message what is going on in my text (in Portuguese) about Latour's principle of irreduction discussed in terms of Anaximander and Anaxagoras. From a process philosophy point of view - especially from a Souriau perspective according to which whatever exists needs sponsoring - reduction and irreduction are achievements (or so states Latour's principle, Irréductions, 1.1.1). I was then wondering what is there before all those achievements. In a sense, there could neither be an apeiron (Anaximander's take) that compresses everything - the undetermined that could generate the determinate - nor an image of the beginning inspired by Anaxagoras where every thing was present in a distinct form - hair cannot be made out of anything but hair, flesh cannot be made out of anything but flesh (fragment 10). In the Anaxagoras image, the beginning is a time where everything was there and subsequent reductions followed. In the Anaximander imag

Retrofuturism and the ontological Potemkin

Fabi Borges suggests that there is something retrofuturistic in wondering about the future of ontology. Retrofuturism as in the steampunk movement ( or as with the chap-hoppers ( or even our as in our idea of anarcheology. There is something interesting to that. The idea is to reinvent what is archaic, what is constitutive. Think of a capacity to bring about things (instaurer) that reaches the constitutive because it reaches everywhere. The issues that bringing about the constitutive raise are somehow akin to those raised by the much discussed boutade by Latour: "after 1864 the microbes existed since ever". I believe that there is something to the constructivist or antirealist idea that things are thoroughly up for grabs. Surely, not up for our species' grab, but up for the rest of the world grab. The rest of the world (the constituted, not the constututing) is sponsor

My talk for the 100 years of Eudoro de Sousa Meeting

Horizonte e Irredutibilidade Eudoro de Sousa e o originário na ontologia Hilan Bensusan O princípio da irredutibilidade de Bruno Latour é uma provocação a qualquer esforço ontológico: Nenhuma coisa é ela mesma redutível ou irredutível a qualquer outra.1 Um fragmento. Para ser tratado com um motto: um príncipe que não governa. Uma provocação sobre a separação e a unidade das coisas, sobre os custos de abreviar o mundo – e também sobre os custos de deixá-lo em frangalhos. É uma predicação que tem uma força pressocrática já que tem a força de uma inauguração. Um príncipe que não governa já que dele por si só não decorre nada. Nada decorre, mas alguma coisa o percorre: um caminho ou antes um espaço que ele insinua. Um espaço – ou um plano – para aquém de qualquer instauração do mesmo e do outro. Um espaço originário, nem arcaico e nem histórico, a não ser que falemos de uma história do outrora. “Ela mesma”, ou seja, por si só que nada é redutível ou irredutível a coisa alguma. Nada surge

Eversion and the unthinged

The are corners of the crossroad of existences where the virtual becomes ex-huberant and the actual turns into a hub. These are interesting transition points because there the thingic becomes unthinged ( unbedingte , in the Schelling word that Hamilton Grant stresses) as what is harboured inside the physics of things exudes. It not so much, for Hamilton Grant, that matter in nature is unconditioned, it is rather that they are unthinged. It is sheltered in things - the genetic question that all recaptulation theories address is how matter generates bodies - and yet it is not fully employed there, it holds on to an excess of productivity. On this excess hinges the physics of what is invested into a body - notice the Spanish term of investment: inversion - but also the physics of ideation. On both these physics rely the relation between information and the body. Matter, thought of as dynamic and self-constituting by Schelling, is invested in bodies but retain the network connections that