The dominant argument for the introduction of propensities or chances as an interpretation of probability depends on the difficulty of accounting for single case probabilities. We argue that in almost all cases, the "single case" application of probability can be accounted for otherwise. "Propensities" are needed only in theoretical contexts, and even there applications of probability need only depend on propensities indirectly.
Hartry Field has suggested that we should adopt at least a methodological deflationism: "[W]e should assume full-fledged deflationism as a working hypothesis. That way, if full-fledged deflationism should turn out to be inadequate, we will at least have a clearer sense than we now have of just where it is that inflationist assumptions... are needed". I argue here that we do not need to be methodological deflationists. More precisely, I argue that we have no need for a disquotational truth-predicate; that (...) the word 'true', in ordinary language, is not a disquotational truth-predicate; and that it is not at all clear that it is even possible to introduce a disquotational truth-predicate into ordinary language. If so, then we have no clear sense how it is even possible to be a methodological deflationist. My goal here is not to convince a committed deflationist to abandon his or her position. My goal, rather, is to argue, contrary to what many seem to think, that reflection on the apparently trivial character of T-sentences should not incline us to deflationism. (shrink)
Bishop Butler, [Butler, 1736], said that probability was the very guide of life. But what interpretations of probability can serve this function? It isn't hard to see that empirical (frequency) views won't do, and many recent writers—for example John Earman, who has said that Bayesianism is "the only game in town"—have been persuaded by various dutch book arguments that only subjective probability will perform the function required. We will defend the thesis that probability construed in this way offers very little (...) guidance, dutch book arguments notwithstanding. We will sketch a way out of the impasse. (shrink)
It is shown how a consistent kinematic resolution of Ehrenfest's paradox may be given in accordance with the special theory of relativity. Some statements by T. E. Phipps, Jr., connected with these matters, are commented upon. Problems connected with the relation between stress and strain are solved by a manifestly covariant formulation of Hooke's law.
Accepted quantum description is stochastic, yet history is nonstochastic, i.e., not representable by a probability distribution. Therefore ordinary quantum mechanics is unsuited to describe history. This is a limitation of the accepted quantum theory, rather than a failing of mechanics in general. To remove the limitation, it would be desirable to find a form of quantum mechanics that describes the future stochastically and the past nonstochastically. For this purpose it proves sufficient to introduce into quantum mechanics, by means of a (...) perfected formal correspondence, certain analogs of the classical initial-condition constants. Through the restoration of such parameters at the quantum level one accomplishes a natural accommodation of time anisotropy, wave-function reduction, and “event” description by quantum mechanical equations of motion alone, without the need for extra postulates (e.g., a projection postulate). This requires a complete restructuring of quantum measurement theory. (shrink)
Vagueness is an extremely widespread feature of language, famously associated with the sorites paradox. One instance of this paradox concludes that a single grain of sand is a heap of sand, by starting with a large heap of sand and invoking the plausible premise that if you take one grain of sand away from a heap of sand, then you still have a heap. The supervaluationist theory of vagueness states that a sentence is true if and only if it is (...) true on all ways of making it precise. This yields borderline case predications that are neither true nor false, but yet classical logic is preserved almost entirely. The sorites paradox is solved because the main premise comes out false – on each way of making 'heap' precise, there is some first grain that turns a heap into a non-heap – but there is no sharp boundary to 'heap' because it is a different grain on different ways of making 'heap' precise; so, there is no grain of which it is true to say it is that first grain. The theory has a range of merits in comparison with rival theories, such as the epistemic view or degree theories of vagueness. Objections have been made (and answers offered) in relation to its treatment of higher-order vagueness and what it says about truth and validity. Author Recommends Fine, Kit. 'Vagueness, Truth and Logic.' Synthese 30 (1975). 265–300. Reprinted in Keefe and Smith 1997. This is the classic text introducing supervaluationism as a treatment of vagueness. It provides both philosophical discussion and formal modelling, demonstrating the adherence to classical logic that the theory yields. Keefe, Rosanna and Peter Smith, eds. Vagueness: A Reader . Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. This collection includes many classic papers on vagueness, including Fine's paper, cited above, a paper by Dummett that offers (but rejects) a precursor of the supervaluationist view, another less well-known early presentation of the view by Henyrk Mehlberg and discussion and defences of the main rival theories of vagueness. Keefe, Rosanna. Theories of Vagueness . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. This book defends a supervaluationist theory of vagueness. It discusses the phenomena of vagueness and what is required of a theory of vagueness, before considering and rejecting the major alternatives in turn. Williamson, Timothy. Vagueness . London: Routledge, 1994. This book defends the epistemic theory of vagueness, which maintains that vague predicates do have sharp boundaries, we just do not know where those boundaries lie. It also contains detailed discussions of opposing theories, including supervaluationism. Unger, Peter. 'The Problem of the Many.' Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5 (1980). Eds. P.A. French, T.E. Uehling Jr and H.K. Wettstein. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. This is the classic presentation of the Problem of the Many, to which a supervaluationist solution is relatively popular. This problem arises because frequently the boundaries of an object – say a cloud – are not sharply delineated. Each of the many ways of drawing the boundary seems to be an object of the type in question – say a cloud – hence the problem that there are many things when there should be just one. The supervaluationist, it seems, can say that there is just one cloud because that is true on each precisification. Williams, J. Robert G. 'An Argument for the Many.' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (2006). 409–17. Detailed discussion of Unger's Problem of the Many, especially in relation to the supervaluationist solution. Shapiro, Stewart. Vagueness in Context . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. In this book, Shapiro employs a supervaluationist framework, without endorsing some of the central claims of the standard supervaluationist theory of vagueness. Online Materials http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/vagueness/ http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sorites-paradox/ http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/problem-of-many/ http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~arche/projects/vagueness/bibliography.shtml Sample Syllabus Week I: Introduction to Vagueness Keefe, Theories of Vagueness (especially chapters 1 and 2) Williamson, Vagueness (especially chapters 1 and 2) Week II: Supervaluationist Theory: logic and semantics Keefe, 'Vagueness: Supervaluationism.' Philosophy Compass 3.2 (2008): 315–24, 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2008.00124.x Fine, 'Vagueness, Truth and Logic' Keefe, Theories of Vagueness (especially chapter 7) Week III: Higher Order Vagueness and the D Operator Keefe, Theories of Vagueness (especially chapter 8) Fara, Delia Graff. 'Gap Principles, Penumbral Consequence and Infinitely Higher-Order Vagueness.' Liars and Heaps . Ed. J.C. Beall. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. 195–221. Originally published under the name 'Delia Graff'. Week IV: Truth and Validity Keefe, Theories of Vagueness (especially chapter 8) Keefe, 'Supervaluationism and Validity.' Philosophical Topics 28 (2000). 93–105. Cobreros, 'Supervaluations and Logical Consequence: Retrieving the Local Perspective.' Studia Logica , Special Issue on Vagueness , 2009 Week V: Problem of the Many Unger, "The Problem of the Many" Williams, "An Argument for the Many" Week VI: Rival Theories Williamson, Vagueness (especially chapters 7 and 8) Keefe and Smith, Vagueness: A Reader (e.g. chapters 11, 14–6) Focus Questions 1 How important is it for a theory of vagueness to accommodate penumbral connections? Are there any putative penumbral connections that the supervaluationist cannot accommodate? 2 According to supervaluationism, what does it take for "Katie said that Hannah is tall" to be true? Does the view have implausible consequences for indirect speech reports when vague terms are used? 3 Is higher-order vagueness a problem for supervaluationism? 4 Is there more than one viable option for the account of validity in a supervaluationist framework? 5 Can a supervaluationist account of vagueness accommodate the full extent of context dependence exhibited in the use of vague predicates? (shrink)
The concept of randomness has been unjustly neglected in recent philosophical literature, and when philosophers have thought about it, they have usually acquiesced in views about the concept that are fundamentally flawed. After indicating the ways in which these accounts are flawed, I propose that randomness is to be understood as a special case of the epistemic concept of the unpredictability of a process. This proposal arguably captures the intuitive desiderata for the concept of randomness; at least it should suggest (...) that the commonly accepted accounts cannot be the whole story and more philosophical attention needs to be paid. Randomness in science1.1 Random systems1.2 Random behaviour1.3 Random sampling1.4 Caprice, arbitrariness and noiseConcepts of randomness2.1 Von Mises/Church/Martin-Löf randomness2.2 KCS-randomnessRandomness is unpredictability: preliminaries3.1 Process and product randomness3.2 Randomness is indeterminism?Predictability4.1 Epistemic constraints on prediction4.2 Computational constraints on prediction4.3 Pragmatic constraints on prediction4.4 Prediction definedUnpredictabilityRandomness is unpredictability6.1 Clarification of the definition of randomness6.2 Randomness and probability6.3 Subjectivity and context sensitivity of randomnessEvaluating the analysis[R]andomness … is going to be a concept which is relative to our body of knowledge, which will somehow reflect what we know and what we don't know. Henry E. Kyburg, Jr (, p. 217)Phenomena that we cannot predict must be judged random. Patrick Suppes (, p. 32). (shrink)
rimary Works -/- Descartes, Rene, (1997) Meditations on the First Philosophy, from Philosophical Classics from Plato to Nietzsche, Ed. By Forrest E. Baired & Walter Kaufmann, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. -/- ______________ (1972) “The Principles of Philosophy”, from Masterworks of Philosophy, Vol.I, Ed. by S.E. Frost Jr., McGraw Hill Book Company. -/- ______________ (1958)”The Passions of the Soul”, from Descartes Philosophical Writings, Trans.& Selected by Norman Kemp Smith, The Modern Library, New York. -/- _____________ (1927)”The Passions of (...) the Soul”, from Descartes Selections, Edi. by Charles Scribner’s Sons, United States. -/- ____________ (2006)” Meditations on the First Philosophy”, The Radical Academy, 2006.Link:http;//www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdf/desmed.pdf ,Citation:20-10-2006 -/- _____________(2006)”Discourse on the Method“, The Radical Academy, 2006.Link:http;//www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdf/desdisc.pdf ,Citation:20-10-2006 -/- ______________:”Objections to Descartes’s Meditations, and His Replies“, The Radical Academy, 2006.Link:http;//www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdf/descor.pdf ,Citation:20-10-2006 -/- Anscomb,E.& Geach,P.T. (1966) Descartes Philosophical Writings, (Edi.& Trans.) The Nelson and Sons Ltd., London. (shrink)
Einstein's second postulate (light-speed constancy) is modified in the following manner:(1) as to motion of light emitters, no modification is made;(2) as to motion of light absorbers, if the absorber moves with velocityv with respect to the observer, that observer will attribute to light the velocity (c+v). It is shown, with reference to the original Einstein train example, that such a modification of the second postulate restores to kinematics a concept of distant simultaneity. Thus is indicated the complicated (acausal) behavior (...) that must be attributed to light in order that the simple behavior earlier attributed (1) to matter (nonoccurrence of the Lorentz contraction) may be consistent with all known facts. A reply is made to Grøn's critique (2) of the earlier paper on metric standards. It is concluded that further experimental data are needed to decide the simple-light-complicated-matter versus complicated-light-simple-matter issue. (shrink)
In this second part of our paper abeta structure hypothesis is advanced, according to which all matter and the vacuum are composed solely of electrons. A direct connection is established between beta processes and nuclear forces. Physical implications of the formalism introduced in Part I are examined. Localized violation of the Heisenberg postulate opens extensive descriptive possibilities inaccessible to current field-derived theories. A weakness of the present attempt at “elementary” particle description is its incapacity to predict observed masses or spatial (...) extensions. This results from the particular (one-body) model employed, which posits an infinitely massive point “force center.” Improvements in the formulation of the relativistic many-body problem will be required to correct this shortcoming. In summary, our investigation reaffirms the logical sufficiency (surmised by Newton) of the elements of mechanics for describing the phenomena of nature. (shrink)
In preceding parts of this paper the possibility was examined of accomplishing the entirety of physical description by means of mechanics, without help from field-theoretical ideas. Apart from some easily obtained qualitative agreements with general descriptive features of nuclei and elementary particles, we were balked in this program by an inability to handle in purely mechanical terms the relativistic many-body problem. The present paper is addressed directly to the latter problem. No quantitative calculations are attempted, but three suggestions are made (...) — each of a quite radical nature — concerning the reformulation that will be necessary to restore mechanics to the mainstream of physics. (shrink)
The Ehrenfest paradox is reviewed in order to categorize classes of “resolution” that are logically at least semiconsistent. Cantoni's candidate is analyzed with reference to such a taxonomy of resolutions.
In this, the first of a two-part paper, a conceptual purification of physics is advocated, whereby the idea of the field is completely eliminated in favor of particulate dynamical laws. Previous work concerning a specific formulation of such purely mechanical laws is reviewed and is shown to imply the possibility of existence of electrons and positrons within nuclei or “elementary” particles in stable bound states characterized by real mass-energy and imaginary momentum. The second part of the paper will examine the (...) qualitative implications and the sufficiency of such concepts for physical description.Newton, Introduction to thePrincipia. (shrink)
Existence in Black is the first collective statement on the subject of Africana Philosophy of Existence. Drawing upon resources in Africana philosophy and literature, the contributors explore some of the central themes of Existentialism as posed by the context of what Frantz Fanon has identified as "the lived-experience of the black." Among questions posed and explored in the volume are: What is to be done in a world of near universal sense of superiority to, if not universal hatred of, black (...) folk?; What is black suffering?; What is the meaning (if any) of black existence? The introduction argues that a response to these questions requires a journey through the resources of identity questions in critical race theory and the teleological dimensions of liberation theory. The contributors address these questions through an analysis of nearly every dimension of Africana phiosophy. In the first half of the book, they address Black Philosophies of Existence in terms of Traditional African Philosophy, the Harlem Renaissance, Du Boisian Double-Consciousness, and Fanonian and Sartrean Philosophies of Existence. In the second half of the book, contributors consider racial identity through examinations of such concepts as equality, death, mimesis, property, embodiment, technology, disappointment, and dread. Part II is an exploration of postmodern challenges to "black existence" through discussions of postmodern conservatism, Nietzsche's thoughts on blacks, Richard Wright and fragmented consciousness, and feminist critiques of race. And Part IV is an examination of problems of historical responsibility and constructing black liberation theories. Contributors are: Ernest Allen, Jr., Robert Birt, Bernard Boxill, George Carew, Bobby Dixon, G.M. James Gonzales, Lewis R. Gordon, Leonard Harris, Floyd Hayes, III, Paget Henry, Patricia Huntington, Joy Ann James, Clarence Shole Johnson, Bill E. Lawson, Howard McGary, Roy D. Morrison, William Preston, Jean-Paul Sartre, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Gary Schwartz, Robert Westley, and Naomi Zack. (shrink)
Codes are a well known and popular but weak form of ethical regulation in medical practice. There is, however, a lack of research on the relations between moral judgments and ethical Codes, or on the possibility of morally justifying these Codes. Our analysis begins by showing, given the Nuremberg Code, how a typical reference to natural law has historically served as moral justification. We then indicate, following the analyses of H. T. Engelhardt, Jr., and A. MacIntyre, why such general moral (...) justifications of codes must necessarily fail in a society of ââmoral strangersâ Going beyond Engelhardt we argue, that after the genealogical suspicion in morals raised by Nietzsche, not even Engelhardt's "principle of permission" can be rationally justified in a strong sense â a problem of transcendental argumentation in morals already realized by I. Kant. Therefore, we propose to abandon the project of providing general justifications for moral judgements and to replace it with a hermeneutical analysis of ethical meanings in real-world situations, starting with the archetypal ethical situation, the encounter with the Other (E. Levinas). (shrink)
Preface, by N. Foerster.--The pretensions of science, by L. T. More.--Humanism: an essay at definition, by I. Babbitt.--The humility of common sense, by P. E. More.--The pride of modernity, by G. R. Elliott.--Religion without humanism, by T. S. Eliot.--The plight of our arts, by F. J. Mather, Jr.--The dilemma of modern tragedy, by A. R. Thompson.--An American tragedy, by R. Shafer.--Pandora's box in American fiction, by H. H. Clark.--Dionysus in dismay, by S. P. Chase.--Our critical spokesmen, by G. B. Munson.--Behaviour (...) and continuity, by B. Bandler, II.--The well of discipline, by S. B. Gass.--Courage and education, by R. L. Brown.--A list of books (p. 291-294). (shrink)
The ontological status of sport: Weiss, P. Records and the man. Schacht, R. L. On Weiss on records, athletic activity, and the athlete. Fraleigh, W. P. On Weiss on records and on the significance of athletic records. Stone, R. E. Assumptions about the nature of movement. Suits, B. The elements of sport. Kretchmar, S. Ontological possibilities: sport as play. Morgan, W. An existential phenomenological analysis of sport as a religious experience. Fraleigh, W. P. The moving "I." Fraleigh, W. P. Some (...) meanings of the human experience of freedom and necessity in sport. Keenan, F. W. The concept of doing.--The ethical status of sport: Keating, J. W. The ethics of competition and its relation to some moral problems in ahtletics. Sadler, W. A., Jr. A contextual approach to an understanding of competition: a response to Keating's philosophy of athletics. Osterhoudt, R. G. On Keating on the competitive motif in athletics and playful activity. Suits, B. The grasshopper: a thesis concerning the moral idea of man. Broekhoff, J. Sport and ethics in the context of culture. Zeigler, E. F. The pragmatic (experimentalistic) ethic as it relates to sport and physical education. Roberts, T. J. and Galasso, P. J. The fiction of morally indifferent acts in sport. Osterhoudt, R. G. The Kantian ethic as a principle of moral conduct in sport and athletics. Thomas, C. E. Do you "wanna" bet: an examination of player betting and the integrity of the sporting event.--The aesthetic status of sport: Kuntz, P. G. The aesthetics of sport. Keenan, F. W. The athletic contest as a "tragic" form of art. Osterhoudt, R. G. An Hegelian interpretation of art, sport, and athletics. (shrink)
The theory of evolution: The rise and impact of evolutionary ideas, by R. Scoon. Evolution in its relation to the philosophy of nature and the philosophy of culture, by F.S.C. Northrop. The genetic nature of differences among men, by T. Dobzhansky. Evolutionary thought in America: Evolution and American sociology by R.E.L. Faris. The impact of the idea of evolution on the American political and constitutional tradition, by E.S. Corwin. Evolutionism in American economics, 1800-1946, by J.J. Spengler. The influence of evolutionary (...) theory upon American psychological thought, by E.G. Boring. Naturalism in American literature, by M. Cowley. The idea of organic expression and American architecture, by D.D. Egbert. Evolution and moral theory in America, W.F. Quillian, Jr. Evolution and theology in America, by S. Persons. (shrink)
Academic freedom re-visited, by T. V. Smith.--Human rights under the United Nations Charter, by B. V. Cohen.--The absolute, the experimental method, and Horace Kallen, by P. H. Douglas.--Some tame reflections on some wild facts, by J. Frank.--Some central themes in Horace Kallen's philosophy, by S. Ratner.--Cultural relativism and standards, by G. Boas.--The philosophy of democracy as a philosophy of history, by S. Hook.--The rational imperatives, by C. I. Lewis.--From Poe to Valéry, by T. S. Eliot.--Events and the future, by J. (...) Dewey.--Teleological explanation and teleological systems, by E. Nagel.--Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism in China, by Hu Shih.--Reconsideration of the origin and nature of perception, by A. Ames, Jr.--Horace M. Kallen: a bibliography (p. 275-277). (shrink)
continent. 2.3 (2012): 218–223 Vijay Prashad. Arab Spring, Libyan Winter . Oakland: AK Press. 2012. 271pp, pbk. $14.95 ISBN-13: 978-1849351126. Nearly a decade ago, I sat in a class entitled, quite simply, “Corporations,” taught by Vijay Prashad at Trinity College. Over the course of the semester, I was amazed at the extent of Prashad’s knowledge, and the complexity and erudition of his style. He has since authored a number of classic books that have gained recognition throughout the world. The Darker (...) Nations , a peoples’ history of the Third World, sent defibrillating shockwaves through an academic world that had almost forgotten the epic scope and historic dignity of the non-aligned movement and post-colonial struggles. In his recent, award-winning work, Arab Spring, Libyan Winter , Prashad delves into his capacious knowledge of the Third World to excavate the discourses and narratives surrounding the upheavals of 2011. “Revolutions have no specific timetable,” states Prashad in the opening line of this exciting and provocative look at contemporary events. Instantly, an atmosphere of suspense emerges. The reader is alerted to the problem of history. Does the making of history then involve a suspension of historical time, or is it a continuous narrative structure into which events must eventually be integrated? Arab Spring, Libyan Winter shows that the answer to the question, “How is history made?” lies just as easily in the asking. The first half of the book works through the events that transpired to bring about the explosive popular uprisings of Arab Spring: Tunisia and Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain. But the events are not put together in a cohesive, chronological fashion. Using an uncommonly gripping style more akin to the folk-story motif of the djeli than to traditionally Orientalist academia, Prashad suspends a given situation, points out its components, and traces back the characters and genealogies that define each link before resuming a narrative. Every moment is an end to itself, and an origin of something different. Thus, the making of history becomes the suspension of its own progress, it’s catastrophic 'stability,' in a process of differentiation through inclusion. Empirically, one might suggest that history is a condition of time, and by extension, of the subject, but history is also an eminent producer of the Subject and her concept of time through memory and narrative. Hence, history is often overdetermined by a dominant narrative of the sovereign. The apparently chaotic composition of Prashad’s historicity is, then, an interstitial morphology of resistance. It illustrates that the time to act for the revolutionary lies in the gaps within the dominant historical realities. It points out the sorties of signifiers constituting nothing in the obliterated ruins of history. Through such illuminations, Arab Spring, Libyan Winter breaks through “the surface of history” to elaborate revolution’s snapping synapses, exploding interruptions and breaches, connecting flows. Messianic Politics It is tempting to think, 'History is either singular, or it is diffuse. It is either one coherent factual narrative, or it is comprised of the aletheia of the multitude.' Yet the reader finds Prashad examining the structure of history on multiple levels. For Prashad, world history is shaped by geographically defined political movements, such as communism or national liberation, with historical agents like the working class for the former and the nationalist militant for the latter. Religion, however, is another matter: “Religion has an unshakable eschatology which a post-utopian secular politics lacks.” Within the telos of religion, there appears on the horizon the image of Benjamin’s thoughts on messianic time—time as “a small fissure in the continuous catastrophe,” a break with history, may contain an ultimate redemption of the human beyond the political power struggle. Succoring the split between geo-political and utopian-religious (messianic) time in the context of Arab Spring, Prashad indicates that the base of “the deep desire and commitment to some form of democracy” is forged by the affinity between eschatological Islamist politics with the People. To think about the Subject of messianic time in the context of the lack of a “coherent timetable” for emancipatory politics, it is perhaps best to return to the modern tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose prefigurative blending of liberation theology and emancipatory politics became most important during his works of 1963, the climactic year of “The Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” the March on Washington, and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. In “The Letter,” King states the point bluntly: Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was “well timed” in view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant ‘Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” The timing of rebellious action must not be a part of history. It must change history. The kairos appears spontaneous and untimely in its convulsive, shocking presence, yet it is, deeper still, a path, a longue durée , forged through diligent and rigorous praxis. King put a finer point on the path of historic liberation in his declaration in his 1963 speech at Western Michigan University: “[T]ime is neutral.... Somewhere along the way we must see that time will never solve the problem alone but that we must help time. Somewhere we must see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels on inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God. Without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the insurgent and primitive forces of irrational emotionalism and social stagnation. We must always help time and realize that the time is always right to do right.” Time, then, exists in “the neutral,” while action must turn to the kairos , not only of taking time, but taking the right time. By turning our relation to time into kairos , we move time from its context within history to a duration between histories—the longue dure?e of Messianic time. The implementation of neutrality in this context suggests a broad space of time to extend through the valley of positive and negative. In Roland Barthes’s lectures from 1978, the neutral takes place in this minimal distance of non-conflict that exists outside of two extremes. It is, in the words of Maurice Blanchot, “the non-general, the non-generic, as well as the non-specific.” For Blanchot, the neutrality of time permeates life as death, impassive and beyond control; such is the neutrality of messianic time, which permeates the charge of history, changing the "I" into the "one." The neutrality of time therefore implicates history in a case against extremism, showing that the work of the radical is not to tend to any particular side, but to have the time to navigate through the terrible terrain of history by altering its course, its patterns and rhythms of movement, connection, sociality. Hence, one does not simply “make history,” one alters the course of history in accordance to “the right time.” The historical path toward emerging power is transmitted as a gesture to the outside of history, against history; a gesture as simple as reaching out. Thus a counterhistory, to use Foucault’s term, is brought forward as the guide of time past a point of no return, a Rubicon, the point where the normal path of history falls to the past. The subject, who must be the only true agent of history, facilitates time through helpfulness, and both the Subject and her history become decentered in relation to one another. Yet history negates the neutrality of time. As Barthes discloses, although the neutral is the “thought and practice of the nonconflictual, it is nevertheless bound to assertion, to conflict, in order to make itself heard.” Engaged with history, time is charged with a destiny, and becomes an opposition. As Prashad insists, “For Arab lands, the events of early 2011 were not the inauguration of a new history, but the continuation of an unfinished struggle that is a hundred years old.” The emergence of the Subject during Arab Spring did not conceive of a new history, but changed the path of history toward a different destiny. “Historical grievances combined with inflationary pressures now met with the subjective sense that victory might be at hand—this was not simply a protest to scream into the wind, but a protest to actually remove autocrats from their positions of authority. The facts of resistance had given way to the expectation of revolutionary change.” The negativity of this charge toward “revolutionary destiny” rendered control, as a positive force, seriously lacking. The lack of control lies in the problem that the Subject is not totally detemporalized or timeless, but untimely in her presence. The Subject is untimely, because her work is visionary, and it is only through such visionary work that the Rubicon can be crossed. Still, the crossing of this border is haunted by anxiety over an impending disaster that lays in wait. It is only through the form of what Benjamin calls divine violence, captivated not with the justice of the means, but the ends—the transformation of history—that a revelation of history’s traumatic foundations can be liberated, and patterns and rhythms of time developed throughout obscured traditions awakened. In this situation, the Subject appears to be outside of right, but setting the state to rights. Because her position is correct, in-so-far as the rebelling subject rebels due to a lack of recognition, her representation appears outside of the norm, which is mistaken as right. Therefore, such visionary work must be carried out through obscured traditions, underground, away from the surveillance of empire. Explaining his method from the start along the lines of Marx’s metaphor of the mole, Prashad insists, “It is the burrowing that is essential, not simply the emergence onto the surface of history.” Arab Spring, Libyan Winter is a book on uncharted networks of time, spread out over the 252 pages like an elaborate spider’s web of passages intertwining with and overwhelming the machinery of the state. Although untimely, Arab Spring was not a flash in the pan, or a Facebook or Twitter revolution. Prashad notes that the government’s suspension of these tools led to further radicalism by furthering communications through face-to-face encounters. In existential terms, Arab Spring might be thought of as a revolution of Being over techne , an uprising of the unchartable, infinite potential of the Other. The name of this Other is found in Chance. The faith of the revolution lies in the proper decentering of the subject, its giving to the Other of time, for only with respect to time does history actually appear on the horizon of the subject, rather than as an imposition. This time of historical agency appears as a moment when anything can happen—a revolutionary truth event where everything comes into question while being realized in its Otherness as a community of the people begins anew in the streets amidst discourse, friendship, reconfigurations of hegemony, and a becoming of a constituent power. Throwing a wrench into the gears of the “cobwebbed tradition” of Orientalism, the decentering of history in Arab Spring, Libyan Winter is a defining quality of its impassioned revolutionary cry. But perhaps the most paradigmatic points of the book emerge from the unexpected voices. To make the connection between the particular manifestations of revolutionary demands to the general historic terms of revolution, Prashad quotes an anonymous young Egyptian in Tahrir Square, who reminds us, “[T]he French Revolution took a very long time so the people could eventually get their rights.” Far from timelessness, the historicization of Arab Spring must exist precisely within the most uncanny appearance of time, as something that does not appear to come from the natural state of time as we know it, but in arriving has completely transformed the way that we understand time. Strange Monsters Revolution is never as simple as a revolt from below against a rusting structure of elites trying to remain in power. As with the French Revolution, Arab Spring consisted of complex familial ties, outside interests, and religious factions fighting alongside, often in awkward juxtaposition to, liberals, working class parties, farmers, and students. It is perhaps because of this historically difficult and incongruous composition that the Arabic word for revolution is thawra , referring to the image of the bull, or thawr , which has religious significance as a pagan deity for the Ancient Semitic tribes and Cartheginians. If Daniel Guérin was correct in saying, “Anarchism and Marxism drink from the same spring,” then it is quite a different oasis that drove the thirsty beast of revolution through what Prashad calls, “the Libyan labyrinth.” Recalling Bataille’s Acéphale, the intestinal labyrinth gains significance as the mode of metabolism and rumination in which, “(the Acephale) has lost himself, loses me with him, and in which I discover myself as him, in other words, as a monster.” Unraveling the discourse of the revolution, the flows of power and hegemony—from Qaddafi’s nationalist coup in 1969 to the wars with Chad from 1978 to 1987, the neoliberal reforms of the 1990s to, finally, the War on Terror—we find that the metabolic process of Libyan Winter ends in the production of oil. In a process of what Prashad calls “involution,” Qaddafi’s bellicose policies, along with his attempts to nationalize Islam together with oil, mutated the source of his power, turning his house against itself. Already a divided nation, with its two major cities on opposite geographic sides of the country, Libya became split between two opposed political powers—liberal reformists and staunch nationalists—as Qaddafi’s political disengagement manifested through what can only be described in psychoanalytic terms as a recursive passage a l’act (mysteriously calling Wikipedia “Kleenex,” declaring that opponents drank hallucinogens with their instant coffee, and so on). Prashad declares, “The mercurial style that Qaddafi adopted was not about his personality alone, but also a leader’s natural response to a system that relied upon power brokers whose own loyalty… did not have any ideological commitment to the system.” As in the case of other nations during Arab Spring, the true expression of revolt was an outward exposition of what had inwardly been happening in microcosmic societies throughout the realm—from indigenous tribes to political parties, for a century, the people, partly motivated by (and in resistance to) economic impositions of development, had been changing the traditional social compositions and participating in what Ruth Wilson Gilmore calls, “the relative autonomy of the movement from the leaders.” It was this empowerment of political reconfigurations taking place under the context of new democratic assemblages that shocked the elites and evoked such a powerful response. Unlike Qaddafi’s awkward policy choices and rants, real acts of power from the West were clear and decisive. Prashad sets the stages of war and diplomacy, far removed from the deserts, mountains, and cities that forged the backdrop of popular politics. Taking place under the now-classic architecture of the “four pillars” of US interests—oil, the War on Terror, Israel, and the circumvention of Iranian hegemony—we find elites rubbing elbows in “Heliopolist cocktail parties and hushed conferences in Kasr al-Ittihadiya” as well as the Concorde-Lafayette hotel in Paris, which provides the setting for a meeting of anti-Qaddafi figures consolidating their power. These scenes are buttressed with the careful portraiture of key historical actors. As Prashad brings the stage of history to life, we find the diplomats and liberals like Frank Wisner, whose career has brought him from Enron in the late 1990s to the Obama Administration, under the aegis of which he was meeting with Mubarak about military support during Arab Spring. We spy the provocateurs, for instance, gauche cavalier , Bernard Henri-Levy, who telephones Sarkozy from Benghazi about the need for more NATO air strikes. We follow the rebel military establishment as it suffers mysterious deaths and even more mysterious assents (like that of apparent CIA cohort, Khalifa Hifter). In each of these intriguing characters, we find different representations of the security state biopolitique: an oil-injected reification that drives Arab Spring from the resentment of rising food prices to the brink of implosion in Libyan Winter. Reminiscent of the scenes of Cold War soirées represented in old Bond films, the aristocratic fight for oil against democracy that was Libyan Winter presents a harsh truth that the new global crisis is simply the continuation of the old history: the global exploitation of capitalism waged against the imagination of the people. As Benjamin laments, “The labyrinth is the right path for the person who always arrives early enough at his destination. This destination is the marketplace.” Yet, “(t)he labyrinth is the habitat of… a humanity (a class) which does not want to know where its destiny is taking it.” Thus, the labyrinth leads, like the desert, only further into itself. As Blanchot explains, “The desert is even less certain than the world; it is never anything but the approach to the desert.” Only the visionary can take time out of the involution toward oblivion. It is here, in this approach to and escape from history, that we find ourselves within Benjamin’s Golgotha, Blanchot’s desert: A space of indeterminate uncertainty where we become familiar only with our own exile. Blanchot writes, “For the moderated and moderate man, the room, the desert, and the world are strictly determined places. For the man of the desert and the labyrinth, devoted to the error of a journey necessarily a little longer than his life, the same space will be truly infinite, even if he knows that it is not, all the more so since he knows it.” The desert, as allegory, provides an eschatology, a mortality in the destiny of Arab Spring. But any allegory of nature might lead to a labyrinthine eschatology (for example, in Bachelard, the forest presents "a limitless world"); the prescience of the untimely is always an uncanny acceptance of the infinite within the finite—the outside of what is understood. Transgenerational and occupied with the image of the future, the untimely makes otherness its home as it proceeds toward liberation. In the work of helping time navigate this dangerous passage of history, Prashad illustrates that the more violent break with history may have occurred in the peaceable struggles of Tahrir Square, and not in the military clashes of Qaddafi with his former Generals who defected to the CIA and NATO countries. It might be possible to suggest, then, that in the case of Tunisia and Egypt, the historical subject of the people was drawn together in a Dionysian dance of different rhythms in the marvelous realm of the ancients, while we fear that the case of Libya suggests an Apollonian future where time, itself, may lay dying under the machinic hand of history. The properly Nietzschean inversion would follow: time is dead, for history has killed it. Yet, if time is dead, struck down in Golgotha, exposed in the desert, mauled by the thawra , it is only in the present sense that it is rendered impossible outside of the context into which the untimely has thrown us. Thus, if history becomes an art of revolution, life as being-towards-death (death as the provocation of the neutrality of time) becomes what Benjamin calls “the allegory of resurrection” through the glorious ruins of history. Prashad ends his work with a rousing finale: “The time of the impossible has presented itself. In Egypt, where the appetite for the possibilities of the future are greatest, the people continue to assert themselves into Tahrir Square and other places, pushing to reinvigorate a Revolution that must not die… For them the slogan is simple: Down with the Present. Long live the Future. May it be so.&rdquo. (shrink)
continent. 1.2 (2011): 136-140. In early 2011, Cow Heavy Books published The Official Catalog of the Library of Potential Literature , a compendium of catalog 'blurbs' for non-existent desired or ideal texts. Along with Erinrose Mager, I edited the project, in a process that was more like curation as it mainly entailed asking a range of contemporary writers, theorists, and text-makers to send us an entry. What resulted was a creative/critical hybrid anthology, a small book in which each page opens (...) to a new iteration of textual desire. These texts explore the material possibilities of the book. Somewhat parallel to the call of N. Katherine Hayles who, in her book Writing Machines , urges literary theorists to take up the practice of Medium Specific Analysis (to account for the way the medium in which it is presented conditions or at least bears on a literary text). I see in the imagined works of The Official Catalog a call for the innovative writers of today to become Medium-Responsive. This would mean thinking through the specific (materially constrained) possibilities offered by the media in which texts are presented, and in thinking of the literary text as a kind of art in the greater context of other arts and the book as a medium situated within the context of many other media. In doing so, the contemporary writer refutes the chorus of critics who lament the death of the book by consistently reinvigorating literary innovation. The following are selections from The Official Catalog of the Library of Potential Literature that show possible paths for (thinking about) new writing that engages with its medium. —Ben Segal, Editor THE CUBE Even the most radical non-linear texts have tended to exploit or subvert only the sequential possibilities of print—from the continuous loop of Joyce's Finnegans Wake to the shuffled cards of Marc Saporta's Composition No. 1 —but The Cube takes such multiplicities to an entirely new level. Set in a grid, the book's words can be read conventionally, across the page, as well as down each column—with either route making complete grammatical sense. But they can also be read as stacked strata and mined like lexical core samples through the layered pages of the book. Each path tells the same story from a different perspective (the narrative, naturally, hinges on the potential outcomes of a throw of cubed dice). By opening up the z-axis to reading in this way, The Cube recognizes the book as a three-dimensional sculptural space. Taking its lead from Armand Schwerner's (If Personal) and Raymond Queneau's Cent mille milliards de poèmes , The Cube reads like a experiment by Christian Bök precision printed by Emily McVarish. Craig Dworkin is the editor, most recently, of The Consequence of Innovation: 21st Century Poetics (Roof Books, 2008), The Sound of Poetry/The Poetry of Sound , with Marjorie Perloff (U. Chicago Press, 2009), and Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing , with Kenneth Goldsmith (Northwestern UP, 2010). He teaches at the University of Utah. HE GOES In He Goes , we read notes, letters and e-mails from a scholar father to his novelist daughter. We read of the father's musings on Beckett, on Pinter, on Anne Frank; his description of a woman hanging laundry from a line. We read about his journey toward dying, followed by a brief, third person account of his death, and his obituary. Then a long series of blank pages that demand to be read in real time, non-sentence by non-sentence, blank page by blank page. Finally—and it is here that this peculiar little book begins to soar—the dead father writes to his as-of-yet-still-living daughter. He does not write from death. He does not write from life. The words unprint, unstamp, unkindle. Still, they require no translation. The father "writes" (for lack of a better word) about the serendipitous, the commonplace; he recommends another book. He jokes. He asks his daughter how her stomach is. He says forget about presence in absence, darling; screw words as memorial and the guys in garbage cans and loss as redemption and I can't go on I must go on. He goes, "Love, Fodder." He goes, "incidentally." He goes, "I thought you might like to know." Elizabeth Graver is the author of a story collection, Have You Seen Me? , and three novels: Unravelling ; The Honey Thief ; and Awake . Her work has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories , Best American Essays , and Prize Stories: the O. Henry Awards . She teaches at Boston College. THE PAPER ARCHIVIST A stunning package and a triumph of imagination, The Paper Archivist at times looks to be less a book than an abstract expressionist painting. Softly bound, its contents unfold to a single sheet of uneven thickness and texture—a canvas splattered with colored lines, stickers, broken sentences, and nonsense pictographs. But by following the directions to fold, dip, smell, rub, scratch, and tear the sheet according to the contingencies of the weather and using only the objects at hand, the reader slowly brings the forces hidden in the noise into a glorious sculptural convergence, processing a different story and shape each time. This is the rare book that continues to stir, whirl, and pop on every new reading. Sean Higgins blogs at BOMBlog where he is responsible for the column Volumes and Territories, as well as Ghost Island , a fledgling collaborative intellectual collective. THE SLOW BOOK The Slow Book , written by an anonymous author at the dawn of literacy, on a minor planet (otherwise notable only as the source of that exceptionally hardy, not very tasty grain called “shef” sowed on hostile planets as an early step to colonization), and encoded into a series of punctures on a strip of copper coiled inside a clever device, something between a player piano and an old-fashioned film projector, is being released into print, as was the author’s intention, at a rate of one word per century (local time). Each word is, across the Forty Galaxies, agreed to be uncannily apt for the century in which it appears—even “of,” in a century during which the highest value was attached to fidelity, whether to ideals, worlds, or romantic love; even “the,” which governed two centuries, one extraordinarily materialistic, during which advances in propulsion and navigation accelerated the exchange of exceptional objects between the remotest planets of the Forty, and one in which the central concern, both of philosophers and the common man, was whether, in an age of rapidly proliferating hypothetical worlds, anyone or anything concretely existed at all. Even those words published long before interstellar contact can be seen in retrospect to have transgalactic pertinence. As a result, attempts to abstract the machine from its publishers, Hobson & Hui, in order to “predict the future” for insight or gain by “fast- forwarding” the copper strip have been many and ingenious. While, in centuries of skepticism (“maybe”), or of unrest (“go”) the book has been nearly forgotten, in others it seems to haunt every thought, every deed, despite the fact that the subject of The Slow Book is still unclear. So far only a few sentences exist in print; everyone knows them, can quote them, offer the standard exegeses and assorted heresies; yet certainties are the stuff of adolescence; mature readers are forced to acknowledge that these sentences are probably only a preamble to the main argument. They contain no proper nouns, nor can we identify any definite theme. There is even disagreement about their tone, whether coolly ironic, as some insist, or ardent. The appearance of an unusual grammatical case, sometimes called the future pluperfect continuous, used to describe events that at some future point will have always been true (but are not yet)—hitherto known to appear only in the synthetic dogmas of the Thanatographical Society, and in certain highly circumscribed religious contexts—has suggested to some scholars that the Slow Book was originally intended for ritual use, but the proximity of the usage to a term designating a small hand plow that, as Pott and Mielcke have convincingly shown, would have borne a distinctly obscene double meaning in its culture of origin in the author’s time, argues otherwise. It is likewise unclear whether the situation that seems to be—with teasing incompleteness—sketched out in these few lines is intended as an illustration of general principles, a case study, a dramatic scene, or an extended metaphor. In short, we have no idea what The Slow Book is about. In our own time, we believe that it is almost certainly a work of fiction, but that may be because we live in the century of “if”. In each age, perhaps, we see the book we most need to read. Some have dared to suggest that the metal strip is blank until, with millennial fanfare, it advances into its new position, that no ur-text exists, that the book itself is brought into being—written—by our need. But that is exactly the sort of thing we would believe, in 7645. Shelley Jackson is the author of the story collection The Melancholy of Anatomy , the novel Half Life , and hypertexts including Patchwork Girl . The recipient of a Howard Foundation grant, a Pushcart Prize, and the 2006 James Tiptree Jr Award, she has also written and illustrated several children's books, including The Old Woman and the Wave ; Sophia, the Alchemist's Dog ; and Mimi's Dada Catifesto . Her stories and essays have appeared in Conjunctions , McSweeney's , The Paris Review , and Cabinet Magazine . In 2004 she launched her project SKIN , a story published in tattoos on 2095 volunteers. THE BOOK OF SOUNDS The Book of Sounds is just that: a book of sounds made when letters are construed in new ways to bring forth out of the alphabet new forms of speech. A book meant to be read out loud, The Book of Sounds is not unlike Laurie Anderson's O Superman or Brian Eno's Music for Airports in its attempt to make music out of the most primary and simplest of methods. It breaks language down to its barest bones and makes out of the page a drum that has never before been beaten upon. Peter Markus is the author of a novel, Bob, or Man on Boat (Dzanc Books) as well as two books of short fiction, Good, Brother and The Singing Fish , both of which were published by Calamari Press. A new collection of stories, We Make Mud , is now available from Dzanc Books. PARADISE OF THE BLIND by Celan Solen Although the reclusive Celan Solen published his first and only book in 1963—paying out-of-pocket for a limited edition of the slim collection No One May Have the Same Knowledge Again —he remained in American obscurity for almost three decades. In 1992 a micro-press in Istanbul brought out No One in Turkish. A German translation followed in 1995. Soon it became clear in literary circles Solen was a world-class (if highly unclassifiable) artist—lyrical, dense, enigmatic—who could undo the conventional short story in 397 words by inventing impossible worlds housed in impossible whirls (in “Small Sadnesses,” a single chartreuse tree frog in Borneo unknowingly holds time together by its very presence in the universe, while each letter of its tale refers, not to itself, but to the one preceding it in the alphabet). By his disappearance last year, Solen was considered master by a generation of writers and critics (except, alas, for those gentlemen in the Swedish Academy). Imagine, then, that generation’s delight at the discovery, locked away in the author’s safe-deposit box, of his second and final composition. Had Lynch’s Lost Highway been book instead of film, and had it been penned by Beckett at his least certain, revised by Barthelme at his most formally deranged, and typeset by Derrida at his most semiotically catastrophic, the result might have been something like Paradise of the Blind : interlacing narratives of a man composed of borrowed organs (whose most cheerless and difficult to locate, god, could only have been invented by an empty heart), a nonexistent medieval painting blamed for the ruin of future hope, and the spread of a philosophy that holds earth a mistake constantly recurring in the dream of a fish lying on the floor of the Atlantic (if the fish wakes, our world winks off)—all contained in a text packed with typed-over passages, torn postcards, poems that can be deciphered only when held up to a mirror, pages ornamented with trompe-l'œil paperclips and coffee stains and buzzing houseflies, some busy with illegible runes that dissolve when exposed to light, three that smell like roses or lemons (depending on whether a man or woman is reading), two that stain with the bloody fingerprints of the those who handle them, one that ignites when brushed with breath, thirteen sewn from baby skin, one that moans when touched, and one that screams—yet all without mass, unimaginable, and invisible. Lance Olsen is author of more than 20 books of and about innovative fiction, including, most recently, the novels Calendar of Regrets (2010) and Head in Flames (2009). He teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah. SUPERSTRUCTURE! by Barbara D'Albi As soon as I opened the third drawer of Barbara D'Albi's wooden novel, everything became hopeless. Now in Ithaca, there was no going back. And it wasn't just the intricate series of shelves, hinged doors and locked drawers which D'Albi layered into the book, no, lo, I was constructed anew by the story. Who else but D'Albi to imagine a God who becomes a carpenter and gets killed?! And makes it good! You want stories? D'Albi is a skyscraper, built with planes and levers. Momentarily I wondered where I could shelve this book, and then I thought: no matter; I couldn't put it down. Adam Robinson lives in Baltimore, where he runs Publishing Genius. He is the author of Adam Robison and Other Poems and Say, Poem. (shrink)
continent. 2.1 (2012): 44–55. Philosophers are sperm, poetry erupts sperm and dribbles, philosopher recodes term, to terminate, —A. Staley Groves 1 There is, in the relation of human languages to that of things, something that can be approximately described as “overnaming”—the deepest linguistic reason for all melancholy and (from the point of view of the thing) for all deliberate muteness. Overnaming as the linguistic being of melancholy points to another curious relation of language: the overprecision that obtains in the tragic (...) relationship between the languages of human speakers. —Walter Benjamin 2 Prologue. Any text with an inflection of the word “thesis” in its title risks closing the borders of what is posited in it. However, perhaps it would be possible to think this act of defining in a way that is less, so to say, definitive. I would like to recall the opening line of Aristotle’s De Interpretatione , a constellation of theses, if anything. “First it needs to be posited [ thesthai ] what a noun and what a verb [is].” 3 Upon closer inspection, the definitions of the noun ( onoma ) and verb ( rh?ma ) do not at all appeal to any notion of strictly bordering-off, but are merely captured in a movement toward definition, establishing their own horizons. 4 It is therefore not a coincidence that Aristotle deploys the aorist medio-passive infinitive thesthai to describe this process. It is an infinite, self-instigating movement without proper horizon or telos . 5 It is this sense of thesis in relation to the basic components of language that I will attempt—perhaps in what may prove to be a gesture of what Walter Benjamin called “overnaming” 6 —to posit as cumposition , the composition of philosophical discourse that is conscious of the abyss of language in which it moves. 7 1. In her essay “When Philosophy Meant the Love of Wisdom,” Avital Ronell evokes the following question: What if philosophy’s love for wisdom has gone bad? The perversity of philosophy’s love not only appears in its recursiveness as the love of love for wisdom, first presented in Plato’s Symposium , but also “in all its brutality, especially when it’s set against literature and poetry.” 8 Philosophy’s love is a brutal one, perverse. Indeed, Immanuel Kant famously described the scene of metaphysics as a ‘battleground of … endless controversies,” 9 and “destined for exercising its forces in mock combat, and upon which no combatant has ever been able to gain even the least ground for himself by fighting.” 10 Because of the many modalities of love from the onset of philosophy onwards, Ronell signals the difficulty of addressing in any universal way the question of love in philosophy, unless she would consider it “in its essentially sado-masochistic dimension.” 11 As Heidegger already remarked parenthetically in his Introduction to Metaphysics , polemos as war and confrontation is the same as the logos . 12 Philosophy has always been a polemical discourse. 2. At the same moment, however untimely this moment may be, love has been conspicuously absent from Heidegger’s work. Nevertheless, Giorgio Agamben has been able to tease out Dasein’s love as a “passion of facticity.” 13 Agamben develops from out of Heidegger’s war-struck logos the following definition of love, which will allows to proceed to a reading of the origin of philosophy itself as the love of wisdom, a relation that in itself may hide “a kind of original fetishism.” 14 What man introduces into the world, his “proper,” is not simply the light and opening of knowledge but above all the opening to concealment and opacity. Al?theia , truth, is the safeguard of l?th? , nontruth; […] Love is the passion of facticity in which man bears this nonbelonging and darkness, appropriating ( adsuefacit [ ereignet ]) them while safeguarding them as such. Love is thus not, as the dialectic of desire suggests, the affirmation of the self in the negation of the loved object; it is, instead, the passion and exposition of facticity itself and of the irreducible impropriety of being. In love, the lover and the beloved come to light in their concealment, in an eternal facticity beyond Being . 15 Truth as al?theia , “unhiddenness” or “unconcealment,” which has in recent times again gained a special prominence in certain regions of philosophical discourse, is thus the ultimate expression of Dasein’s love, even if, for the philosopher, the beloved is love itself. 3. In Plato’s Symposium , Socrates famously introduces the philosopher as a figure in love with wisdom. But also Love himself is a philosopher, a lover of wisdom; he is an interpreter ( herm?neuon ), 16 a hermeneutic, a messenger between the gods and men. He organises all intercourse and dialectic interaction between them. 17 Plato’s definition starts with Socrates invoking Diotima of Mantineia, who had instructed him in eroticism. 18 Diotima inseminated Socrates with the seeds of philosophy, taught him how to love. We can imagine young Socrates paying his first visit to her, seeking affection and pleasure in her maternal body. “What then,” we hear Socrates asking, “may love be?” And here we find Diotima answering his call: “the love of the good is always to its own [ aut?i einai aei ].” Socrates answers: “that is the very truth [ al?thestata ],” 19 or, as Heidegger would translate it, “the most unhidden.” 20 So already in this primal scene of philosophy’s love we find the intimate relation between love and unconcealment. 4. If Love is a philosopher who practices the love of the good as the highest truth, an abyss opens: what is the truth of philosophy itself? Necessarily, this must be a truth outside the logic of (un)concealment, outside the logic of the Ereignis or the event, if it doesn’t want to fall into an infinite regress. Some have argued that there is no such thing as philosophical truth, yet this truth has appeared, albeit marginally, in another discussion of love, as the etumos logos , true discourse. 21 This was already pointed at by Michel Foucault, 22 and later commented upon by Christopher Fynsk: “the exigencies to which Foucault answered in seeking his 'truth,' [ etumos ] […] are linked to an exigency met in any consequent meditation on the essence of language.” 23 Any consequent meditation on the essence of language, perhaps a meditation as it takes place within philosophy on its own language, will have to arrive at a certain truth, even when as unstable, incoherent, and assaulting the borders of finitude as etymology may be. Etymology is the truth of philosophical discourse. 5. Our meditation on the relations between philosophy, love and truth means in no way to move toward a philosophy which would take “Desire” as its transcendental signified, distributing different desires for truth through different discourse levels, nor discard it as an extra-philosophical affect. A position such as would be assumed by any philosophy of desire is ferociously attacked by Jean-François Lyotard in his book Libidinal Economy , but in doing so he hits upon a—for him despicable—condition of the philosopher, the one who is “nothing but thought,” the one with whom we tend to sympathise; the condition of the “as if.” This is philosophy’s meta-ontological mask. Philosophy’s love is the love of the as if: “[A]nd so, to be, I have only to place myself as well in the circumference, turn with the intensities, act as if I loved, suffered, laughed, ran, fucked, slept, shat, and pissed, I, thought.” 24 Even though Lyotard wishes that “this supreme effort of thought die,” 25 we, in our turn and not so afraid to die, may now also perhaps define etumos as truth “as if” al?theia ; the former makes an appeal to the latter’s affect, but is not “the real thing”—or wherever the quotation marks need to take hold to stabilise our discourse. 6. Even a philosophical discourse as self-asserting and sanitised from any affective overtones as Alain Badiou’s does not escape this condition. In his work, the philosopher is a figure of circulation, someone who, at the end of the day, can only act “as if.” This typology of the philosopher is first hinted at in Being and Event , when Badiou claims that, “philosophy is not centred on ontology—which exists as a separate and exact discipline—rather it circulates between this ontology […], the modern theories of the subject and its own history.” 26 Philosophy is thus in the first place separated from ontology and therefore merely circulates along it. Beside ontology, which in Badiou’s work appears as a fully atonic axiomatization of set theory, 27 philosophy circulates through the theories of the subject, which, under the procedure of poetry, are subtractive of ontology, thus allowing for the appearance of a truth as an event ( Ereignis as the unconcealment of concealment) and subjective fidelity, and the history of philosophy itself: its discourses and the story of its limitless love of wisdom. For Badiou, the right of philosophy is the right to cite its conditions, the right to cite their truths. The text of philosophy is the text of citation. 28 The philosophical act thus is “an act of second thought.” 29 7. If, as Plato suggested, the love for the good is the highest truth, the bursting forth of this truth as event happens outside philosophy. Either as the ultimate idea that is sought or as uncounted inconsistency exploding into maximum existence, registered on philosophy’s seismographs, this truth as event remains tightly bound to a philosophical desire for truth. Mehdi Belhaj Kacem even claims that “the event […] is the ontological structure of Desire,” 30 and “Desire wants the event.” 31 Superlatively (perhaps: most truthfully), “The event has the structure of rape.” 32 Although we should place a number of question marks in the margins of Kacem’s philosophical project and his rapid conflation of multiple textual registers, he does point out a certain sedation of philosophy’s love of wisdom in Badiou’s work. However, that philosophy would be a place to house multiple truths, circulating among them, again opens us to the ‘perversity’ of this love that Ronell pointed out. Philosophy cruises truths. 8. How does philosophy’s “second thought” arrive, if ever? Philosophy’s lovely circulation through what is already presented by mathematics, theories of the subject and its own history is first conditioned by a sustained belief in the possibility of formalisation. But what if this formalisation itself is bound to fail? What if we deny formalisation, or at least point to the discomfort we experience of such forcing to formal appearance such as painstakingly described in Witold Gombrowicz’ literary oeuvre. Jacques Derrida already pointed out in reference to Husserl’s final appeal to geometry, that “the institution of geometry could only be a philosophical act.” 33 Similarly, we could criticise that the act of formalisation on which Badiou’s citational appropriation of mathematics, and therefore the circulation of philosophy, rests: “As soon as we utilize the concept of form—even if to criticize an other concept of form—we inevitably have recourse to the self-evidence of a kernel of meaning. And the medium of this self-evidence can be nothing than the language of metaphysics.” 34 At the end of the same essay Derrida sketches out the consequences this has for philosophy, which, however, strangely resonate with what Badiou proposes as philosophy’s circulation. One might think […] that formality—or formalization—is limited by the sense of Being which, in fact, throughout its entire history, has never been separated from its determination as presence, beneath the excellent surveillance of the is : and that henceforth the thinking of form has the power to extend itself the thinking of Being. But that the two limits thus denounced are the same may be what Husserl’s enterprise illustrates[.…] Thus, one probably does not have to choose between two lines of thought. Rather, one has to meditate upon the circularity which makes them pass into on another indefinitely. And also, by rigorously repeating this circle in its proper historical possibility, perhaps to let some elliptical displacement be produced in the difference of repetition: a deficient displacement, doubtless, but deficient in a way that is not yet—or no longer—absence, negativity , non-Being, lack, silence. 35 In many ways this resounds with what I have stated above. Although Badiou radically separates the “thinking of form” and the “thinking of Being” to respectively the meta-ontological/philosophical domain and the ontological/mathematical domain, the remainder within philosophy itself appears as this “ circle in its proper historical possibility.” And indeed we may have traced a “deficient displacement” which is not yet or no longer an “absence” as would be the truth subtractive to ontology: the “as if”–truth 36 of the etumos as truth in philosophy itself, the truth of philosophy as love of wisdom. 9. We may want to ask whether the two lines of thought theorised by Derrida and again separated by Badiou both exhibit this circularity. If that would be the case, this would allow us to consider their intertwinement more in depth. What Derrida calls the “thinking of Being” and Badiou refers to as “ontology” is thoroughly unbound by what is commonly referred to in an economic discourse as capitalism. The sudden insertion of a materialist trope may seem infelicitous here, however, capitalism has, as Badiou put it succinctly, also a “properly ontological virtue.” 37 The logic of capitalism, even though it operates in the “most complete barbarity,” 38 has an ontological virtue of its own, namely the destruction of the One as viable metaphysical point of departure. The “barbarity” of capitalism’s destructive character operates by “brute force,” but also sometimes by, as Walter Benjamin put it, “the most refined” 39 one. In any case, it unbinds all. As Lyotard stated in one of his seemingly unending sentences: Capital is not the denaturation of relations between man and man, nor between man and woman, is the wavering of the (imaginary?) primacy of genitality, of reproduction and sexual difference, it is the displacement of what was in place, it is the unbinding of the most inane pulsions, since money is the sole justification or bond, and money being able to justify anything, it deresponsibilizes and raves absolutely, it is the sophistics of the passions and at the same time, their energetic prosthetics; […] it has certain anti-unitary and anti-totalizing traits [...]40 Thus capital and capitalism are figures of unbinding and circulation. We find ourselves here in the metaphorical domain of philosophy that both in Lyotard and Badiou has its recourse to an economic discourse. Derrida has addressed this tendency at length in his essay “White Mythology,”41 and in a different register I will attempt to address it below, acknowledging that indeed philosophical language may be a “fund of 'forced metaphors.'”42 10. How is it that truth emerges from the ontological wasteland of capitalism, to be captured by philosophy’s love of wisdom? What is this love responding to and how is it that philosophy refuses to turn the other cheek to reality? Perhaps a beginning of an answer to this question may lie in the way in which Marx parenthetically defined capitalism: “the universal relation of utility and use” as “universal prostitution.” 43 which includes everyone: Prostitution is only a particular expression of the general prostitution of the worker, and because prostitution is a relationship which includes both the person prostituted and the person prostituting—whose baseness is even greater—thus the capitalist, too, etc. is included within this category. 44 It may prove fruitful to read general prostitution here in the logic of unbinding and circulation, following Benjamin, who speaks of an “erotology of the damned.” 45 Benjamin’s work on the German translation of Charles Baudelaire must definitely have influenced his work on the destructive character of capitalism. The tropes of prostitution and destruction already appear in his note on the poem “Destruction” from Les fleurs du mal . “The bloody apparatus of destruction,” Benjamin asks himself, where is this phrase in Baudelaire? 46 In Baudelaire’s poem, the demon of destruction takes on the “most seductive form” of women, and seduces the visitor to the “planes of Boredom,” where he is introduced to the “filthy clothes' and “open wounds” and the “bloody apparatus of Destruction.” Is it from these “planes of Boredom, profound and barren” 47 that philosophy gleans its truths. 11. If philosophy thinks ontology as prostitutional, whom does it cite? Although to some authors, it would suffice to use the indicative quality of language as such to open such an ontology, 48 we should perhaps focus here on the atonic desert where the prostitutional machinery is blithely at work as captured in the work of Pierre Guyotat. He opens up to such an interpretation when he states that his novel Tomb for Fifty Thousand Soldiers is, “in spite of everything, metaphysical; a metaphysics of history, certainly not religious; it is also a somewhat ontological.” 49 Several philosophers that I have addressed above refer to his work; for example Badiou, who refers to the “neo-classicism” of Guyotat as a resurrection of the “cosmological aim” of grand literature hearkening back to Lucretius. 50 Guyotat’s “prostitutional universe,” 51 which reduces “all vital norms to the immediate commercial potentials of the body.” 52 On the other side of the philosophical spectrum, Lyotard digs deeper, describing the actual jouissance of the worker submitted to the capitalist machinery, “the machine of the machine, fucker fucked by it.” 53 And he continues: “And let’s finally acknowledge this jouissance , which is similar […] in every way to that of prostitution, the jouissance of anonimity, the jouissance of the repetition of the same in work, […]. Jouissance is unbearable .” 54 This is what Guyotat so “admirably” expresses in his work, and is also professed by himself. The same logic as Lyotard’s clearly appears upon reading a few sentences from his seminal essay Langage du corps (Language of the body). But on reflection, what spectacle is more brutally exciting than that of a child wanking with his left hand, in this system, and writing with his right. In the resultant disarray. There must be seen one of the terms of this contradictory pulsional will, being at the same time seen and voyeur (“seeing”), pimp and whore, buyer and bought, fucker and fucked. 55 Lyotard described this—within a philosophical discourse that is—as a “superbly capitalist dispositif ,” 56 a mode of writing-masturbating in which production and consumption coincide, truly a “bloody apparatus of destruction.” This logic equally distorts the clear distance that is regularly maintained by writers—and nearly always by philosophers—toward their own work. To me, the most concise formulation of this contracted distance can be located in the neologism that Guyotat coins in his novel Prostitution: “ nhommer ,” ringing with both homme (man) and nommer (to name). For example in the otherwise “untranslatable” sentence: ma e s’renâcl’ chuya se l’mâl’ le nhomme’, lui prend la fess’ o lui frott’ la mostach. 57 Nhommer is therefore an en-hommer , an insemination of a man, life-giving and naming, as well as a n’hommer , its own negation and undoing. This is echoed by Benjamin when he says that in the Bible, “the 'Let there be' and in the words 'He named' a beginning and end of the act, the deep and clear relation of the creative act to language appears each time.” 58 Nhommer is a creative act philosophy cannot accomplish but only approach. The writer always n/mam/nes , the philosopher may only cite, at the risk of introducing prostitutional logic, the shortcuts between naming and creating, creating and exploiting the fabric of philosophy. 12. Prostitutional ontology, materially captured by the bloody, short-circuiting apparatuses of capitalism, can only be cited by philosophy, acted out, at the risk of unbinding the whole of philosophical discourse itself. The events and miracles on the atonic planes of boredom may not affect philosophy itself. This could be one of the reasons that sex and sexual difference have largely remained outside of the realm philosophy. Derrida has already done a considerable amount of work on this curious lack, especially in two essays entitled “ Geschlecht ” on Heidegger’s work and Dasein’s sexuality. In “ Geschlecht 1: Sexual Difference, Ontological Difference,” Derrida investigates the role of sexuality in Heidegger’s definition of Dasein, and his general silence on the topics of sex and gender. “It is as if […] sexual difference did not rise to the height [ hauteur ] of ontological difference. […] But insofar as it is open to the question of Being, insofar as it has a relation to Being, in that very reference, Dasein would not be sexiferous [ sexifère ].” 59 The material that I adduced above might give us a frame in which to interpret this repression of Dasein’s sexuality in Heidegger. In philosophy, sexual difference is cited as ontological difference. Prostitution is cited as the unbinding of Being. However, the unbinding or separating force, hailed as the virtue of capitalism and eagerly imported into philosophical discourse, perhaps even brought to the “height of ontological difference,” is also always already at work in philosophy itself, be it as a separation between ontological and theological domains in Aristotle or the separation between a truth procedure and the citational dispositif of philosophy in Badiou. The truth, as Anne Dufourmentelle put it in her book on sex and philosophy, extracted from the “torture chamber” 60 of philosophy is that this separation is always already sexualized. If etymology is not the key to Bluebeard’s seventh door, it at least opens up a little skylight in the chamber of horrors. In Latin, sexus means separation. The Church Fathers to whom we owe the development of the Latin language thus anticipated by several centuries Lacan’s too famous remark: “There is no sexual relation.” 61 The truth of Lacan’s statement that “there is no sexual relation,” in the precise sense that the term “sex” derives from “separation” and vice versa is only etymologically validated within philosophy. The power of its truth only appears etymologically as philosophical truth. 13. Literature does not need to prove this point. It immediately participates in the circulatory logic of sexuation, without the need to distance itself from it through citational checkpoints and border patrols. It allows language to derange freely, as literature often reminds us of. Dufourmentelle clarifies to us once again, illustrating Guyotat’s point that I cited above. The act of writing is performative: writing and thinking are acts. What philosophy cannot tolerate is the nonresponse to which the enigma of sex refers it. No philosopher can bear up the boudoir. What philosophy does not succeed in conceptualizing is the traversal of a disaster. […] It may be that traversing the impossibility of the relation to sex is what founds philosophy. The black sun of thought about sex. Sex is what leads to traversal, to exile; it orients and disorients. From this exile, literature is born. Literature is the other, hidden guest at this blind date in the boudoir. 62 In her introduction to Dufourmentelle’s book, Ronell even goes as far as suggesting that certain regions of philosophy may be coinciding with the realm of “obliterature,” a space of thought’s disavowal of sex. 63 Indeed, sex induces in philosophy an anti-Platonic “black sun of thought,” that is, following Julia Kristeva, melancholy, when the words don’t come: “Recall the speech of the depressed: repetitive and monotonous. Within the impossibility to link up, the phrase interrupts itself, depletes, halts.” 64 To refer ourselves to Aristotle’s first thoughts on properly philosophical language with which we opened this text, for Aristotle the mind suddenly “halts” the moment it hears a noun or verb that is not well inflected, not properly disseminated into language. 65 Already the minimum of grammatical failure is enough for the philosopher to fall into a stupor. The unworking of grammar is the melancholic condition of philosophy. 14. We need to find the language in which philosophy writes, a writing that organises the “ elliptical displacement” of philosophy blindly circulating through its conditions, perhaps even a “language of decentering, or a dispositif of acephalic writing.” 66 But as Ronell has brilliantly argued in her reading of Freud’s case of the Rat Man, “The Sujet suppositaire ,” the circulation of philosophy should always be read through a lexicon of intervention and insemination which she calls an “Oedipedagogy,” 67 a mode of obsessional neurotic thinking, that is, a mode of cir- cul -ation: around the arse, around the riddles of the sphincter. 68 As a mode of what Ronell calls with Freud the “obsessional neurotic style,” a style of punning, the cir- cul -ation of philosophy rests on paronomasia, that is, the domain of paronomy and etymology. This is however not without scandal. In some circles of truth’s closure, pun has remained the name of an indictment, an accusatory identification of that which takes too much pleasure, disarranging academic languages, promoting a rhetoric of looseness within the parameters of a recreational linguistics, valuelessly succumbing to the most indefensible copulations of meaning, related […] to the temporal succession of shame over pleasure, incriminating the grammar of some strict order of things, and so forth. 69 That punning and its avatars of paronomasia and etymology are already present in one of the most philosophical grammars of a “strict order of things” provides us with a clue that in composition of philosophical language itself, something may be “indefensibly copulating.” 15. In the opening paragraph of Aristotle’s Categories , otherwise a work of remarkable philosophical rigour and properly purged language, we may track down the “elliptical displacement” or “acephalic writing” of philosophy. This is not to be found in the first two semantic relations described by Aristotle—homonymy and synonymy, or the grand metaphysical concepts equivocity and univocity—but in the third one, largely neglected in the corpus of occidental philosophical discourse, or so it seems. This relation, or perhaps more felicitous, movement in language, is called paronymy , and is defined as follows: “Paronymous are called those which, differing from something through case, have an appellation according to the name [of those], like 'grammarian' [ grammatikos ] from 'grammar' [ grammatik?s ] and 'courageous-man' [ andreios ] from 'courageous' [ andreias ].” 70 Paronymy, which is regulated through case ( pt?sis ), the way in which words fall into a sentence, is addressed to the form of the word, the manner of its signification, and not its meaning. 71 Case is also the driving force behind ontological differentiation, regulating the formal aspects of Being falling into beings. What is regulated by case in philosophy is regulated by the supposedly unrestrained punning and paronomasia in the process of sexual differentiation. Paronymy and case offer philosophy a window to peek into modes of discourse it does not like to associate itself with. But at the same time, philosophy is already contaminated by paronymy, which introduces the problematic of formalisation itself, the form of the name and of language at the heart of many metaphysical issues. The glorious theories of accident and substance, subject and object, Being and beings, and so on, cannot be inserted in the philosophical discourse without the lubricant of paronymy. 16. Paronymy, moving from form to form, is not without its methodology. Aristotle’s logic of the paradigm closely mimics the movement of case, neither from particular to universal, nor from universal to particular, but from particular to particular. 72 We are confronted here with what Agamben calls a “paradoxical type of movement,” 73 a movement that moves along itself and away from the doxa , the rule, and which should only be deployed when other means of deductive of syllogistic reasoning are no longer available. The paradigm signifies an insufficiency of properly philosophical thought. It should therefore not surprise us that the paradigm finds its modern inflection in what Lacan calls the “signifying chain,” where “no signification can be sustained except by reference to another signification.” 74 Metaphor is here the name for “the effect of the substitution of one signifier for another in the chain, nothing natural predestining the signifier for this function of phoros apart from the fact that two signifiers are involved, which can, as such, be reduced to a phonemic opposition,” 75 whereas at same time it is the “sole serious reality for man.” 76 It is here that Lacan explicitly chooses the reality of the etumos , the material cause of psychoanalysis, over the revelation al?theia . We might therefore interpret psychoanalysis as the only inflection of philosophy that insists on etumos as the sole source of truth. 17. If it the case, again according to our teacher Aristotle, that all meaningful philosophical discourse is essentially composed in an organised manner, we may insert in the composition of that word itself, in its philosophical circulation, a foreign element. Perhaps this also means that I insert myself in a lineage of paranoia and obsessional neurosis, but then again, as Guy Hocquenghem remarked, homosexuality itself is commonly associated with paranoid persecution mania, 77 “the apparition of the word curiously drives a cascade of lapses, or at least of the interpretation of common words as lapses. There is no innocent or objective position toward homosexuality, there are no situations of desire in which homosexuality doesn’t play a role.” 78 So why would I pretend otherwise? As Ronell adds, and I should have warned you before, “neologisms are much more common in persecution mania patients than in others.” 79 In recognition of what composes philosophy always remains in circulation, no matter whether approached from an “ontological” or “linguistic” perspective, no matter how “meta” the separation machinery drives us, it is circulation itself that justifies the term, if it is one, cumposition . In naming the decentering force of philosophical discourse thus, I not only intend to stress the “with” ( cum ) of the philosophical sum-plok? or com-positio , that is present in it already since Plato, 80 but also the position of philosophy itself, whenever it will have arrived or cum, shooting for the stars of wisdom on the metaphysical firmament. NOTES 1. A. Staley Groves, Poetry Vocare (The Hague/Tirana: Uitgeverij, 2011), 86. 2.Walter Benjamin, “On Language As Such and the Language of Man.” trans. Edmund Jephcott, in Select Writings. vol. 1, 1913-1926 , eds. Marcus Bullock and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004), 73. 3.Arist. DI 16a1. 4.If only because already the translational issues with these two words are in themselves breaching the constraints of sound definition. 5.Giorgio Agamben’s work has focused extensively on this mode, see for example Potentialities , trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), 234-5. 6.Walter Benjamin, ‘On Language As Such…,’ 73. 7.This is not to say that philosophy only resides in certain language games, as Wittgenstein would have it, but that negotiating the limits of those games—which, etymologically speaking, already carries in it the “com-” of philosophy’s “composition” as the morpheme “ga-,” cf. Gothic gaman , ‘participation’ or ‘communion’—determines to a large extent how much liberty philosophy is willing to grant itself in placing certain truths inside or outside its domains. 8.Avital Ronell, Fighting Theory , trans. Catherine Porter (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010), 1. 9.Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason , trans./eds Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 99 (Aviii). 10.Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics , trans./ed. Gary Hatfield (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 143 (Bxv). Cf. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, 109 (Bxv). 11.Ronell, Fighting Theory , 2. 12.Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics , trans. Gregory Fried and Richard Polt (New Haven: Yale University Press), 65. 13.Giorgio Agamben, “The Passion of Facticity,”in Potentialities: Collected Essays in Philosophy , trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen, 202. 14.Ibid. 196. 15.Ibid. 203-4. 16.Plat. Sym . 202e. 17.Plat. Sym . 203a. Philosophy as the love of wisdom is therefore recursively defined. Here we could perhaps trace one of the origins of philosophy’s auto-immunity that Ronell has commented upon on several occasions. She signals the so-called “end of philosophy” as one of the tropes characterizing the developing auto-immunity in the body of philosophy, and while at the same distancing herself from this trope she insists that we “continue to interrogate the figures used to designate the end, and to recognize the difference among such terms as closure, finality, terminus.” (Ronell, Fighting Theory , 3) 18.Plat. Sym . 201d. 19.Ibid. 206a. 20.Martin Heidegger, The Essence of Truth , trans. Ted Sader (New York: Continuum, 2002), 48. 21.Plat. Phaed . 244a. 22.Michel Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, The History of Sexuality, vol. 2 , trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage Books, 1990), 235. 23.Christopher Fynsk, The Claim of Language: A Case for the Humanities (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004), 65. 24.Jean-François Lyotard, Libidinal Economy , trans. Iain Hamilton Grant (New York: Continuum, 2004), 13. 25.Ibid. 13. 26.Alain Badiou, Being and Event , trans. Oliver Feltham (New York: Continuum, 2006), 3. 27.That is, the Zermelo-Fraenkel axiomatization, explicitly including the axiom of separation which does not allow for any inconsistent multiplicity, i.e. the appearance of the event. Nevertheless, ever since Richard Montague’s dissertation Contributions to the Axiomatic Foundations of Set Theory (Berkeley: University of California, 1957), we know that set theory can never be finitely axiomatized. 28.Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei and John Van Houdt, “Circulating Philosophy: A Note on Two Apparent Misquotations in Alain Badiou’s Logics of Worlds,” Theory and Event 14.2 (2011). 29.Alain Badiou, Conditions , trans. Steven Corcoran (New York: Continuum, 2008), 290, fn. 4. 30.Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Événement et répétition (Auch: Tristram, 2004), 208. 31.Ibid. 209. 32.Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, L’affect (Auch: Tristram, 2004), 93. 33.Jacques Derrida, Edmund Husserl’s ‘Origin of Symmetry’: An Introduction , trans. John P. Leavey, Jr. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989), 127. 34.Jacques Derrida, “Form and Meaning: A Note on the Phenomenology of Language,” Margins of Philosophy , trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 157. 35.Derrida, Ibid. 172-3. 36.Or, if you like, the “false truth.” See for an indictment of etymology along these lines Jean Paulhan, La preuve par l’étymologie (Paris: Minuit, 1953). 37.Alain Badiou, Manifesto for Philosophy , trans. Norman Madarasz (Albany: SUNY Press, 1999), 57. 38.Ibid. 57. 39.Walter Benjamin, “The Destructive Character,” Selected Writings, Vol. II.2, 1931-1934 , trans. Edmund Jephcott (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), 541-2. 40.Lyotard, Libidinal Economy , 135. 41.“In signifying the metaphorical process, the paradigms of coin, of metal, silver and gold, have imposed themselves with remarkable insistence. Before metaphor—and effect of language—could find its metaphor in an economic effect, a more general analogy had to organize the exchanges between the two 'regions.'’ Jacques Derrida, “White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy,” Margins of Philosophy , trans. Alan Bass, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), 1982, 216. 42.Ibid. 257. 43.“The exchangeability of all products, activities and relations with a third, objective entity which can be re-exchanged for everything without distinction—that is, the development of exchange values (and of money relations) is identical with universal venality, corruption. Universal prostitution appears as a necessary phase in the development of the social character of personal talents, capacities, abilities, activities. More politely expressed: the universal relation of utility and use.” Karl Marx, Grundrisse: Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy , trans. Martin Nicolaus, New York: Random House, 1973, 163. 44.Karl Marx, “Private Property and Communism,” Karl Marx Selected Writings , ed. David McLellan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 90. 45.Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project , trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), 347. 46.Ibid. 256. 47.Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal , (Paris: Le Livre de Poche, 1999), 161. 48.For example, Jean Pierre Brisset, Le grammaire logique, suivi de La science de Dieu . Paris: Tchou, 1970, pp. 155ff. But we could equally point to the work of Jacques Lacan or refer to the intimacies between sexual and ontological differentiation as investigated by Jacques Derrida. 49.Pierre Guyotat, “L’autre scène,” Vivre (Paris: Denoël, 2003), 45. 50.Alain Badiou, Logics of Worlds: Being and Event 2 , trans. Alberto Toscano (New York: Continuum), 76. 51.Alain Badiou “Guyotat, prince de la prose,” unpublished lecture (Paris: 21 October, 2005), n.p. 52.Ibid. 53.Lyotard, Libidinal Economy , 109. 54.Ibid. 110-1. Lyotard formulates a position here parallel to Lacan’s analysis, which argues that the slave “can accept to work for the master and give up jouissance in the meantime.” (Jacques Lacan, Écrits , trans. Bruce Fink, New York: W.W. Norton, 2006, 259) This renunciation of jouissance founds the obsessive subject that I will discuss below, in an extension of the prostitutional logic developed by Lyotard. 55.Pierre Guyotat, “Langage du corps,” Vivre (Paris: Denoël, 2003), 24. Translation quoted from Lyotard, Libidinal Economy , 139. 56.Lyotard, Libidinal Economy , 139. 57.Pierre Guyotat, Prostitution (Paris: Gallimard, 1975), 90-1. In relation to his work we would also do well to recall the Lacanian dictum that “Punctuation, once inserted, establishes the meaning.” (Lacan, Écrits , 258) 58.Benjamin, “On Language As Such…,” 68. 59.Jacques Derrida, “ Geschlecht 1: Sexual Difference, Ontological Difference,” trans. Ruben Bevezdivin and Elizabeth Rottenberg, in Psyche, vol. 2 , eds Peggy Kamuf and Elizabeth Rottenberg (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), 8. 60.Anne Dufourmentelle, Blind Date: Sex and Philosophy , trans. Catherine Porter (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2007), 56. 61.Ibid. 57. 62.Ibid., 101. 63.Avital Ronell, “The Stealth Pulse of Philosophy,” introduction to Anne Dufourmentelle, Blind Date: sex and philosophy , trans. Catherine Porter (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2007), xv. 64.Julia Kristeva, Le soleil noir: Dépression et mé?ancholie (Paris, Gallimard, 1987), 45. 65.Arist. DI 16b20. 66.Alain Badiou, Logics of Worlds: Being and Event 2 , trans. Alberto Toscano (New York: Continuum), 545. 67.Avital Ronell, “The Sujet Suppositaire: Freud, And/Or, the Obsessional Neurotic Style (Maybe),” Finitude’s Score: Essays for the End of the Millennium (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998), 108. Cf. also: “As mere reversal, this maintains the 'intervention' of which Lacan speaks in its classic column, still following the marching orders and route traced out by the commanding symbolicity of male homosexuality whose structures, in place since the time of Plato, continue to assure the paradigm of the transmission of knowledge.” (Ibid., p. 106) 68.“The anus can be said to mark a locus of privileged transaction between at least two gendered entities. It organizes a space from which rental agreements are negotiated, leases are taken out by one gender to permit the other gender provisionally—depending on the terms of the agreement—to occupy its space. The other of genital sexuality, determinable neither as masculine nor strictly speaking as feminine, anality nonetheless constitutes a sexuality, a shared space that is often vaginized.” (Ronell, “The Sujet Suppositaire,” 108) One could, and perhaps ought, to read Guyotat’s Prostitution , as exactly a constant negotiation of this sort, where language itself succumbs to this logic of “indefensible copulations.” (Ibid., 110) 69.Ronell, “The Sujet Suppositaire,” 110. 70.Arist. Cat . 1a12-15. 71.Cf. Pierre Aubenque, Le problème de l’être chez Aristote (Paris: PUF, 1962), 184, fn. 3. 72.See Rhet . 1357b26-30 and APr 69a13-16. 73.Giorgio Agamben, The Signature of All Things: On Method , trans. Luca D’Isanto with Kevin Attell (New York: Zone Books, 2009), 19. 74.Lacan, Écrits , 415. A similar idea, originating from a different perspective, but with a similar foundation in Aristotle, can be found in the work of Paul de Man: “The convergence of sound and meaning […] is a rhetorical rather than aesthetic function of language, an identifiable trope (paronomasis) that operates on the level of the signifier.” (Paul de Man, Resistance to Theory , Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1986, 10) 75.Lacan, Écrits , 756. 76.Ibid., 758. 77.“Psychiatry supposes in general an intimate relation between homosexuality and paranoia, but gives it often the following form: the homosexual frequently suffers from persecution paranoia.” (Guy Hocquenghem, Le désir homosexuel , Paris: Fayard, 2000, 32) 78.Ibid., 59. 79.Ronell, “The Sujet Suppositaire,” 117. 80.See Plat. Soph . 262c. (shrink)
Henry Kyburg’s lottery paradox (1961, p. 197) arises from considering a fair 1000 ticket lottery that has exactly one winning ticket. If this much is known about the execution of the lottery it is therefore rational to accept that one ticket will win. Suppose that an event is very likely if the probability of its occurring is greater than 0.99. On these grounds it is presumed rational to accept the proposition that ticket 1 of the lottery will not win. Since (...) the lottery is fair, it is rational to accept that ticket 2 won’t win either—indeed, it is rational to accept for any individual ticket i of the lottery that ticket i will not win. However, accepting that ticket 1 won’t win, accepting that ticket 2 won’t win, . . . , and accepting that ticket 1000 won’t win entails that it is rational to accept that no ticket will win, which entails that it is rational to accept the contradictory proposition that one ticket wins and no ticket wins. (shrink)
Bishop Butler, [Butler, 1736], said that probability was the very guide of life. But what interpretations of probability can serve this function? It isn’t hard to see that empirical (frequency) views won’t do, and many recent writers-for example John Earman, who has said that Bayesianism is “the only game in town”-have been persuaded by various dutch book arguments that only subjective probability will perform the function required. We will defend the thesis that probability construed in this way offers very little (...) guidance, dutch book arguments notwithstanding. We will sketch a way out of the impasse. (shrink)
Here, in our approximation of polaron theory, we examine the importance of introducing theT product, which turn out to be a very convenient theoretical approach for the calculation of thermodynamical averages.We focus attention on the investigation of the so-called linear polaron Hamiltonian and present in detail the calculation of the correlation function, spectral function, and Green function for such a linear system.It is shown that the linear polaron Hamiltonian provides an exactly solvable model of our system, and the result obtained (...) with this approach holds true for an arbitrary coupling constant which describes the strength of interaction between the electron and the lattice vibrations. Then, with the help of a variational technique, we show the possibility of reducing the real polaron Hamiltonian to a socalled trial or approximate linear model Hamiltonian.We also consider the exact calculation of free energy with a special technique that reduces calculations with the help of the T product, which, in our opinion, works much better and is easier than other analogous considerations, for example, the path-integral or Feynman-integral method.(1,2)Here we furthermore recall our own work,(4) where it was shown that the results of Refs. 7 and 8 concerning the impedance calculation in the polaron model may be obtained directly without the use of the path-integral method.The study of the polaron system's thermodynamics is carried out by us in the framework of the functional method. A calculation of the free energy and the momentum distribution function is proposed.Note also that the polaron systems with strong coupling(9) proved to be useful in different quantum field models in connection with the construction of dynamical models of composite particles. A rigorous solution of the special strong-coupling polaron problem, describing the interaction of a nonrelativistic particle with a quantum field, was given by Bogolubov.(3) The works of Tavkhelidze, Fedyanin, Khrustalev, and others(10–13) are dedicated to the further development and generalization of the Bogolubov method.Notice, too, that the electron-photon interaction effects play an important part in many problems of modern solid state theory (see, e.g., Refs. 7 and 14–19).The present paper summarizes a set of lectures delivered as a special course in the physics department of Moscow State University. (shrink)
The acoustic properties of GeO2 glass were investigated by measuring acoustic attenuation and sound velocity between 1.5 and 300 K over the frequency range 10?50 MHz. A low-temperature plateau of attenuation followed by a large loss peak, paralleled by corresponding dispersive behaviour in sound velocity, were the main experimental observations. The temperature behaviour of ultrasonic attenuation is explained in terms of thermally activated relaxations of intrinsic structural defects at high temperatures (T > 10 K) and of tunnelling motions at low (...) temperatures (T < 10 K). A direct comparison between the values of tunnelling strength, obtained over the MHz- and kHz-intervals, indicates that the internal-friction plateau arising from the phonon-assisted tunnelling of two-level systems (TLS) is slightly frequency-dependent. Analysis of the temperature dependence of sound velocity showed that anomalous hardening, typical of glasses having tetrahedrally coordinated structures, starts above ?100 K. Finally, a comparison of sound velocity behaviour in normal and permanently densified GeO2 glasses demonstrates that densification leads to a significant reduction in the number of relaxing particles. (shrink)
An elementary-particle picture developed primarily by Barut as an alternative to the standard model is re-examined. This model is formulated on the basis of strong short-range magnetic interactions among the stable particles (p, e−, v) and at present is able to account qualitatively for most of the known phenomena.