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Showing posts from 2021

My responses to (some) talks in the Book Symposium

Indexicalism is out: l   The book symposium took place two weeks ago with talks by Sofya Gevorkyan/Carlos Segovia, Paul Livingston, Gerson Brea, Steven Shaviro, Chris RayAlexander, Janina Moninska, Germán Prosperi, Gabriela Lafetá, Andrea Vidal, Elzahrã Osman, Graham Harman, Charles Johns, Jon Cogburn, Otavio Maciel, Aha Else, JP Caron, Michel Weber and John Bova. My very preliminary response to some of their talks about the book follows. (Texts will appear in a special issue of Cosmos & History soon). RESPONSES : ON SAYING PARADOXICAL THINGS Hilan Bensusan First of all, I want to thank everyone for their contributions. You all created a network of discussions that made the book worth publishing. Thanks. Response to Shaviro: To engage in a general account of how things are is to risk paradox. Totality, with its different figures including the impersonal one that enables a symmetrical view from nowhere

Beyond permanentism, beyond Severino's parricide

Any attempt to tackle the past in its vanishing character seems to require a memory that is independent from the biological one. Something that supplements it, as Jacques Derrida would have, and that can be trusted to keep what has happened when biological features become past - call it archive. The archive could be a being that makes sure that everything is eternal and nothing fades away because states of affairs, objects, relations, properties and events are permanent and only disappear from the horizon when they are in the past. There is a being-archive beyond the horizon that keeps everything intact - this is the full-blown permanentism that seems close to Emanuele Severino's Neo-Parmenidism. The parricide, on this account, is the idea that nothingness is conceivable - then one needs to find an archive that could rescue what has past from the all-engulfing nothingness. The parricide paves the way to metaphysics - the postulation of enduring ousiai among temporary accidents whe

Indexicalism book symposium

 There will be a book symposium around the launching of Indexicalism: Realism and the Metaphysics of Paradox . These are the plans: Indexicalism: Realism and the Metaphysics of Paradox Online Book symposium Schedule (in Edinburgh time – BST): September, 29th Session 1: BST: 16:00 – 19:20 (Starts at: Brasília: 12:00noon, San Francisco: 8:00am, Madrid: 17:00) 16:00 Sofya Gevorkyan (independent philosopher and artist) and Carlos Segovia (independent philosopher): “The Common, the Otherwise, and the Plucking of a Non-Ontological Daisy.” 16:50 Paul Livingston ( Professor, Philosophy, University of New Mexico): The Essential Paradoxical 17:40 John Bova (University of New Mexico and New Centre for Research & Practice): The existential indexical 18:30 Gerson Brea (Tecnische Universität München): TBA Session 2: BST: 20:00 – 22:30 (Starts at: Brasília: 16:00, San Francisco: 12:00noon, Madrid: 21:00) 20:00 Steven Shaviro (DeRoy Profe

O investimento esquizo nas máquinas

  [V]islumbro no “construtivismo esquizo” uma possibilidade de construção primeiro de um entendimento e quiçá um modo de vida. Mas não não o será sem aliança… mas não com o capital – sai-de-mim! O dinheiro só gosta dele mesmo. Argus Tenório 1. Argus Tenório gentilmente comenta meu texto inicial acerca da fabulação de que as máquinas são nossa descendência. Trata-se de um esforço para pensar o nosso fascínio e dedicação às máquinas em um paradigma que não seja nem teomaníaco – como seria pensar que estamos a construir um mundo pronto para um deus ou espírito livre que vem e que apenas terá o controle dos comandos já prontos ou de pensar que se trata de um criacionismo em que nós inteligências inferiores damos luz a outras inteligências que consideramos superiores porque é a criação é feita à imagem e semelhança de quem desejamos de ser – e nem apocalíptico – como o verso profético de Adrianne Rich: “é um mundo dos homens, mas eles o venderam para as máquinas”. Pensar

The specter and the face

I'm very much into specters these days. Reading and teaching Ludueña, discussing Derrida's Specters of Marx in a group, admiring the work of Saidyia Hartman, listening to spectral music. Thought of the face in Levinas as spectral. The face is what assigns me with an infinite responsibility - a responsibility that extends beyond my death. It survives me. Further, it brings about the dimension of the posthumous to my freedom and my decisions. The face ushers in a realm of a future that is not made complete by a submission of time to eternity. It inaugurates a different time where diachrony precedes the passing of present instants. The face is what connects me to the past I cannot recall and to the future I cannot project. It is because of the face of the Other that I my freedom is spectral.

The paradoxico-metaphysics of the others and the paradox of freedom

In his "Philosophy and transcendence" Levinas goes back to the paradoxical postulation of the infinite underneath the revealing of truths in Descartes. The paradox is that the infinite is thought as precisely what cannot be revealed. It is like finding an opaque blind-spot in the effort to expose a landscape. The Cartesian notion of infinity is important for Levinas' construction of his position in Totality and Infinity : it is the infinite that provides the face with a quality that cannot be accessible to knowledge, cannot be fully present and cannot be made into a theme, a transparent thesis. The infinite in the Other is what brings the unknown God to mind: not a theme, but a glory of what is behind a responsibility that predates every recalling of what has been present in the past.  The paradox of the infinite is akin to the paradoxico-metaphysics of the others that I elaborate in Indexicalism: Realism and the Metaphysics of Paradox . There, too, the others are irreduc

Indexicalism: Realism and the Metaphysics of Paradox is available for pre-order


Immanence as the common ground of nihilism and capital

I have diagnosed nihilism and capital as being two major cosmopolitical issues. If one conceives of cosmopolitical parties, they ought to be concerned with these issues (as I advocated here). Cosmopolitics is a post-human era, which is a something that cannot be found anywhere but in the anthropocene. I have also suspected that there is a common structure to both cosmopolitical issues - they are both part of the history of the human age in the planet. My suspicion had to do with the idea that capital could be understood as an agent of the extraction of the intelligence of everything and therefore of nihilism (see, for instance, this ).  I now suspect that the common structure is that of totality and, accordingly, that of general equivalence and, at the bottom of it, of immanence. What could it mean to exorcise totality? To try and think beyond the idea that nothing is going to be left out – thinking is the endeavor of encompassing, of capture, of betraying the Other as Other. Totality

Post-universal philosophy

Been thinking about an expression I employed to describe what I am after in my forthcoming book in the preface (and was mentioned in Harman's preface to present the project): Jewish animism. My thoughts took me back to a text Levinas' wrote in the mid-1950s, "Le cas Spinoza", compiled in Difficile Liberté . There he makes clear, as elsewhere, the distinction between the Jewish and the Christian ways. Spinoza appears as someone who helped universalizing Christianity by placing it outside the strictly religious terms. Christianism became universal and ceased to need to be a religion - it became a rational religion. Greek reason becomes Christianized supposedly in the form of nihilism (a God that is assassinated), colonialism (there are news to be spread independently of who we meet) and self-salvation (the joy of being anonymous and self-sufficient, immune to the appeals of the others and having no debts). The lay counterpart of Christian thought spells universality ins

The colonial state of affairs and the non-Jewish state

It is as a Jew who grew up feeling the history of this people with all my capacities and even attending to the struggles around Zionism that I look at what is happening now and that I think that those who speak for the Jews and those who speak for Zionism did not understand anything. That is, they do not read the same history of the Jews; they do not read a story of survival in adversity that gives rise to unsuspected strengths and unsuspected forces to resist - as I do - but the non-history of a people waiting for their turn to act as they witness their executioners doing. The Jews that bomb Gaza and defend their supremacy in the occupied territories and in the cities where Palestinians reside make their history a variant of the stories of the European nations that colonized the world because they had the weapons and certainties to do so. The speech resembles that of the superiority of purity and the purity of superiority that the Germans pronouced in the third reich about Jews, Slavs