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Showing posts from August, 2013


Reading Kit Fine's old paper on the varieties of necessity. He claims, with provisos, that there are three kinds of necessity irreducible to any of the other two. Metaphysical necessity, natural necessity and normative necessity. It is interesting that each notion of necessity yields a way to conceive of metaphysics. I'd also add what Fine calls logical necessity in the narrow sense - as opposed to logical necessity in the broad sense that would coincide with metaphysical necessity - necessity associated with identities. In fact, metaphysical necessity is connected to a project like Aristotle's ontology of substances: metaphysics as an a priori necessary endeavor concerning things in themselves and about matters of fact. A logical necessity in the narrow sense would be associated to the idea of metaphysics as logic: an a priori necessary endeavor concerning things in themselves and about matters of reason (a priori knowledge understood either as conventional or as g

Peformance and thought

Been reading Avelina Lésper, a Mexican anti-performance writer. She claims that performances don't add anything to the knowledge, experience, courage and sense of body accumulated by art, science, philosophy and activism. She compares, for example, Marina Abromovic with some Greenpeace actions favoring the latter for the courage of being exposed to a real vulnerability. I think performance deals with the ordinary. It is about bringing stuff to the fore and doing it in the midst of things. I tend to think of it as being crucially stage-less even though Abramovic's (for example) stuff is often protected by the stage-like setting of a gallery. In any case, it has few features that I find interesting. (And, indeed, performances sometimes add nothing to the pile Lésper presents, but surely they're not about adding something to the pile, let alone adding something to any pile in particular.) The features: 1. It starts out with a goal but then gets disturbed by whatever else is a


In a beautiful conference on undoing gender in Natal, Brasil. Full of trans activists and academics with all sort of different takes on hospitality towards each other. I presented something on dermativity, or rather on dermactivity - a phenomenological chapter of speculative dermatology: what is it like to be an enclosed skin. Thinking of skin could be a way of focusing exclusion and recognition - issues to do with allowing or forbidding entrance. But the skin is also about receptivity: about what is about to go in or out and the spaces of hospitality. Things with skin - and the skin of things - are capable of hospitality: they can receive and be received as touching is receiving both in the sense of receiving a signal as in the sense of receiving an impact (including a power, an affect). I wonder whether thinking - capable of hospitality and of exclusion (which I think is, for example, present in what Laruelle diagnoses as philosophical decision) - is just an instance of skin. Maybe t

Sketching a speculative dermatology

Hume’s attack on necessary connections (and powers, causes, forces) starts out with the remark that while distinct things can be perceived by our senses, the connection between them is always unclear and seemingly unavailable to unaided sensible intuition. We can use the lever of Hume’s remarks concerning necessary connection and extend his attack to substrata and substances – the permanence of things over time and over changes in the quality space. If we then point out that there is less to the content of sensorial experience than distinct things that remain, we can postulate that our senses give us no more that the joints. Joints that could be borders between things or articulations of parts of things. These joints are the differences between things, not substances but rather the sunekes between substances (the contact between them). They are arguably what is directly sensed (if one accepts the Humean idea that the content of sensorial experience has a fixed form). In fact, we sens