To what extent is truth required for reconciliation of peoples in conflict? What kind of truth? Objective truth, subjective truth? Maybe reconciliation require that the pursuit of truth be limited? The trial of the former “Khmer Rouge” leaders in Cambodia for crimes against humanity provides a case where these issues are examined.
Part 1. Spaces within spaces -- 1. Extremes -- 2. Nature abhors a vacuum -- 3. Space travel -- 4. Learn to say -- 5. Metaphysical habitats -- 6. Departures -- 7. Plumage and talismans -- 8. Inner space -- Part 2. Snares for the eyes -- 9. The fallen giant -- 10. The stone -- 11. The voices of things -- 12. Nature and art -- 13. Nature -- 14. In touch -- Part. 3. The sacred -- 15. Sacrilege (...) -- Part 4. Violence -- 16. Material culture -- 17. Orders -- 18. Filth -- 19. Fake fetishes, disrobed mannequins -- 20. Wallowing in glory -- 21. The art of war -- Part 5. Splendor -- 22. The face of death -- 23. The emergence of dance -- 24. Collective performances -- 25. War and splendor. (shrink)
Collective performances cannot be understood only from the intentions of the organizers, participants and bystanders, and from their historical, political, economic and ideological contexts. Cultural performances close in on themselves and evolve with their own logic: that of ceremony and festival in which their own scenes of splendour, dance and war adjust to one another.
For Martin Heidegger the death that comes singularly for each of us summons us to exist on our own and speak in our own name. But Gilles Delueze and Félix Guattari argue that it is a specific social machinery that summons us to speak in our own name and answer for what we do and are. This summons is a death sentence. They enjoin us to flee this subjectification, this subjection. They do recognize that the release of becomings in all (...) directions can become destructive and self-destructive. There are several weaknesses in their conception. (shrink)
Alphonso Lingis’s singular works of philosophy are not so much written as performed, and in The First Person Singular the performance is characteristically brilliant, a consummate act of philosophical reckoning. Lingis’s subject here, aptly enough, is the subject itself, understood not as consciousness but as embodied, impassioned, active being. His book is, at the same time, an elegant cultural analysis of how subjectivity is differently and collectively understood, invested, and situated. The subject Lingis elaborates in detail is the passionate subject (...) of fantasy, of obsessive commitment, of noble actions, the subject enacting itself through an engagement with others, including animals and natural forces. This is not the linguistic or literary subject posited by structuralism and post-structuralism, nor the rational consciousness posited by post-Enlightenment philosophy. It is rather a being embodied in both a passionate, intensifying activity and a cultural collective made up of embodied others as well as the social rituals and practices that comprise this first person singular. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas sets up alterity as a fundamental ontological category, irreducible to being and nothingess. There are two difficulties in understanding this ontological alterity. On the one hand, Levinas formulates it with negative terms - infinition, abstraction, ab-solutenes, trace of a past that has never been present. On the other hand, Levinas invokes the notions of the superlative, the Good, and God. These notions are very difficult to separate from the notion of a redoubling of the positivity by which the (...) things of the world are posited in their own subsistent being. The quasi-concepts with which Levinas has thematized the alterity of the others who face us in an ontological sphere of infinition, absoluteness, and abstractness have determined negatively what he envisions as beyond negativity and positivity. They reduce the determinateness of the wants and needs of another, and reduce the otherness of one other from other others. In addition, the positivism with which Levinas eliminates the imperatives with which the elements summon us and the material imperatives with which the things put demands on us effaces the phenomenality of the other whose want and needs are inscribed on the susceptibility and vulnerability of his surfaces of skin. (shrink)
Paleoanthropologists have long worked with the assumption that bipedism and brain enlargement evolved together in a cycle of cause and effect powered by the production of tools and instrumental manipulation. Rather, this paper argues, following the work of Paul Shepard, that discernments, or specific kinds of mentalities, arise from the relations that mammals and hominids form with their environments, other species and within their own social groupings.
For Emmanuel Levinas objectivity is intersubjectively constituted. But this intersubjectivity is not, as in Merleau-Ponty, the intercorporeality of perceivers nor, as in Heidegger, the active correlation of practical agents. It has an ethical structure; it is the presence, to each cognitive subject, of others who contest and judge him. But does not the exposure of each cognitive subject to the wants and needs of others result in the constitution of a common practical field, which is not yet the objective world (...) of scientific cognition? For Levinas, the constitution of a world common to all is governed by the practice of justice. Justice begins when above the elf and the other there intervenes a third party, who contests and judges both. But whether this third party is a representative of humanity, or a figure of God, would not his justice be but the name of a higher egoism? (shrink)
The doctrine of eternal recurrence in Nietzsche is an essentially ecstatic doctrine. It is also strangely incommunicable. Here the ecstasy that reveals singularizes. The essential revelation closes the one to whom it is given in his own singularity; only a singularity opens to the abysses and the Dionysian truth. Heidegger could then see in it an ontological doctrine. And an authentifying-singularizing-doctrine. Not, though, the same as his own. For Heidegger could suggest that the time horizon in which this (...) doctrine conceives Being in its Becoming-the "deep eternity"-is in fact not a deep structure of time, but the linear time of an eternity of instants. Eternity is not deep. In addition the subject of the Nietzschean ecstasy-which longs for eternity- cannot appropriate itself, cannot become a whole, cannot really achieve singular existence. Are these Heideggerian thoughts criticisms of the Nietzschean experience? Is the deep ontological truth to be then sought elsewhere? Is the wholeness of one's own life- the essence of this existence- to be then sought in another experience of the time-horizon of Being? Or else do these Heideggerian observations not rather point to another structure of the thought involved-something like a surface thought? And to another structure of the one smitten by this thought-a singularity that exists only in a circle of continuous metamorphoses? Some deconstructive work by Derrida encourages us to look in this direction. (shrink)