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Showing posts from March, 2020

On the panpolitics of the virus

O PDF do texto está aqui . “zwischen Strom und Gestein” Os humanos e a pan-política dos vírus Hilan Bensusan Was not Hegel fully aware that the way spirit arises out of the organic natural process is through a mechanical repetition which disturbs the free organic deployment? [...] There is no spirit without a machine, the appearance of spirit is a machine which colonizes the organism, the victory of spirit over mere life appears as a “regression” of life to a mechanism. Slavoj Zizek (Less Than Nothing, 483-4) It’s a man’s world But finished They themselves sold it to the machines Adrienne Rich The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. John Muir No princípio não era o vírus. Nem era Deus. Dizem que estava tudo escuro, mas tudo só fica escuro quando as luzes se apagam. E depois? Depois sim, nada fica o mesmo depois de infectado. Nenhuma cura é uma volta. Vírus: porção de programa que se instala e se entranha, se executa enquanto se esp

The Great Outdoors: Horizon

Wrote a paper on a positive definition of the Great Outdoors, talking about how the idea of supplement in Derrida, the idea of excess in Bataille and some remarks on the horizon of appearing in Severino could help to conceive the Great Outdoors. Here's the third part, on horizon: The Great Outdoors is what is beyond – maybe beyond the horizon. The image of a horizon contrasts with that of a totality that encloses itself. The horizon is an opening, an exposure, a border with something outer. The very idea of horizon indicates something like the Great Outdoors in the sense that what is beyond it cannot lie in the indoors. Any form of non-indexicalism would see this as no more than a poor analogy with reality for the external (and the internal) cannot belong in a total drone-like account of it. For indexicalism, nonetheless, the horizon is part of the furniture of the universe, a furniture which is situated and which ensures always an outdoors. The horizon is both from where things

Senses matter because they fix reference (and not because they attribute anything)

Been thinking about two related problems concerning indexicalism (and its new semantic sibling, deferralism). First, the problem of cognitive significance as people like Perry (and Kaplan) believe should concern direct reference theorists - and that Wettstein disagrees. Second, the problem of immediate perception and the given in cognition with which I deal in the forthcoming book (currently entitled Indexicalism: Realism and the Metaphysics of Paradox ). With respect to character and content (Kaplan's terms that I don't believe are alien to Perry's project), I'm thinking that there is a continuity between them. Character is the indexity that leads towards the world, it has to do with what Perry calls "locating beliefs" and it is not yet what determines what the thought is about. Character is a route and somehow a mode of presentation. It enjoys indeed an unavoidable family resemblance with Fregean senses. Content, on the other hand, is the indexicality in t

Situated metaphysics and locating beliefs

John Perry's insistence that, at least some of its ordinary uses, indexicals are irreplaceable - therefore essential, in his terminology - as they play a role nothing else can play in explaining situated beliefs and action is a crucial point of departure for what I have been calling (metaphysical) indexicalism or, more generally, a situated metaphysics. (Perry and Barwise themselves tried to develop a situated semantics, but for reasons that I'll try to begin to explain below, there could be no situated semantics without an underpinning metaphysics that takes situations seriously from the beginning.) At some point in his 1979 paper ("The problem of the essential indexical"), he despairs of de re propositions. He contrasts them with what he calls locating beliefs that place beliefs in a situation, in a position. Perry's intend is to ensure belief states are not reducible to objects of belief. Those states have to do with a situated, they provide a location to the

Cyberpolitics: the bot in the network

Last year Constantino Martins organized a conference on cyberpolitics in Coimbra which I couldn't have the funds to go. This is my submission to the after-conference volume he is organizing: The bot in the network Cyberpolitics and the obsolescence of human sovereignty, Hilan Bensusan Abstract: The article examines contemporary cyberpolitics in terms of the conflict between political sovereignty and the drive to control natural and human events. The friction between political government and economic management is explored in the contexts of nihilism, neocameralism, political ecology and the logic of supplement. The intrusion of bots in the social networks is considered an advanced effect of an older and rooted process. Keywords: Cyberpolitics, Bots, Artificial Intelligence, Neocameralism, Nihilism, Supplement 1. Cyber-polis and artificial oikos The current inclusion of cybernetic devices in the political arena appears in line with similar incursions through similar scop