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Showing posts from April, 2019

Excess as a transcendental condition for nothingness

Bataille´s La part maudite is a great book. He writes as if he knew he had gold in his hands. He found something of the enormity of simplicity: excess. To be, at least in the surface of the Earth, is to consume an excess that is always there, always requiring something to be spent. The excess, to be sure, is not a complement, it is not like the extra water the camel carries. It is, rather, a supplement, that needs to be spent somewhere in the surface of the Earth. The Sun throws energy on us all and, bordered by luxurious exhuberance and sheer alergic violence, instills a curse, the accursed part. Bataille talks about death as being a product of excess, a consequence of our having to spend on luxuries. Organisms that reproduce themselves by scissiparity are eternal. There is no need to die, but without death there will soon be no room for the increasing excedents everything has to handle. Death enables the survivors to carry on both growing and engaging in their spending activity. O

Emancipation of machines and machinic emancipation

The line going from Marx's Manuscripts (and concepts such as abstract work, alienation, the triumph of movement over immobility) to Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus (and concepts such as desiring machines and schizo limits) always intrigued me. If we understand what there is in terms of what is being produced (at work, en-ergo, energeia), there could be units and assemblages of producing machines that divide what there is in small, coordinated and yet independent bits. Marx believes abstract work is somehow the route to the emancipation of the proletarian that is forced into working with machines and like them. The machinic transformation is what produces abstract work and the proletarian class. The idea of desiring machines producing an immanent excess mimics the producing couplings of producing units. Marx holds that machines are communal, they bring a lot of people together in a producing assemblage. Because of that, they are part of the emancipation that capitalism has i

The cosmopolitics of capital and the right of things

My project on the cosmopolitics of capital is interested in the parallel accounts of a cybernetic history provided by Marx - redemption comes from a revolution that capital and its associate proletarization of humans through abstract work made possible -, by Nietzsche - redemption comes from deepening the nihilistic process by transvalorating all values through an explicit Wille zu Macht - and Heidegger - redemption comes from a Turn away from the growing (nihilistic) exposition of things as objects that is prompted by the way Ge-Stell enables a presence that is tied to a standing reserve and this Turn is maybe leading away from the very idea that being is presence. I wonder whether the cybernetic element in the account Mauss provides in The Gift is another account to be added. The account I have in mind reading Mauss is as following. The prehistory of purely individual contracts - the system achieved by an admirable revolution that brought about commerce, broke with a system of g

De quoi Nick Land est-il le nom?

Thinking again with Heidegger about what I called artificial horizons, as in my last post , I was wondering whether metaphysics - the dispensation of being through presence - is actually engendered by the parricide. Severino's claim is that Parmenides made no sense of the intelligibility of nothingness precisely because there being was more than merely appearing. As a consequence, being was more than presence. Presence was brought about by the idea that beyond what is in the horizon there's nothing - and therefore that things dive into nothingness when they are not present. An artificial archive became then an urgency - an archive that will keep things from lapsing into nothingness. The parricide made this archive the central urgency for thought. Severino's claim is that by reclaiming the idea of a horizon as a place of Ereignis , no place would be left for an artificial horizon from an artificial archive. In other words, the urge to capture the intelligence of what exists

Presence, Ereignis and artificial horizons

Been into Heidegger's 1950s texts partly because of my course on Heidegger, Levinas and Derrida. Between the Bremen conferences and On time and being there is a rehearsal of a thinking about presence that is fruitful in many directions. Derrida's criticism of the metaphysics of presence and his grammatology - including the central idea of supplement - springs from the idea that there should be something underneath presence and therefore a difference underneath the history of metaphysics. But the attention to the idea that throughout Western philosophy being has been presence opens also the idea that there is something - a destination, an emission, a gift - that seals the metaphysical idea that presence can be reverse engineered so that the very intelligibility of its coming about is extracted. Heidegger distinguished, in the Bremen lectures, two modes of presencing, one that is tied to the concernful approach of physis and another, associated to thesis , that extracts its i

Indexicalism as post-bifurcation thinking

I've been thinking, mostly due to my classes on Whitehead, that the rejection of bifurcation is a crucial component of my indexicalism (see the Open Philosophy recent paper ). In a nutshell, indexicalism is the thesis that reality is fundamentally indexical and exteriority as the Great Outdoors cannot be exorcised from the picture. More than trying to respond to the idea that indexicalism is a metaphysics of subjectivity in Meillassoux's terms - it is not, because it endorses the version of the ontological argument that Levinas formulated: by conceiving its exteriority, a subjectivity ensures its existence - it should actually be placed in the Whiteheadian context that by exorcising bifurcation avoids the path towards the age of the correlate altogether. Through this exorcism, there is no longer room for a realm of experience which can be fully mistaken about how things are and provide no absolutes because it is correlational. If we have a firm grip on the idea that experience

Mauss, reciprocation and the supplement

Planning to go back to this blog after increasingly large lapses. I´m also hoping to find a way to keep going my portuguese-language podcast Polvos Reais Dentro . Guess going back to the blog starts out by letting readers catch up with what I´m up to. As I said in my previous post, I´ve finished the manuscript of Deictic Absolutes . My current project which is slowly taking shape and has the very provisional name of the cosmpolitics of capital , is about the metaphysics of the capital flow. It involves both the process of entrenching capital in different societies of people and things and the cybernetics conditions of possibility for such an item (or a concrescence, or a network, or a nexus) to come about. I´m not rushing into the details of how the writing is going to happen or what for it is going to take. Hopefully this blog will help me rehearsing some ideas. As before I´m benefiting from the courses I´m lecturing at the University of Brasilia. Last year on the CCRU diaspora a