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Showing posts from February, 2014

Latour: the allagmatics of correspondence

Chapter 3 of AIME ( An Investigation into Modes of Existence ) is dedicated to a criticism of the idea of adequatio rei et intellectus as a basis of scientific procedures of truth. He considers correspondence as something that has to be two-sided: both the intellect and the thing are to help out in order for a suitable correspondence to hold. The thing side helps out at least by showing itself - and determining how much of itself is going to be apparent (see Heraclitus' new fragments, fr. 204). He engages the image of Borges that a map of scale 1 is useless and blind. He considers a trip to Mount Aiguille (close to Grenoble) with a map - a GPS would put him completely within a network, like a termite, fully blind and fully located. Map-making requires work not only in the intellect side of things - the map - but also in the thing side - the field that is mapped. The latter is crucial for his argument: the field itself is so to speak prepared to be represented. One has to intervene

Intensity of forms

Thinking about form as an intensity. The wires in the floor of my bed, like thread, weave themselves on their own,triggered by mere quantity. Nests are made by just placing thread-like material in enough quantity for the threads to weave themselves. Form itself is productive, like paint or temperature. It is an affect. In this cases, matter and form are efficient causes. There is no need for an intervention of a spider to weave around, the web is self-constitutive. Intensity is, I suppose, one of the basis for all things auto-poietic. In particular, I was thinking about floors. Intensity is the forming principle of the floor, the geological accumulation of different matters in different forms. Floors, unlike grounds, are permanently in the making. Layers are weaved by the very form of the material thrown on the existing ones. It is the form and the location of the floor - it is below - that make things become part of the floor. Floors are intensive - they eat up. Not because they are a

A hauntology of (maybe all) ontographies

I was wondering whether in all ontographies - be them fully worked out ontologies or just sketchy maps of what there is made en passant by some researcher - there ought to be a room for some matrix of permanence and disruption. In other words, a contrast between what stays the same and what can be changed. I guess this contrasts haunts all attempts to picture the world - something has to subsist in order for something else to be modally or temporally variable. This contrast doesn't entail positing a fixed amount of substances - it can be cashed out in terms of something akin to a Doppler effect, something has to stay fixed for a moment for something else to have trans-time or trans-world movement. For example, Leibniz's way is to have an infinite number of substances that get no trans-world movement and travel in time because there are other substances in the world. There is, I guess, always a negotiation between the accidental and the permanent in all ontographies. I'm not

Monadological withdrawal

One of Harman's exciting Heideggerian move in L'objet quadruple is to make withdrawal ontological. Objects have a secret life, withdrawn not only from us but also from any other object. No quality, no description - and no prehension - of the object captures its open horizon; reality for an object is to resist, to escape, to withdraw. Objects supersede, they transcend. The speculative jump towards universal withdrawal reinstates transcendence in a flat ontology - it is a Kripkean transcendence. No need for a different layer of things, it is enough to postulate a trans-worldly feature to objects - or the non-identity of all indiscernibles. Qualities are not enough to determine an object. This is why it has a quadruple nature, because ontology is flat but the insides of what there is - we could call it endontology for the lack of a better term - is structured. Fair enough, but exactly because the scheme is Kripkean to a great extent, it is not Leibnizian. In fact, it flies on

Arguedas: reverse anthropologist

Thinking a bit about the anthorpology of the moderns that Latour proposes in AIME . Such anthropology would be very wary of the Moderns' self-description in terms of domains (science, politics, religion, economy...) and would rather look for something else that underlies both their practices and the way they describe them. Been yesterday at the premises of the Intercultural University of Veracruz (UVI) here in Xalapa to attend to the launching of the La Comunidad Transgredida by Fortino Domingues Rueda. His work looks at a hybrid: urban Zoques, a population of native people who have become citizens of big towns. Fortino is himself a Zoque. The UVI is full of anthropologists of all non-white groups (to some extent, non-Modern). Maybe they are the ones who could carry out an endeavor such as an anthropology of the moderns. And I recalled the work of José Maria Arguedas (who killed himself in 1969) in Spain. He went to a traditional (i.e. non-modern) rural community to study Spanish

Gelassenheit, Verlassenheit, Government

Had a dream today with something like a subject of knowledge becoming a monad. I can't recollect the whole plot, this is obviously my immediate reconstruction of the dream. It felt quite insightful at the time but as it often happens it faded away and its message became something closer to what I had previously thought. But it also made me remember Hölderlin's Shicksalslied and the connections between fate and availability: Ihr wandelt droben im Licht Auf weichem Boden, selige Genien! Glänzende Götterlüfte Rühren euch leicht, Wie die Finger der Künstlerin Heilige Saiten. Schicksallos, wie der schlafende Säugling, atmen die Himmlischen; Keusch bewahrt In bescheidener Knospe, Blühet ewig Ihnen der Geist, Und die seligen Augen Blicken in stiller Ewiger Klarheit. Doch uns ist gegeben, Auf keiner Stätte zu ruhn, Es schwinden, es fallen Die leidenden Menschen Blindlings von einer Stunde zur andern, Wie Wasser von Klippe Zu Klippe geworfen, Jahr lang ins Un