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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 where things stand even when they are not apparent - and to religion - a God-archive that will ensure that at some objects, properties, relations and events are saved and therefore safe from oblivion. But if we conceive the mode of existence of the past in memory as neither permanence nor disappearance, but rather something akin to the intermittence that are experienced in remembrances, then there is an overlooked alternative, to say the least. Perhaps biological memory is plagued with failures and haunted  by remembrances because this is the very mode of existence of the past as memory - it cannot be fully converted into an archive as it cannot simply lapse in complete oblivion. 

Fabián Ludueña's disjuntology is committed to the idea that there is a non-ontological, para-metaphysical dimension that is neither that of the immortal with an eternal (or always resurrected) body nor that of the perishable that continues in time and eventually ceases to exist. The dimension of specters is that of a haunting, insisting and intermittent items akin to images, apparitions and remembrances. Biological memory is not insufficient, it is simply a memory that works as such and therefore is open to the eventual visit from elsewhere. No supplement can fully fix this because memory cannot work by storing things constantly. Its immortality is that of what comes and goes and contrasts both with mortality and with resurrection (eventually in a better, supra-sensible body). The effort of (classical) metaphysics, therefore, appears as intending to provide permanence to what is otherwise intermittent - either in the form of substantial existents behind the appearances or in the form of an absence of anything behind appearances. 

Interestingly, the intermittence that characterizes things from the past is not guided by randomness either. It is not contingency that brings back the hainting remembrance - this idea is perhaps still a hangover from the metaphysical assumption of an underlying substantial (and possibly empty) behind the passing recollections. Rather, it is not a hidden realm that dictates what haunts us in our memory - not even a stochastic hidden realm - but a domain that is in different ways entangled with (but not included in) the domain of the perishable. That domain is not filled with substances but is composed of irredeemable intermittence.

 


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