The phenomenology of memory proposed here is structured around two questions: Of what are there memories? Whose memory is it? (Ricoeur, MHF, 3)in the margins of a critique of imagination, there has to be an uncoupling of imagination from memory . . . . (5–6).
The fundamental faith of the metaphysicians is the faith in opposite values. . . .For one may doubt, first, whether there are any opposites at all, and secondly whether these popular valuations and opposite values on which the metaphysicians put their seal, are not perhaps merely foreground estimates, only provisional perspectives, perhaps even from some nook, perhaps from below, frog perspectives, as it were, to borrow an expression painters use. For all the value that the true, the truthful, the selfless (...) may deserve, it wouldstill be possible that a higher and more fundamental value for life might have to be ascribed to deception, selfishness, and lust. . . .Maybe! (Nietzsche, BGE, #2). (shrink)
there is something else to which we are witness, and which we might describe as an insurrection of subjugated knowledges. (Foucault, 2L, 81)a whole set of knowledges that have been disqualified as inadequate to their task or insufficiently elaborated: naive knowledges, . . . . (82)What emerges out of this is something one might call a genealogy, or rather a multiplicity of genealogical researches, a painstaking rediscovery of struggles together with the rude memory of their conflicts. (83)Let us give the (...) term genealogy to the union of erudite knowledge and local memories which allows us to establish a historical knowledge of struggles and to make use of this knowledge tactically today. (83)If we were to characterise it in two terms, then “archaeology” would be the appropriate methodology of this analysis of local discursivities, and “genealogy” would be the tactics whereby, on the basis of the descriptions of these local discursivities, the subjected knowledges which were thus released would be brought into play. (85). (shrink)
A giving which gives only its gift, but in the giving holds itself back and withdraws, . . . . (Heidegger, TB, 8)the Forgotten is . . . the Law. (Lyotard, “HJ," 147)how could this thought (Heidegger’s), a thought so devoted to remembering that a forgetting (of Being) takes place in all thought, in all art, in all “representation” of the world, how could it possibly have ignored the thought of [that] which, in a certain sense, thinks, tries to think, (...) nothing but that very fact? . . . to the point of suppressing and foreclosing to the very end the horrifying (and inane) attempt at exterminating, at making us forget forever what, in Europe, reminds us, ever since the beginning, that “there is” the Forgotten? (Lyotard, HJ, 4)[I]n witnessing, one also exterminates. The witness is a traitor. (Lyotard, I, 204)The Other becomes my neighbour precisely through the way the face summons me, calls for me, begs for me, and in so doing recalls my responsibility, and calls me into question.. . . as if I had to answer for the other’s death even before being. (83). (shrink)
The disaster ruins everything, all the while leaving everything intact. It does not touch anyone in particular; “I” am not threatened by it, but spared, left aside. It is in this way that I am threatened;. . . .The disaster is separate; that which is most separate.When the disaster comes upon us, it does not come. The disaster is its imminence, but since the future, as we conceive of it in the order of lived time, belongs to the disaster, the (...) disaster has always already withdrawn or dissuaded it; there is no future for the disaster, just as there is no time or space for its accomplishment. (Blanchot, WD, 1–2). (shrink)
Without the mind of a seer, I now maintain that I can predict (vorhersagen) from the aspects and precursor—signs (Vorzeichen) of our times, the achievement (Erreichung) of this end, and with it, at the same time, the progressive improvement of mankind, a progress which henceforth cannot be totally reversible . . . a phenomenon of this kind in human history can never be forgotten (vergisst sich nicht mehr). (Kant, CF; quoted in Lyotard, SH, 408).
[T]he common character of the mildest, as well as the severest cases, to which the faulty and chance actions contribute, lies in the ability to refer the phenomena to unwelcome, repressed, psychic material, which, though pushed away from consciousness, is nevertheless not robbed of all capacity to express itself. (Freud, PEL, 146).
Zen-Buddhist nothingness is the nowhere is there something that is I, or conversely: the I that is the nowhere is there something. (Hisamatsu, FN, 25-26; quoted and trans. in Stambaugh, FS, 76)... it is empty of being. That means that it is beyond all measure ....... it is empty without emptiness. That means that it does not cling to itself.... it possesses nothing. That means that it doesn't possess and also cannot be possessed. (Hisamatsu, FN, 31; quoted and trans. in (...) Stambaugh, FS, 77-8)The emptiness of what is called "emptiness" is referred to as "the emptiness of emptiness" (ʼsūnyatāʼsūnyatā), and it is explained in this way for the purpose of controverting any understanding of emptiness as a[n ontological reference to] "being." (Candrakīrti, EMW, 180)A skillful Zen student will strive to be awakened to an identity with all phenomena, the student him- or herself emptyand continually changing as the phenomena come forth. (Codiga, ZPSP, 108)Zen practice is a means for the enlightenment of bushes and grasses, an activity that has no beginning or end in the vastness of any empty universe. (p. 110). (shrink)
Sixth volume devoted to the good. Human, natural worlds filled with gifts. Nature, general economy of the good, earth's abundance, beyond measure. Gifts and giving, beyond having. Cherishment, sacrifice, plenishment: exposure to the good. Plato. The good grants authority to knowledge and truth. Anaximander. Injustice, restitution.Beauty, truth, justice gifts from the good. Precedence in Western philosophic tradition to gathering, assembling, and having being. Love of self as having. A self beyond itself, giving beyond having. Ethic responsive to the heterogeneous abundance (...) of things in the earth. (shrink)
How does one desire forgetting? How does one desire not to keep?How does one desire mourning (assuming that to mourn, to work at mourning does not amount to keeping . . .)? (Derrida, GT, 36)Jacques Derrida died Friday night, October 8–9, 2004.
Physical pain has no voice, but when it at last finds a voice, it begins to tell a story, and the story that it tells is about the inseparability of these three subjects, their embeddedness in one another. (Scarry, BP, 3).
By submitting to the primacy of the question “What?” the phenomenology of memory finds itself at the outset confronting a formidable aporia present in ordinary language: the presence in which the representation of the past seems to consist does indeed appear to be that of an image. We say interchangeably that we represent a past event to ourselves or that we have an image of it, an image that can be either quasi visual or auditory. . . . Memory, reduced (...) to recall, thus operates in the wake of the imagination. . . .As a countercurrent to this tradition of devaluing memory, in the margins of a critique of imagination, there has to be an uncoupling of imagination from memory as far as this operation can be extended. (Ricoeur, MHF, 5–6). (shrink)
Memory is, therefore, neither perception nor conception, but a state or affection of one of these, conditioned by lapse of time. As already observed, there is no such thing as memory of the present while present; for the present is object only of perception, and the future, of expectation, but the object of memory is the past. All memory, therefore, implies a time elapsed; consequently only those animals which perceive time remember, and the organ whereby they perceive time is also (...) that whereby they remember. (Aristotle, OM, 449b24–30). (shrink)
[T]here is that theory which you have often described to us—that what we call learning is really just recollection (anamnēsis). If that is true, then surely what we recollect now we must have learned at some time before, which is impossible unless our souls existed somewhere before they entered this human shape. So in that way too it seems likely that the soul is immortal. (Plato, Phaedo, 72e–73a)Thus the soul, since it is immortal and has been born many times, and (...) has seen all things both here and in the other world, has learned everything that is. So we need not be surprised if it can recall the knowledge of virtue or anything else which, as we see, it once possessed. (Plato, Meno, 81cd). (shrink)
The word I means here I am, answering for everything and for everyone. (Levinas, S, 104)Responsibility carries within it, and must do so, an essential excessiveness. It regulates itself neither on the principle of reason nor on any sort of accountancy. (Derrida, EW, 272)differance, trace, iterability, ex-appropriation, and so on ... are at work everywhere, which is to say, well beyond humanity. (p. 274).
To take up only the most beautiful, as yet to be made manifest in the realm of time and space, there are angels. These messengers who never remain enclosed in a place, who are also never immobile .... Endlessly reopening the enclosure of the universe, of universes, identities, the unfolding of actions, of history.The angel is that which unceasingly passes through the envelope(s) or container(s), goes from one side to the other, reworking every deadline, changing every decision, thwarting all repetition (...) ... they come' to herald the arrival of a new birth, a new morning. (Irigaray, ESD, 15)In the absence of civil laws positively defining their real rights and duties, the only criteria women have to refer to are subjective ones....But as long as there are no laws or rules which all women-and all men-may refer to and invoke when making their decisions, there can be no democracy, however attractive the immediate allegiance of a collectivity to a proposition may be. (Irigaray, ILTY, 1-2). (shrink)
Man, in the analytic of finitude, is a strange empirico-transcendental doublet, since he is a being such that knowledge will be attained in him of what renders all knowledge possible. (Foucault, OT, 318)Man is a mode of being which accommodates that dimension-always open, never finally delimited, yet constantly traversed-which extends from a part of himself not reflected in a cogito to the act of thought by which he apprehends that part; and which, in the inverse direction, extends from that pure (...) apprehension to ... the whole silent horizon of what is posited in the sandy stretches of non-thought .... The question is no longer: How can experience of nature give rise to necessary judgements? But rather: How can man think what he does not think, inhabit as though by a mute occupation something that eludes him, animate with a kind of frozen movement that figure of himself that takes the form of a stubborn exteriority? (pp. 322-3). (shrink)
At the centre of the principle, always, the One does violence to itself, and guards itself against the other. (Derrida, PF, ix)The One betrays itself in betraying the other.The self double crosses itself in double crossing the others.
I wish to take up the subject ... in relation to a set of practices in late antiquity. Among the Greeks, these practices took the form of a precept: epimeleisthai sautou, "to take care of yourself," to take "care of the self," "to be concerned, to take care of yourself."The precept of the "care of the self" [souci de soi] was, for the Greeks, one of the main principles of cities, one of the main rules for social and personal conduct (...) and for the art of life. For us now, this notion is rather obscure and faded. (Foucault, TS, 19). (shrink)
The image, at first sight, does not resemble the cadaver, but it is possible that the rotting, decaying, cadaverous strangeness might also be from the image. (Blanchot, EL, 344; [my translation])But what is the image? When there is nothing, the image finds in this nothing its necessary condition, but there it disappears. The image needs the neutrality and the fading of the world: it wants everything to return to the indifferent deep where nothing is affirmed; it tends toward the intimacy (...) of what still subsists in the void. This is its truth. But this truth exceeds it. (Blanchot, SL, 254). (shrink)
Possession is preeminently the form in which the other becomes the same, by becoming mine. (Levinas, TI, 46)If perceptions are distinct existences, they form a whole only by being connected together. But no connexions among distinct existences are ever discoverable by human understanding. We only feel a connexion or determination of the thought to pass from one object to another. It follows, therefore, that the thought alone feels personal identity, when reflecting on the train of past perceptions that compose a (...) mind, the ideas of them are felt to be connected together, and naturally introduce each other. (Burne, T, App., 635)The I think must accompany all my representations, for otherwise something would be represented in me which could not be thought: .... they must conform to the condition under which alone they can exist altogether in a common self-consciousness, because otherwise they would not all without exception belong to me. (Kant, CPR, 76-7). (shrink)
When one is asked "What is the most important moral principle in ancient philosophy?" the immediate answer is not "Take care of oneself" but the Delphic principle gnōthi sauton ("Know thyself"). (Foucault, TS, 19)I can't as yet "know myself," as the inscription at Delphi enjoins, and so long as that ignorance remains it seems to me ridiculous to inquire into extraneous matters. (Plato, Phaedrus, 230a)I certainly do not yet know myself, but whithersoever the wind, as it were, of the argument (...) blows, there lies our course. (Plato, Republic, 394d). (shrink)
The ownership condemned with such rigor by the mystics, and often called impurity, is only the search for one's own solace and one's own interest in the jouissance of the gifts of God, at the expense of the jealousy of the pure love that wants everything for God and nothing for the creature .... Ownership, of course, is nothing but self-love or pride, which is the love of one's own excellence insofar as it is one's own, and which, instead of (...) coming back completely and uniquely to God, still to a small extent brings the gifts of God back to the self so that it can takepleasure in them. (Fénelon: quoted in Nancy, SL, 94)Love defines itself as the absolute opposite and as the destruction of self-love. Self-love is not simply the love of the self; .... One can love oneself with a real love, and it might even be that one must do so .... But self-love, understood according to the signification the spiritual authors gave to it, .... is the love (which, from this moment on, is no longer one) of possession. It is the love of the self as property. (pp. 94-5). (shrink)
the face summons me, calls for me, begs for me, ... calls me into question. (Levinas, EFP, 83)we are difference, ... our selves the difference of masks. (Foucault, AK, 130-1)There are no parts, moments, types, or stages of love. There is only an infinity of shatters. (Nancy, SL, 101)Only the body fulfills the concept of the words "exposition," "being exposed." And since the body is not a concept ... there is no "body." (Nancy, BP, 205)Sense is the singularity of all (...) the singular ones, in all senses simultaneously.The originary sharing [partager] of the world is the sharing of Being, and the Being of the Dasein is nothing other than the Being of this sharing. (Nancy, SL, 103)Dasein is first of all thrown. (Derrida, EW, 269)Starting at "birth," and possibly even prior to it, being thrown re-appropriates itself or rather ex-appropriates itself informs that are not yet those of the subject or the project. (p. 270). (shrink)
Dasein is authentically itself only to the extent that, as concernful Being-alongside and solicitous Being-with, it projects itself upon its ownmost potentiality-for-Being rather than upon the possibility of the they-self. (Heidegger, BT, 308)The more I return to myself, the more I divest myself, under the traumatic effect of persecution, of my freedom as a constituted, willful, imperialist subject, the more I discover myself to be responsible; the more just I am, the more guilty I am. I am "in myself" through (...) the others. (Levinas, OB, 112)these singular beings [Daseins] are themselves constituted by sharing, they are distributed and placed, or rather spaced, by the sharing that makes them others: other for one another, and other, infinitely other for the Subject of their fusion, which is engulfed in the sharing, in the ecstasy of the sharing "communicating" by not "communing." ... Thus, the communication of sharing would be this very dis-location. (Nancy, IC, 25)What defines the "self" is precisely what defines us as personsnamely, the various roles and relationships that link us to others. (Bockover, ERS, 56). (shrink)
Into those things from which existing things have their coming into being, their passing away, too, takes place, according to what must be; for they make reparation to one another for their injustice according to the ordinance of time . . . . (Anaximander fragment; Simplicius Phys., 24, 18 [DK 12 B 1]; trans. Robinson, EGP, 34)[T]o remember and to bear witness to something that is constitutively forgotten, not only in each individual mind, but in the very thought of the (...) West. (Lyotard, “HJ,” 141)To bear witness to the differend. (Lyotard, DPD, xiii)[I]n witnessing, one also exterminates. (I, 204)Reality is composed of the différend. (shrink)
Quantum aesthetics fosters what might be called a general thesis of metaphysical intimacy. There is no place left, even in nature, where uninterpreted events can hide. With regard to the work of Niels Bohr and Heisenberg, this condition of unavoidable interpretation is referred to as the “indivisibility of the quantum action.” Accordingly, talking about any privileged or pristine considerations involves contradictions that, according to advocates of quantum aesthetics, must be overcome. Now, every facet of existence has a voice that has (...) a human origin and must be correctly deciphered. Even nature is not simply confronted, but must be explored in terms of its cultural nuances. (Caro and Murphy, eds., WQC, 182). (shrink)
Now let us imagine, if you please, a tiny worm living in the blood, . . . . The worm would be living in the blood as we are living in our part of the universe, and it would regard each individual particle as a whole, not a part, and it would have no idea as to how all the parts are controlled by the overall nature of the blood and compelled to mutual adaptation as the overall nature of the (...) blood requires, so as to agree with one another in a definite relation. . . .Now all the bodies of Nature can and should be conceived in the same way as we have here conceived the blood; . . . . Now since the nature of the universe, unlike the nature of the blood, is not limited, but is absolutely infinite, its parts are modified by the nature of this infinite in infinite ways and are compelled to undergo infinite variations. (Spinoza, ESL, Letter 32, 245–6). (shrink)
The image sees.The image feels.The image acts. (Bennett, CB, 195)The image gives.The image is given.The image proliferates.The image betrays.The image for gives.The image is for giving.The image is for exposition.The image is for beauty.The image is from the good.The image is mother, and is father, is both mother and father, and neither mother nor father; for it is the child. The image is the parent, and the children, both parent and children, and neither parent nor children.
Introduction: The forgotten -- Re-calling -- Re-membering -- Unremembering -- Enlightenment -- History -- Counter-memory -- Body and image -- Past and future -- Everyday life -- Diachrony -- Inheritance -- Pain -- Disaster.
wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder. He was not a bad genealogist who said that Iris [the messenger of heaven] is the child of Thaumas [wonder].1 (Plato,Theaetetus, 155d)When our first encounter with some object surprises us and we find it novel, or very different from what we formerly knew or from what we supposed it ought to be, this causes us to wonder and to be astonished at it. . . . I regard wonder (...) as the first of all the passions. (Descartes, PS, 350)Wonder . . . is the passion of that which is already born and not yet reenveloped in love. . . . It is the passion of the first encounter. And of perpetual rebirth? . . . the place of incidence and junction of body and spirit, which has been covered over again and again, hardened through repetitions that hamper growth and flourishing (croissance et épanouissement [unfolding, blossoming])? . . . A third dimension. An intermediary. Neither the one nor the other. Which is not to say neutral or neuter. The forgotten ground of our condition between mortal and immortal, men andgods, creatures and creators. In us and among us. (Irigaray, ESD, 81–2). (shrink)
The word person is Latin: . . . which signifies the face, as persona in Latin signifies the disguise, or outward appearance of a man, counterfeited on the stage; and sometimes more particularly that part of it, which disguiseth the face, as a mask or vizard:. . . . So that a person, is the same that an actor is, both on the stage and in common conversation; and to personate, is to act, or represent himself, or another;. . . (...) . (Hobbes, L, 1, 16, p. 147)Whatever is profound loves masks; what is most profound even hates image and parable. Might not nothing less than the opposite be the proper disguise for the shame of a god? . . .Every profound spirit needs a mask: even more, around every profound spirit a mask is growing continually, owing to the constantly false, namely shallow, interpretation of every word, every step, every sign of life he gives. (Nietzsche, BGE, #40)we are difference, . . . our history the difference of times, our selves the difference of masks.1 (Foucault, AK, 131)The image, at first sight, does not resemble the cadaver, but it is possible that the rotting, decaying, cadaverous strangeness might also be from the image.2 (Blanchot, TVI, 256)the eternal return is said only of the theatrical world of the metamorphosesand masks of the Will to power,. . . . (Deleuze, DR, 40–1). (shrink)