Art and the orientation of thought

Research in Phenomenology 16 (1):171-184 (1986)
Heidegger has shown how the subject-predicate structure of language and the substance-accident structure of things are both derived from the analysis of the "mere thing" into some matter that stands together with some form, a form always determined by the use to which the thing will be put. Regardless of what we try to say, discourse concerns itself with some subject related to some predicate in a manner indicating either that it is useful or that it is stripped bare of usefulness. ;Therefore, within the law of contradiction, that is, insofar as "S is P," our thought is always already structured by this obscure origin. The system of discourse always signifies and represents, the appearance of the thing becomes constant, language becomes constant: form and matter, subject and predicate. ;All attempts to directly oppose the discursive system result in cooption. Yet, Kant and Hegel make way for the spatial and temporal, thus discursive counter to the significational system. They do this not by directly confronting it in order to produce yet another level of signification, but by opening up a space for thought. Kant discovers the acategorical "sublime," and Hegel dissolves the substantiality of the object, opening up the possibility of other logics and grammars. ;There emerged a surplus never completely enframed by discourse. Painting deliberately evaded the realm of non-contradiction, politely declined the positing of significations, the logic and grammar of an object with or without use. It has brought us to a confrontation with "stupidity," where there is nothing to know , and there is no history . There is only a great despair. ;Yet, this despair is thought facing its own dogmatism, recognizing that there is "something happening" rather than nothing, and seeking its orientation from this "it is happening," rather than from discourse dominated by a single logic, a single grammar, a single truth
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DOI 10.1163/156916486X00112
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