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Showing posts from October, 2013

Il, Ile, Illeité

Been in a Jabès event with the presence of his grand-daughter, Aurèle Crasson. Yesterday I gave a talk in portuguese . Today we were discussing the first lines of Jabès Récit: Il et son féminin Ile Il n’existe pas Il est Ile Seul l’océan existe The question that arises is that of an third person outside the dialogue - outside the I-thou. The il is an island, isolated and away. The only thing that exists is the ocean, the gap between us and the island. This gap is the substance of otherness - of the distance that constitutes otherness. The stranger doesn't exist in itself, only as an island kept apart by the ocean, the ocean that keeps it apart and makes it reachable only by crossing what is strange. Il and île are connected to Lévinas illeité . He writes that " illeité - néologisme formé sur il ou ille - indique une façon de me concerner sans entrer en conjonction avec moi."( Autrement que l'être , 1, 6). The contrast is with Buber's thou: il is n

Rhythms and transductions

Simondon can be described as fulfilling the project Schelling put forward: look at nature as the realm of processes of individuation by focusing on transcendental questions concerning individuals. Those questions lead to the pre-individual - the scope where individuals are being formed. Simondon cherishes two notions that he deems crucial for his (maybe transcendental) endeavor: metastability and transduction. The first one I take to play a role similar to Souriau's unfinished instauration : things are stable because they are made stable by something else - they are not stable in themselves. (Incidentally, Simondon says that the ancients couldn't think beyond stability and instability because they lack the knowledge of the prototypical physical analog of metastability - the process of individuation of crystals. Still, they could have taken rivers (sponsored by their margins), living beings or fire to be metastable.) The second notion is transduction. Transduction has to do with

Bayer and Pritchard on perceptual access (without cognitive access...)

Benjamim Bayer (in Acta Anal (2012) 27:383–408) tries to put together a (accessibilist) internalism with direct realism in perception. The attempt is daring and therefore caught my eyes. He seems to dwell on Duncan Pritchard's idea that disjuntivists (who take episodes of real perception to be completely different in content from those of deception) do have an access to the real object they perceive and, in Bayer's words, "we might say that the normal subject has perceptual access to real objects, and the deceived subject does not, but that even though neither could discriminate the normal case from the skeptical scenario, discriminability is not a prerequisite for justification ." (my emphasis). Direct realists are often disjuntivists - a natural choice to deal with deception. What is interesting here is that the disjuntivists, according to Pirtchard-Bayer, have access to the real object but cannot discriminate it is real. If this is the case, one can have perceptu

Truth and process

This is an avant-première of something I'm writing on Latour and truth. Comments, criticism and suggestions welcome. 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 akin to those we use to think about natural phenomena. It i

Transcendental substances

My computer is dead and some of my data lost in the darkness of organized matter. It is good to know that it is all there. But matter has no simple doors to open. Meanwhile, I´m teaching about substance. My metaphysics course this term is all framed in terms of the adventures of substance from Plato to Simondon. We have now stopped in Kant for few classes, talking about substance as a postulate (note 24 in the Prolegomena) and substantiality as having a normative structure. Kant moves substance out of the in-itself (where Plato and Aristotle placed is). Substance is in the for-X; it is intrinsically relational - something with a Leibnizian inspiration. Substance is a necessary postulate for experience that doesn´t extent father than the realm of experience. Substance is in the sub-sensible, not in what is experienced (or in what is beyond experience shadowing it) but rather in what makes experience possible - how experience is experienced. Such an account of experience paves the way