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Showing posts from 2014

Ontoscopies: metaphysical reasoning through picture investigation

I've been reading Anne Sexton and Peter Handke. Sexton's Death Notebooks and Handke's Essay on tiredness . While writing something on pictures in my Buca L'Ombrello blog , I had some thoughts about how I understand philosophy. I self-quote some bits: << The intensity of the picture is enough for me. I don't mind how sad or upsetting a film or a book is - to have a convincing picture is the pinnacle of overcoming the uninspiring. In pictures also dwells Coetzee in his Elizabeth Costello episodes. Dialogues are indeed sometimes explicit scaffolding for pictures. Anne Sexton is summoned in the poem: "Interrogator: One day is enough to perfect a man. Anne: I watered and fed the plant." Peter Handke, in his Essay on Tiredness, is also summoned by an interrogator of sorts. Handke speaks of the heartlessness of his attempt to content himself with "investigating the pictures, or images, that my problem engenders in me, with making myself at home in e

Truth-makers and truth-consortia

I think there is a lot to unpack in Latour's observations about truth. I think his thoughts here are in the right directions. For example, in Irréductions 2.4.8. he goes: Une phrase ne tient pas parce qu'elle est vraie; c'est parce qu'elle tient qu'on la dit vraie. Elle tient à quoi? Mais, justement, à beaucoup de choses. Truth is what is maintained - it supervenes on its truth-makers, on what contributes to it. I wonder whether I can understand truth in terms of supporters, of what holds a relation of instauration , of sponsoring the true proposition (or belief, or statement, or sentence). My model is that of an agreement, but not only with the human agents but between a sufficient number of relevant actants. If it is so, the truth-bearer is somehow a truth-maker, a contributor. Truth could then be taken to be a report on the agreement between sponsors. Truth lies in the agreement between sponsors – but it is always subject to new tests of resistance, as L

Whitehead, the ontological distinction and an ever-growing world

If we accept an ontological distinction between the ontological and the ontic we can maybe see in Whitehead an ontological dimension of growing: the world is itself ever-growing. Cosmic epochs follow one from another, God is incomplete, novelty is introduced through any act of prehension, objective immortality registering what is achieved in the world are ontic counterparts of an ontological drive towards growing. To be is to grow, to be in an ever-growing process. It is an interesting conception of becoming: the movement of self-expansion is a feature of being qua being. What grows depends on the actual ontic population (in Whitehead, it is composed of actual entities). There are, therefore, different ways to expand and to promote expansions - mostly to do with making room for further elements in that population. Novelty arises from everywhere in a non-structured manner - prehending is creative. But growing is ontological constitutive: it is of the very nature of being exposed to what

Whitehead and Leibniz on written events (and God being up for grabs)

I've been thinking of Whitehead's system as a monadology that turns Leibniz up side down. In the last pages of Process and Reality - on God and the world - Whitehead comes up with a conception of God as an incomplete actual entity whose derivative nature depends on what takes place in the world. This could be read as an interesting reversion in the direction of fit present in Leibniz. Leibniz has that events are somehow written in the predicates that constitute his substantial monads - according to Couturat's principle of reason, any event follows from the nature of the worldly monads. These monads where chosen by God when he chose the best of all possible world - God dealt with worlds, not with specific monads. In Whitehead, the nature of God is itself under constant creation by the world, ever enlarging itself. Events are not what follows from God's creation of the world but rather they are inscribed in God's (derivative) nature. Events don't follow what is w

Revista das Questões is out

Eclair and myself have now for some time read and discussed Jabès and his tonality in philosophy. This led to this multilingual Journal of Questions, titled after the Livre des questions . The idea is to bring together contributions from my Anarchai group and from Eclair's Blanchotian Group for thinking the outside . The journal also wants to be peri-academical and reflect the interfaces between philosophy and translation while creating a community of those who feel questions ought to be cherished quite apart from any attempt to answer, solve or dissolve them. They transcend whatever we end up doing with them. The first issue was out yesterday.

Whitehead's externalism

Whitehead's philosophy of organism is presented in Process and Reality as rescuing some lost elements in Descartes and Locke. In particular, elements related to the conception of perception according to which the subjective capture of the perceived item leaves its mark in the perception process. As a consequence, there is a revamping of the distinction between extension and mentality - in terms of a theory of extension and a theory of prehension respectively, or a morphology of the concrete and a genetics of its concrescence relatively independent. To be sure, mentality becomes the object of something Nietzsche once heralded as a universal psychology while extension becomes the object of a study of the concrete formed by the multiple and often mutual prehensions. It is a Cartesian division and Whitehead (Part IV, chapter 1, section V) is clear about how hard it is to consider actualities without parsing them into the publicity and the privacy of things. But the ontological bifurc

Beyond predation

Descola's chapter 14 of his Par delà covers the groups in the Amazon where animists have social relations based chiefly on predation, mainly on reciprocity and generally on gift-giving. Different groups, sometimes close together, have different economies of relations with both the human and the non-humans (the Jivaro being predation based, the Tukano obsessed with balanced interchanges, the Campa taken by giving). The three animist groups found different ways to manage the interchange between what humans and the agents in their environment: to take and run away, as much as trading and giving away to establish bonds, is a social relation. The upshot, I take, is that the Moderns, by contrast, don't predate (neither do they trade or give away in their interactions with the no non-humans). They do predate their fellow humans - and trade with them, give and plea for gifts. They still the chestnut tree of the neighbor, but they do it conspicuously so that they can get away from ange

Aversion and adversion

In Part III, Chapter III of Process and Reality (page 254 of the standard 1985 edition), Whitehead introduces two great notions: those of adversion and aversion. His words: If in the conceptual feelings there is valuation upward, then the physical feelings are transmitted to the new concrescence with enhanced intensity in its subjective form. This is 'adversion'. But if the conceptual feelings there is valuation downwards, then the physical feelings are (in the later concrescence) either eliminated, or are transmitted to it with attenuated intensity. This is 'aversion'. Thus, 'adversion' and 'aversion' are types of 'decision'. These are very general concepts: to enhance something so that the picture fits, to hide something so that the picture fits. Whitehead talks about physical feelings and concepts (shove off this green patch so that the image could look like the sky or enhance the whiteness of the clouds so that it is more clearly like the

Whitehead: to exist is to arrive at a crowd

Whitehead's interplay between perception and creation in prehension can be read as a cement that glues together the various elements of his system in Process and Reality . His Lockean account of indirect perception requires that (sensorial) ideas are involved in (physical and conceptual) perception and therefore that universals are present even though not in the sensationalist way (endorsed mainly by Hume). These universals are only potentially present when they are not prehended. They are actualized by prehension for, in fact, Whitehead's definition of actuality has to do with being able to affect other actualities. To come actual is like to arrive where the crowd is: nobody can arrive to where the crowd is and be alone - to exist in actuality is to co-exist. Universals are brought to actuality by actual entities, without prehensions they are merely potential. This is why God is needed to prehend eternal objects - without God these objects would lack what only an actual entity

The value of access

I compile my text as I presented last Monday at the Value of Understanding Colloquium in Bahia. The idea hinges on whether perception can be measured by values that are not swamped by truth. To be sure, I use the scheme of a Zagzebskian Disjunctivist Externalism as a model: if Zagzebski's intellectual virtues are not swamped, I submit neither do perceptual virtues. If it is so, there is a possible disjunctivist response to the primary value problem. I think (pace Pritchard) this is an externalist response. Here is the text: Epistemic externalism tends to make knowledge less dependent on the wonderings of a (human) knowing subject and more as an something attained in collaboration with the environment of the knower. Knowledge is less of a matter of inner cogitations and more an issue of interaction with what is to be known and its surroundings. In order to portray knowledge like that, knowledge-bearers such as beliefs (or opinions, convictions) have to be conceived as less than se

Perceptual contact without cognitive contact

Not quite an answer to the question of my previous post, but a follow-up from the discussion in posts like The fertility of indirect perception and Stereoscopy . Thinking again about (indirect) perception and reference I remebered Wettstein's motto, "linguistic contact without cognitive contact". An equivalent for Whitehead's indirect perception would be something like "perceptual contact without cognitive contact". The objective datum is contacted (causally) but not cognitively. For Whitehead, causation is a mode of perception (together with presentational immediacy). So, there is a contact there although nothing can be cognized about it. (The objective datum is, in Harman's image that adds a Heideggerian touch to the Whiteheadian image, withdrawn.). But Whitehead goes further to say that the subjective form is part of the object being perceived: what is cognized makes the object what it is. There is nothing in what is perceived apart from what is co

What do I think about perception?

Been working on a presentation about disjunctivism and the value of knowledge. There I maintain that Pritchard´s way of portraying disjunctivism (which is elegant but associated with the unconvincing thesis that disjunctivism is a form of non-classical internalism) can help making externalists less vulnerable to criticisms such as Zabzebski´s and Kvanvig´s concerning the value of knowledge. The criticism, first addressed to process reliabilism, is that given these accounts of knowledge, true belief is as vaulable as knowledge. I fear that this can be extended to other varieties of externalism and argue that epistemioc disjunctivism about perception (that I see as a variety of externalism, pace Pritchard) can respond to the criticism and even endorse some of Zagzebski´s ideas about intellectual virtues. I´ll post the text for my presentation here soon. On the other hand, and at the same time, I´m lecturing on Whitehead´s use of Locke´s indirect perception ideas. As readers of this blo

Stereoscopy (or perception and reference)

At least since Aquinas - and it is an Aristotelian idea - the object of perception is taken to be dual, usually because the intellect perceives as much as the senses - or maybe perceives something out of what the senses perceive. Id quo and id quod: what is seen in what I see (or rather, what I see in what is seen...). Locke's idea was to bring stereoscopy to the very nature of perception - the object of perception alone is stereoscopical. Whitehead's diagnosis was that no one lived up to this message and the object started with Locke himself to be disassembled into deliverances of the senses and the workings of the intellect. This was, in a sense, a reactionary move where Locke's message was put aside. The message was that perceptual representation is by nature two-fold - affordances and creation, sensual and real objects in Harman. Maybe it helps to think of the photograph model diagnosed in the direct reference theorists by Evans (in Varieties of Reference ): no matter w

Anthropocentric, anthropogenic, anthropocide

Yesterday I lectured on chapter 11 of Descola's Par-delà . I've been toying with the idea - suggested by his square of dispositions in chapter 11 presented as anthropocentrism (naturalism), anthropogeny (animism), cosmogony (totemism) and cosmocentrism (analogism) - of a geometry of oppositions (of the sort inaugurated by Robert Blanché and developed further by people like Alessio Moretti) around the different ways to relate to the non-human. In particular because I wonder how to place a (presently non-instantiated) disposition I call anthropocide (see this post ). Such disposition is considered by Descola in his chapter on naturalism in part 3 (chapter 8) in terms, for instance, of J-P Changeaux and the Australian materialism - it is the idea that continuity in physicality is enough to account for human behavior and interiority can be fully dropped on behalf of a unified (naturalist) nature where nothing is genuinely social. Such disposition would contrast with animism (where

The fertility of Locke's indirect perception

Whitehead takes Locke (and Descartes) to have made a major metaphysical breakthrough by developing the notion that in perception we have ideas. That is, perception is not just capture, but modulation. For Locke, these ideas were mainly sensations - universals - and they were just given to our senses. The senses, in their turn, would deliver these ready-made ideas to us and provide the stuff empirical thought is made of. The metaphysical import of that is made clear by Berkeley immaterialist bending of Locke's idea. Berkeley argued against a material object in perception beyond perceived ideas. He claimed that to be is to be perceived (or to perceive). His immaterialism boiled down to an ontology of minds and ideas with no room to anything oblivious to human cogitations. But still, immaterialism provided an alternative to the substance-quality metaphysics according to which material objects would have intrinsic qualities independently of what is perceived. Berkeley and Locke (and Wh

More on dekenningarization

Descola writes about analogism (p. 329): "À l'instar de ce que [les chaines de correspondance] unissent, les relations sont donc très variées, quoique plusieurs d'entre elles puissent s'appliquer aux mêmes existants. [...] termes et relations sont interdépendant, mais à l'échelle plus vaste d'un monde chatoyant dont on recense sans trêve tous les reflets dans l'espoir vain et magnifique de le rendre parfaitement signifiant" The analogist scheme is really about different terms (and relations) rendered similar by a process where each inhabitant of a thoroughly analogist cosmology enjoys "une grande liberté herméneutique" (329). To resist identity through disclosing analogies, this is the deconstruction movement I diagnosed in the previous post . It is grounded on a sort of an Anaxagorean world where things are different (hair cannot come from flesh, flesh cannot come from hair) and the hermeneutic freedom they enjoy enable them to perceive

The analogical road to identities (and back)

Concepts are kenningar . Kenningar are old Nordic for alegory, or maybe well-established metaphor, or maybe analogy. Borges wrote about them in his History of Eternity. He talks about kenningar as dead metaphors. Like concepts, they have lost their guiding analogy and became petrified. Petrification, however, can be created and often a book or a talk is enough to petrify a metaphor. Often, however, kenningar take longer to show up; many devices have to be engaged in order to slowly petrify identities like, for instance, animals and anima, some humans and roos, human body and matter. I conjecture that animism, totemism and naturalism - three of Descola's four dispositions - emerged from the fourth, analogism. Analogism has that things are originally different and made similar by exercised of analogy - reinstated, petrified thought that brings together some different so that identities contrast with what is left different. So, analogy goes between people and other animals and plan

The optimist aggiornato

Watching an interview with Antoine Wilson about his beautiful Panorama City . He says that he tried to write about the Quijote, which led him to Paul Renfro, a character in the book, which has a whole outsider view of life and people in his medium-sized urban assemblage. He views thinking as something that is proscribed and engages heroically in finding time and environment to do some of it - and in a systematic way. Renfro, for instance, when asked about the basic questions that guide his thought, says he hasn't gone so far as to be able to really know what the basic questions are. But Wilson confesses that he lost interest in the thoughts of Renfro, so he became the occasional companion of the main character of Panorama City , Oppen Porter. Porter is a Sancho Panza but also comes out as a Candide of sorts - Wilson says he discovered he was doing a Candide and not a Quijote in the middle of the process of writing. In any case, the book navigates the space of the optimists and inve

Whitehead´s symbolic reference and qualia taken qua qualitons

Eros and myself published a paper in Acta Analytica few years back defending the idea that qualia should be taken as tropes. They would be like abstract particulars, objects of perception and yet not universals - universalisation would come with conceptual abilities that introduce resemblance of qualitons amid the so-far bare particulars of qualia. These bare particulars are not themselves perceived, but they are the stuff on which perception (which is taken by us as fully conceptual) works. We don´t go as far as saying that these abstract particulars have causal efficacy (for this would be a strangle claim for causation is normally thought as taking place among concreta). However, we were responding to the inclination to give an external reality associated to our qualitative perception - an external reality independent of the workings of our conceptual abilities. To be sure, we were probably quite realists about the outcomes of the perceptual process, but that realism depended on som

Syllabus for a future ecology that will be able to present itself as a politics

I´ve been finding myself discussing Latour´s predicament for a political ecology, stated in his Politics of Nature and assumed in the Enquiry (AIME). If one looks at the erratic history of some Green Parties around, it becomes clear that the ecological demands are not suited for the political institutions as they stand. Teaching Descola´s book makes me think of how politics is normally practiced - and of the several forms it excludes the non-human. Yesterday we were discussing totemism, and one of the translations of the word "totem", which is native from North America, is friend. It is interesting to consider nature from the point of view of philia: which non-human elements agree with me, where are my friends, who are the ones I form a frindship community with. (I´ll maybe write more about totemic nature as a space for non-human friendship.) That made me wonder about a syllabus for a future political ecology. I thought it should start with three foci, or three deconstructive

Parmenides and the dispositions of being

In my Descola's course today we were discussing the way animists see metamorphoses and camouflage. I suggested that, if an interiority can be, according to an ethnography of the Orokaiva (by André Iteanu), the same expressed in many physicalities, there is less room for a false discourse (to say of what it is that it is not, of what is not that it is). Or at least, there is an animist way to deal with the issue. In fact, myths are taken as (simple or qualified) lies because we are the offspring of Plato's Strager's Parricide (in the Sophist). A person can be a pig and a human and oscillate between these poles. No (physical) predicate of a subject are necessarily to be taken as false. A myth says of what it is that it is. It is interesting to wonder how much the Parricide of Parmenides is an opening gesture for naturalism. (Would the parricide sound the same in different dispositions?)

Anthropocentrism as a special case of animism

Descola's book (Par-delà nature et culture) is a quite extraordinary, it often makes you feel Wagner's motto (that anthropology is becoming philosophy with people inside) in the skin. It feels that the various groups mentioned are like schools of thought - for instance under the umbrella of animism (as much as naturalists have developed several schools within their overarching umbrella). It also gives the impression that anthropology is a tool for a proper jump into abstraction - at least to suggest strategies to dissolve problems we often put to ourselves. Animism admits of varieties and degrees. If we accept the founding (Durkheimian) idea that persons are always composed of physicality and interiority, physicality could be such that there is no interior associated to a portion of it. So, one can think that my finger doesn't have an interior, is only part of my person and therefore what is expressed by my interiority. This is why some animists take only (some) animals

Is God an anarcheologist?

Amirouche Moktefi posts an interesting question in a list: is there any representation of Adam navelless? An interesting element in (some) creationist credos is that God created the past together with the rest of the present world (so that human's faith, presumably, could be tested - or teased as it was). So fossils of older animals and remnants of plants and rocks were allocated in the planet about 5775 years ago so that an impression of ancestry could be provided - and the real believers would stick to the right path in spite of all recalcitrant evidence. The virtue praised here is being stubborn, loyal to a credo come what may. The means, however, are interesting: recreating the vestiges of the past. I wonder whether all tales of origins aren't always doing the same: building an original past that exorcises vestiges as meaningless (but somehow important to be present). It is as if the marks of past repetition are just not real (just marks of a rehearsal, a répétition). Th

Superposing regimes concerning the human and ignorance

Hume took modal connections to be second creation. A modal superposition on an otherwise modally disenchanted world (where everything is actual). Ampère, apparently, had a reading of Kant according to which noumena was law-like and the anthropocentrism of the phenomena meant no (weak) correlationism: the absolute can be known in itself through the laws of physics. In such laws, there would be no human part, humans would themselves be non-anthropomorphic. These are examples where regimes concerning the humans (dispositions of being, to borrow Descola's terms) that are superposed: the presence of humans produce a second creation. We can envisage different superpositions of regimes, including an anthropomorphic first creation followed by an anthropocentric second one. (We can also discuss whether the second creation envisaged by Hume was anthropocentric or anthropomorphic - in fact, on my reading of Deleuze's D&R every spirit capable to contemplate repetition and be changed by

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 guess about essences

For years I've been toying with the idea that essences are somehow more related to positions and addresses (to places and connections) than to any ultimate core. It is perhaps a monadological take on essences: instances instead of substances. If essences are not substantial, they can be present even in Latour's MET (the mode of existence of metamorphosis, see this post from last March ). A crisis, a tempest, or climate change are things that only make sense in connection to what they affect - essences are like Eleatic placeholders, they reveal what is linked. They are like the node in a graph. Essences then can be understood as something like an I.P. number that relates it to other landmarks; to know the essence of X is to know how to find X. To be sure, such a notion of essence doesn't prevent things to be substantial or to have a core or a substratum. It is not committed to a bundle theory of particulars even though it tends to favor such a view (as any monadology does,

Anthropocide: the alternative to anthropocentrism and to anthropomorphism

I always thought Meillassoux and Brassier provided an alternative both to correlationism anthropocentrism and to the anthropomorphism that is frequent among metaphysicians of the subjectivity. (To be sure, I'm not sure anthropomorphism is necessarily present in those metaphysicians and often I think that Descola's animism - for example - is only badly described as anthropomorphism, but this is another story.) The alternative is to find a way for the absolute, and not the human capacities, to be the measure of everything. To go, so to speak, beyond the focus on us through what relates to us or through what resembles us. Yesterday, while discussing the origins of the Modern idea of nature in my course on Descola, we talked about the enlightenment take on a disenchanted of nature. Descola glosses very little on elements for an archeology of nature in his chapter three: perspective in landscape, Aristotle and the (post-Montaigne) intellectual atmosphere before the 17th century sc

Etre est entente: propositions without predications

Whitehead’s criticism of the subject-predicate form of the proposition is also a critique of the event conceived as subjugation. There is always a superject. That is, events are not composed by one active and one passive element but rather by a plethora of active elements where one is picked up as a subject and all the others are present as the rest of the world that resists the subject. The copula is diplomatic and not a mandate: to be is not to command but rather to negotiate. The copula: être est entente. Perhaps to relate itself is to negotiate - there is a diplomacy between any two relata. A diplomacy occasionalism. I've been thinking of the subject-superject in Portuguese where superject and subject contains the mot "jeito", the word for way. A proposition is a way: o sujeito ajeita, o superjeito desajeita. An event finds a way around a subject and its circumstance. "Grass is green" or "snow is white" express a meeting point between an expan

Some further remarks on the origin of anthropocentrism

There is a sense in which anthropocentrism goes hand in hand with patriarchy – or the domain of a man over goods and people - and with corelationism (the Corpernican Revolution or rather the Ptolomaic Counter-revolution). Descola suggests the former link in his chapter on the domestic and the wild (in Par déla Nature et Culture), and at least in two occasions. First, when he talks about the Roman domus and its concentric force separating out everything that is not in it (the central and the peripheral, as in the soul as a core and the body as its provinces, its extensions). Second, towards the end of the chapter, when he compares the Roman ways to the Greek and German ones. The Germanic, for example, wouldn’t quite entertain a dualism between the center and the periphery: the forests were always a space for hunting and hunting and collecting was integrated into agriculture. Anthropocentrism and patriarchy seems to result from the specifics of the Neolithic revolution that encompassed

Vacuous actuality and the structure of a proposition

Whitehead's monadological rejection of vacuous actuality - the idea that something can exist actually without any subjective mediation - without any connection to anything else - has implications for his rejection of the thesis that subject-predicate form is a suitable structure for a proposition. The idea of vacuous actuality, he remarks, haunts realistic philosophy (P&R, 29 [43]). Its rejection is the basis of Ewing's formulation of idealism implying no epistemological idealism: the interconnectedness of all things means no dependence of the cognized object to the cognizing subject. Ewing suggests that Bradley and Joachim are not really correlationists - they could be metaphysicians of subjectivity. This is maybe why Whitehead claims that at the end of the day he is not too far away from Bradley (P&R, xiii): both reject vacuous actuality - and none are epistemological idealists. The rejection of vacuous actuality is also the rejection of the Aristotelian primary sub

The social basis of anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism

I've been giving the final touches to Being Up for Grabs and giving my first classes this term. A course on a Leibnizian reading of Whitehead and another on Descola. This first week, talking about Leibniz, animism and anthropomorphism, we discussed how much of a feudal (and aristocratic) way of thinking is present in Leibniz. It is about areas of jurisdiction and government. In fact, ontological thinking is very often about archés - and governing powers. (Or about their absence.) The monadology of fragments I propose in the book is about reinventing authority on the flight - while things get decomposed and recomposed. We can then ask what would then be the thinking on authority that guided the anthropocentric turn - being it either a Copernican revolution or a Ptolomaic counter-revolution. It emerges a bit like the Operation Oedipus in Deleuze and Guattari: turning the rest of the world as equally under human authority - no more autonomous horses but horses for humans, representing

The muteness of intuitions

I was invited to speak in a Hegel-McDowell event next year. I was wondering about McDowell's account of what the senses deliver. I'm going to present a prehension-based account of the interplay between sensibility and conceptual capacities. This is the abstract I sent. A. C. Ewing has debunked the connection between what he labels epistemological idealism and the internal nature of all relations. To be sure, his target is the argument that purports to infer antirealism from the ontological thesis that all relations are internal - and not a much weaker version that has been recently considered by Schaffer and others, namely that there must be at least one internal relation between any two or more concrete items. In any case, the thrust of his debunking is to open the landscape for a realism that posits internal relations as central and spanning to the ones between knowledge and its object. Now, the issue of what senses deliver can be considered from the point of view of the na

The space between nobody and nothing (few remarks on the politics of predication)

Been thinking a bit - while finishing Being Up for Grabs - about the politics of predication. The gap between someone and something - and between nobody and nothing - is the black hole of politics (and of metaphysics). This black hole is the space where different politics and metaphysics can be cartographer and it is, in fact, the space between politics and metaphysics. This is the space inhabited by animals, plants, parts of people, all sort of auto-poietic devices, prehensions, correlations, intentional stances, proto-subjects etc. The cartography of this space is also a chronology: when does a what generate a who, when do a who bundle into whats - organisms have components that can be described mechanistically, people get together to form resources (or nationalities, or identities, or work force). The endeavor to explore this space starts with a descriptive metaphysics, and descriptions of the world are politically charged (see for instance Galeano's Los Nadies ). In fact, most