Two continents. Three countries. Mountains, archipelago, a little red dot & more to come. BERIT SOLI-HOLT (Editor): When I think of introductory material, I think of that Derrida documentary when he is asked about what he would like to know about other philosophers. He simply states: their love life. APRIL VANNINI (Editor): And as far as introductions go, I think Derrida brought forth a fruitful discussion on philosophy and thinking with this statement. First, he allows philosophy to open up the (...) personal and second, the ability to conjure the notion of thinking in relation. After all, love lives are spawned from relations, and such are philosophical encounters—the co-emergence of thought and affect. This brings us to discuss the concept of the special issue of continent. called drift . From the Statement of Intent : The discussion that has become drift , a special issue of continent. began in the glow of a bonfire beside a lake near the Thousand Islands of Ontario when co-founders April and Berit came across a conception of a journal that would decline to follow traditional models of invitation and editorship, instead following a generated discourse through relational means. Shedding preemptive articulation of expected outcome and cohesion, we hope to light a fuse of chain interactions with each contributor active in authorial, editorial, and curatorial roles. drift seeks to allow the framing mechanism to choose itself, to find where something can flow or emerge in relation to a series of participants. By setting out a thread of thought to work its own way through writers and artists of various locations, drift operates through links, breaks, pauses, new directions, unintended consequences, twists, holes, bridges. We are attempting to give the scene for an emergence and what can become conceivable when given the opportunity to create chains of thought—linking, welding, fusing, looping, stitching. We hope to explore what is attainable when scholarly/artistic relationships transverse on their own terms instead of articulated by an institutional environment. JEREMYFERNANDO (Guest Editor): I think he was actually more interested in their sex lives. Though at the same time completely refusing to discuss, disclose, his own: I found it rather touching that he blushes whenever speaking of his life with Marguerite. So perhaps in this sense it is very apt to speak of it in terms of love; and the secret that is in each love: that even though it is a relationality between, there are parts of it that remain hidden, not just from everyone else, but even those in that relation itself. What the editors intend to ^do^ to impart this conceptualization is to provide a framework through the choice of a theme and by minimal standardization of form and content guidelines. As initial instigator, each editor will send their contribution to the issue to a fellow colleague, thinker, artist, friend with the invitation to send (via post) the accruing materials to another possible contributor. In this, we hope to engage with many individuals on ideas surrounding a specific theme determined but not limited by the editors of the drift . The end result will take the form of whatever is at hand (as materials can only stay with each contributor for two weeks) and whomever is at hand (the availability of interested and capable parties) through a course of five months. We are curious. What are the ways in which thought can emerge between individuals and places? What occurs when our fundamental mode of inquiry is between each other? How are ethical, social, spacious, political, aesthetic practices created between a chain of contributors. BSH: To introduce what to look forward to in June with the publication of drift isn't quite possible yet. It is in the stages of preparation, barely started, but already begun. I have been thinking about drift as an insect that goes through life cycles, chrysalises, pupas, larva. Each moment of the production and publication of this issue of continent. is its own life. A bug under a pin is not as interesting as one in flight or crawling up your leg. JF: Though the one crawling up your leg is also more likely to bite you. There is always already a danger in letting be, thinking …. Then again, there is also a potential rupture in attempting to seize, pin down, capture. BSH: I think a word we haven't thought about enough yet is capture. I think we are perhaps trying to capture something, or to allow for the moments of this capture along the way, the resulting material being the ripples left in the sand when the water waves away. AV: This question comes to mind when speaking about captures, waves, ripples: How can we activate a ripple? What I find interesting about a wave is the difference in frequencies, movements, forms, style that are activated in between intervals. What is interesting about a wave is that it is activated in relation to what came before. What remains in the sand is a ripple that forms in relation between multiple intervals of stylistic waves. As Deleuze and Parnet have taught us, "We were only two, but what was important for us was less our working together than this strange fact of working between the two of us. We stopped being 'author'. And these 'between-the-twos' referred back to other people, who were different on one side from the other. The desert expanded, but in so doing became more populous." 1 Drift is activation for thinking-with and possibly much more—who knows? There is the intent to subvert the relational qualities between people in journal publishing, but also important to the editors is the subversion of materials. The editors do not shy away from use of contemporary technology and, in fact, have relied and will continue to rely on the wonders of internet connectivity to midwife the drift. The connective infrastructure chosen to relay the developing issue is simply one of bodies, of postal workers and the varying postal systems. Some may find it to be merely be a call of an already dying form, but the editors believe that the conversation exchanged from hand to hand is of explicit difference in quality of engagement due to the complexity of peripheral information transported by physical matter. Different hospitalities and responsibilities are at play in keeping hold of one-of-a-kind materials for a time and entrusting various postal systems to bear the message forward. To have work physically transported through space and time through this kind of infrastructure that is reliant on individuals to literally carry a message is crucial in incorporating traces of bodily presence. AV: Thought is contingent and emergent process that folds, twists, pulls, shifts in multiple directions and we are interested in these multiple directions. JF: And even as thought is contingent on, hinged around, its place, time, venue—on its continents, as it were (we still tend to speak of gestures of thinking as Continental, British, American, European, Asian, etc.)—we might also attempt to respond to the landscape within each thought: its folds, unfoldings, rolls, manoeuvres, geography. BSH: How different is this than Morelli's screw that Julio Cortazar or Horacio Oliveira recounts in Hopscotch? The fable recalls a man who regarded a screw everyday on his stoop. When he perishes, the screw disappears, perhaps into a fellow neighbor's pocket for secret contemplation. Whoever is writing the passage remarks that "Morelli thought that the screw must have been something else, a god or something like that. Too easy a solution. Perhaps the error was in accepting the fact that the object was a screw simply because it was shaped like a screw." JF: Perhaps even more intriguing is the notion that we do not quite know who is inscribing these remarks on Morelli. That even as someone says that it is a screw, perhaps because it is shaped like a screw, the one who names it “screw”—the one whom we are in a relation with in relation to the screw—remains veiled from us. But even as this is so, the notion of the object as “screw” is marked, etched, onto us. BSH: A periodical, marking a period of time, but where? An issue, a magazine, a storehouse of information. To show the remainders of thinkers connecting and surfing. With all this stated, we, as editors of the drift are aware of the active fault, quaking potential, and ethical catastrophe of such a proposed project — the inheritance or the gifting of a project without consent. We are certain that there may be possible oversight on the process of such a project. If such is the case, we hope that oversight and misdirection will not leave this project dormant but rather open up promising new directions, questions, and potential considerations. We are very excited about the accidental propositions that can occur in between. In sum, we'll see what happens. JF: Perhaps, all we can know of the screw is that we are screwed ... NOTE Gilles Deleuze & Claire Parnet. Dialogues II . Revised edition. (New York: Columbia University Press). 2007: 17. (shrink)
This piece, included in the drift special issue of continent. , was created as one step in a thread of inquiry. While each of the contributions to drift stand on their own, the project was an attempt to follow a line of theoretical inquiry as it passed through time and the postal service(s) from October 2012 until May 2013. This issue hosts two threads: between space & place and between intention & attention . The editors recommend that to experience the (...) drifiting thought that attention be paid to the contributions as they entered into conversation one after another. This particular piece is from the BETWEEN INTENTION & ATTENTION thread: JeremyFernando, Sitting in the Dock of the bay, watching... * R.H. Jackson, Reading Eyes * Gina Rae Foster, Nyctoleptic Nomadism: The Drift/Swerve of Knowing * Bronwyn Lay, Driftwood * Patricia Reed, Sentences on Drifitng * David Prater, drift: a way * * * * "… to sleep perchance to dream " 1 To dream: to be not quite asleep, yet not particularly awake. Or, rather: to be awake but not quite know it. For, it is only when we dream, when we are dreaming, that we know that we are not in that final sleep. But we can only know that we are dreaming, that we have dreamt, when we are awake, when we have awoken; after it is too late. When all we know is that the sleep beyond finitude, the sleep that is the step beyond, is not yet upon us, is only to come. To die to sleep … To dream: a sleep that refuses sleep. Perchance to dream: to drift—between sleep and sleep. Aye there's the rub For, can we even know if we have been sleeping? Or, if death has claimed us?—even if a little death. α Ω α Ω α Ω To drift: but from, to, what? For, to drift implies a certain direction that one was headed from, heading to, headed for; without these indications, markers, points in relation with each other, one would just be moving. Can one know—intend—one's drift? Certainly a stunt driver would say so. But even as (s)he is starting her slide, all that (s)he can know is that she is setting the car, herself, the car with herself in it, in motion: after which the drift itself takes over. After which, all (s)he can do is attend to it. At the point of the drift: both (s)he and the car are drifting—here, one might not even be able to separate the movement from those involved in it. Without either of them, there would not be a drift; there is no drifting without the drifter. Both the drifter and the drifting are in a relationality; in which, all that they can know is that they are in relation with each other. Hence, the drift itself is a relationality. A non-essence. But, it is not as if we cannot speak of it. Perhaps though: we can only speak of it as if we can speak of it. Always already an imaginary gesture; where what is being imagined is the relationality between the drift and the ones drifting. Thus, we have a situation where the drifter and drifting are in a relationality; where relationality itself is what is being imagined. Perhaps then, what are we drifting from, to? , is a moot question. As is, what is drifting? Perhaps then, all we can say is drift? To speak of drift is an attempt to speak of the unspeakable. Not that what is speakable and what is unspeakable are antonyms: if that were so, speaking the unspeakable would make no sense, be a contradiction. But that in every act of speaking, something unspeakable is potentially said: something that opens, ruptures, wounds even. And not just that—at the point where it punctures, speaking itself moves out of the way for the unspeakable; speaking itself disappears. "… the whole art is to know how to disappear before dying, and instead of dying. " 2 To disappear; or, to drift out of sight. Where the words themselves slip away. After all: "in the Beginning was the Word. It was only afterwards that Silence came." Perhaps the wish, the hope, is that "the end itself has disappeared …" (Baudrillard, 70) Remaining hidden from us. Perhaps only glimpsed when we dream. Secret. α Ω α Ω α Ω " Bury all your secrets in my skin " (Corey Taylor) Which is the problem: words cling. And they remain. Perhaps not ontologically; but they certainly remain to haunt us. And here, we should not forget Lucretius' lesson that communication occurs in the skin between the parties in communion with each other. Which is not to say that the encounter is determined by atoms—and more precisely atoms that move in straight lines until they collide with each other—that communication is pre-determined. For, one must not forget that will is found, discovered, enacted even, at the moment the atoms swerve. Clinamen . Drift. But even in their movement—drifting—they trace themselves into the skin between; a tangential touching. Perhaps only briefly. But even then, enough … "… there's always texture that betrays the place." (May Ee Wong) Here though, one must not forget that betrayal cannot happen in the absence of love. In fact, betrayal is the very excess of love: where one loves the other so much that one can no longer bear to see the other drift from what (s)he could have been. Whether that idealised other exists or is only in one's head is another question altogether. Perhaps, a fetishised other: keeping in mind that "fetishes are hinged around simulation." After all, "when one is supposed to show up as an oil rig diver no one is expecting actual crude oil" (Amanda Sordes); in fact, actualisation is the perfect way to destroy the fantasy. Perhaps then, the only way to maintain love for another is to maintain a proper distance, as it were, from love: allow the love to constantly alter, change. And here, one must not forget that if love is a relationality between one and another who remains wholly other (otherwise just a mere manifestation of the self), love is a relationality that knows nothing except for the fact that it is in a relation. For, to love one has to attend to—without subsuming another, some other, under oneself. Which means that to love, one has to be willing to risk, to open oneself, to allow oneself to be wounded, torn apart. In new ways, ways that we have yet to understand, come across, ways we do not yet have a name for. Thus, this movement in love is one that occurs in utter blindness; to not only the other, but to what love is. This is love as pure drifting. Perhaps always searching for love itself, without ever knowing what it is that it is looking for. Love: only at the very moment when the word love itself disappears. Perhaps all we can do is sit, and attend: watching the tides flowing away—as if they were having their "last swim of the summer." (Hendrik Speck) Like a butterfly. α Ω α Ω α Ω Isn't it quite amazing how the appearance of a butterfly can inject a stutter or pause into any conversation? Words and words pour out of the animals in assembly, before they are all of a sudden arrested by the passing flight. Heads turn to trace a lilting poetics, attempting to close the distance with this seemingly awkward beauty. There are no straight lines here, only a relative arrival and departure to bracket a brilliant and bewildering trajectory, surging and lurching in a vibrating and nomadic line avant la lettre. (Sean Smith, 'I Seek You: Countdown to Stereoscopic Tear') Before the letter. Before the possibility of naming. Before being sayable. Quite possibly also before language. And yet, a "surging and lurching," a movement with an effect—"vibrating and nomadic"—tracing itself before there is even anything to trace. Leaving something, even if that thing remains unknowable, for us to attend to. Drifting into us. I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee..." (Carly Simon) NOTES William Shakespeare, Hamlet , Act 3 Scene 1. Jean Baudrillard, Why hasn't everything already disappeared? , 25.  . (shrink)
continent. 1.1 (2011): 27-32. “My”—what does this word designate? Not what belongs to me, but what I belong to,what contains my whole being, which is mine insofar as I belong to it. Søren Kierkegaard. The Seducer’s Diary . I can’t sleep till I devour you / And I’ll love you, if you let me… Marilyn Manson “Devour” The role of poetry in the relationalities between people has a long history—from epic poetry recounting tales of yore; to emotive lyric poetry; to (...) rude, irreverent limericks; to Hallmark cards which have ditties that allow one to cringe, and somehow fall in love at the same moment. Without going into a notion of aesthetics, or attempting to choose which form of poetry is superior, we might want to consider why the form of poetry itself has long been a part of relationality. And whilst doing so, we might always keep in mind that poetry—especially poetry that moves, transports us—is the form that Plato has been warning us about, particularly if we want to become good citizens.As Avital Ronell teaches us in Stupidity : the poet, irremediably split between exaltation and vulgarity, between the autonomy that produces the concept within intuition and the foolish earthly being, functions as a contaminant for philosophy—a being who at least since Plato, has been trying to read and master an eviction notice served by philosophy. The poet as genius continues to threaten and fascinate, menacing the philosopher with the beyond of knowledge. Philosophy cringes (287). And considering that the philosopher is the lover of wisdom, we might begin to ask ourselves why one lover is warning against another—if the philosopher is in love with wisdom, then is the poet perhaps his rival, his challenger, for that very love? For, one must also remember that Plato—through Socrates—mentions constantly that Homer is his favourite. Moreover, by adopting both his own voice, whilst mixing it with Socrates’, Plato is adopting the form of poetry that he warns most about—the warning almost serves more as a homage to poetry than anything else. Here, we might open the register that one of the main reasons that he ejects a particular kind of poet is on the grounds of effecting effeminacy on the populace—good poetry moves you, affects you, transports you, shifts you beyond reason, puts you “out of your mind.” However, Plato also teaches us that rhetoric in its highest form requires divine inspiration by way of the daemon, or the muse. This moment of divine intervention is one that seizes—perhaps even ceases—you; putting you “beyond yourself.” In other words, a good rhetorician must always already be open to the possibility of otherness—the same otherness that possibly resides in the feminine. One could also trace this back to the poet that he both loved, and feared, most—Homer. Perhaps the effect of effeminacy that Homer's poetry opened is precisely the source of its power: through listening to Homer, one's body, one’s habitus is opened to the possibility of the feminine. And here, one must remember that the source of all learning—and all teaching—also lies in mimesis, in repetition, in habit. Once the habitus is opened to the possibility of invasion, of intervention, of otherness, there is quite possibly no possibility of distinguishing whether the mimesis is that of reproduction, or if there is always already a productive aspect to it. And by extension, if learning cannot be controlled, the very notion of teaching itself is shifted from a master-student relationality to one where the master is potentially changed as well—the relationality between the master and the student is not only inter-changing, but one cannot even know who is teaching, or learning, at any point. All that can be said is that they are in a relationality; which means that one is ultimately unable to locate the locus of knowledge, of wisdom—the site of which Plato is attempting to convince us is the sole domain of the philosopher. And it is this that philosophy is cringing from. To compound matters, philosophy is striving for wisdom; which can only come from the Gods. In other words, this is a gift that has to be bestowed on them—and more than that, wisdom is always already exterior to one’s control and knowledge. At best, it is the role of one to recognise the gift, to answer the call as it were. Here, if we listen carefully, we can hear the echo of Alexander Graham Bell, and the telephone. And as we are attempting to respond to the call of wisdom—the call that both poetry and philosophy are listening out for—it might be helpful to recall the agreement between Alexander Graham Bell and his brother Melville. In the biography, Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude , Robert V. Bruce notes that Aleck and Melly made a “solemn compact that whichever of us should die first would endeavour to communication with the other if it were possible to do so” (63). Since Melville was the one who passed on first, this pact put the onus on Aleck to receive the call of his brother. If you take into consideration the fact that until Melville’s death, both brothers had been working on an early prototype of the telephone, the instrument of distant sound can be read as an attempt by Aleck to maintain the possibility of keeping in touch with Melly, of hearing the voice from beyond. However, this was a connection that was not premised on any knowing, reason, or rationality; it was rather, one that was based on hope, and born out of love. And here, if we eves-drop on a cross-line with The Telephone Book , we can pick up the voice of Avital Ronell once again and hear, “the connection to the other is a reading—not an interpretation, assimilation, or even a hermeneutic understanding, but a reading” (380). In other words, the telephone can be read as the openness to the possibility of responding to the other; one that might always remain unknown. Even in this day of caller-identification, we can never know for sure who the other person on the line is until we pick up: hence, the only decision we can make—the effects of which we remain blind to until it affects us—is to either pick up or not, to either respond or not. And it is not as if the decision to pick up comes without risks: each time we answer a call, we run the risk of it ruining our day. Even when we don’t know who the caller is, perhaps especially when we don’t know who the person on the other end of the line is—and here one only has to think of prank calls—we are leaving ourselves completely open to being affected by another. Thus, philosophy finds itself in the position of Vladimir and Estragon. Since they have no idea who Godot is, they can never know if or when he shows up—thus, if he (and we are taking his gender on the word of the boy, some boy—we don’t even know if it is the same boy—who comes round in the evening) has already come, they would not be in the position to know it. And even if someone comes to them and announces that “I am Godot,” the wait would not be over—without referentiality to the name, they would have to take on faith that that person is indeed Godot. Hence, all they can know is that they are waiting for Godot; and Godot is the name of that waiting itself. All philosophy can know is that it is waiting; and wisdom is the name of that waiting itself. Which brings us to Tina Turner’s eternal question, “what’s love got to do, got to do with it?” In order to begin to consider that, we have to first attempt to examine the notion of love itself. Perhaps we might begin to consider what the difficulty of the statement “I love you.” For, if love is a relationality between two persons—both of whom remain singular, and are attempting to respond to each other—this suggests that neither of them subsume the other under themselves. In other words, the other remains wholly other. If this is so, then the “you” in the statement always remains shrouded in mystery. And even if the “you” was replaced with the name of the person, the veiling remains: for, names refer both to the singularity that is the person, and also every other person bearing that name, at exactly the same time. To compound matters, the only time one has to utter a persons name is in their absence—thus, the correspondence of a name to that particular person is at best an affect of memory. And if we consider the notion of memory, we have to also open the register of forgetting—bringing along with it the problem that there is no object to forgetting. For instance, when one utters “I forgot,” all one is uttering is the fact that one has forgotten, and nothing more—the moment there is an object to the statement, one has strictly speaking remembered what one has forgotten. Moreover, we have no control over when forgetting happens to us. And since it is always already exterior to us, affects us, and has no necessary object, there is no reason to believe that every moment of memory might not bring with it a moment of forgetting. Hence, whenever we utter a name—even if we accept the correspondence between the utterance and the person in front of us—all we are doing is uttering the fact that we are naming. Thus, it is not so much that ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ but more appropriately, ‘a rose is a rose is a rose’—the relationality between its name and the phenomenon of its sweet smell can only be established after that moment of naming, that instance of catachresis. So, whenever one utters “I love you,” not only is it a performative statement, it is the very naming of that love—all you are doing is establishing a relationality between you and the other. And since there is no necessary referent—one is naming that referentiality as one utters it—this suggests that it is always already a symbolic statement; without which the mystery of the other cannot me maintained. In other words, one cannot love the other without maintaining this symbolic distance—through a ritual; in this case the utterance “I love you.” This might be why Valentine’s Day seems to provoke such a massive reaction: the most common one from people (besides florists) being, Valentine’s Day is mere commercialism. Those among the nay-sayers who maintain a soft spot for Karl Marx would proceed to call it the commodification of relationships; those who prefer the Gods would claim that the sanctity of relationships has been profaned; the gender theorists would note how the fact that males buy the gifts only serves to highlight the unequal power-relation between the genders. Whichever side and variation of the arguments they choose boils down to this: the discomfort lies in the fact that they are confronted with the notion of relationships moving into a mediated sphere. The underlying logic is that love is between two persons only; it should not only remain between them, but more pertinently, be an unmediated experience between two persons. Which of course completely misses the point. For, if we reopen the register that relationships are the result of a negotiation between two persons, there must then be a space between them for this very negotiation to occur. Otherwise, all that is happening is, one person is subsuming the other within their own sphere of understanding; effectively effacing the other. If that were the case, there would no longer be any relationality; all negotiation is gone and the other person is a mere extension of the self—one is in a masturbatory relationality with one’s imaginary. Hence, any relationship must always already carry with it the unknown, and possibly always unknowable. The other person is an enigma, remains—must remain—enigmatic to you. This is the only way in which the proclamation “I love you” remains singular, remains a love that is about the person as a singular person—and not merely about the qualities of the person, what the person is. For, if the mystery of the other is unveiled, then the love for the other person is also a completely transparent love: one that you can know thoroughly, calculate; a check-list. And if they are knowable, this suggests that they can also be negated, and hence, the love can also go away. Only when the love for the other person is an enigmatic one, one that cannot be understood, can that love potentially be an event—and if it is an event, then strictly speaking, it cannot be known before it happens; at best, it can be glimpsed as it is happening, or perhaps even only realised retrospectively. At the point in which it happens, it is a love that comes from elsewhere: this strange phenomenon is best captured in the colloquial phrase, I was struck by love;” or even more so by, “I was blinded by love.” This is a blinding to not only the subject of the encounter—the self—but also of the very object of that encounter, the “you”—all that can be said is that there is an encounter. And it is for this reason Cupid is blind: not just because love is random (and can happen to anyone at any time), but more importantly because even after it happens, both the reason you are in love, and the person you are in love with, remain blind to you. Since there is an unknowable relationality with the other person, the only way you can approach it is through a ritual. This is the lesson that religions have taught us: since one is never able to phenomenally experience the God(s), one has no choice but to approach them symbolically. These rituals are strictly speaking meaningless—the actual content is interchangeable—as it is the form that is important. Rituals allow us momentary glimpses at secrets; and secrets are never about their content(s). Rather, secrets entail the recognition that they are secrets; the secret lies in their form as secret. This can be seen when we consider how group secrets work: since the entire group knows the secret, clearly the content of the secret is not as important as the fact that only members within the group are privy to this secret. Occasionally the actual content can be so trivial that even other people outside the group might know the information; they just do not realize its significance. For instance, if I used my date of birth as my bank-account password, merely knowing when I was born would not instantly give you the key to my life savings. In order for that to happen, you would have had to recognise the significance of the knowledge of my birthday. This means that you have to know that you know something. Since the God(s) are, strictly speaking, unknowable, this suggests that rituals put one in a position to potentially experience the God(s). The meaningless gestures on Valentine’s Day play precisely this ritualised role. It is not so much what you give the other person, but the fact that you give it to them. The gift in this sense is very much akin to an offering; the gift opens the possibility of an exchange. Gift-giving does not guarantee that you will like what is returned; there is always a reciprocation of the gift, but what is returned to you is never known in advance, until the moment it is received. This means that the worst thing that one can do is not give the gift: that would be akin to a cutting off of all possibilities, a complete closing of all communication with the other person. This at the same time also means that you cannot wait for the other person to give you something before you get them their gift: if that were the scenario, the reciprocal gift would be nothing more than a calculated return. The only manner in which both persons can give true gifts is to offer them independently of the other person, whilst keeping them in mind. In this way, the two gifts are always already both uncalculated (in the sense of not knowing what the return is) and also a reciprocation for the other (without knowing whether the other person actually has a gift in the first place). Naturally, this would seem like an irrational, even stupid, way of buying gifts. But it is precisely the stupidity involved that saves the relationship from being banal—more importantly, stupidity prevents it from entering the mere profane. This is not to say that an enigmatic love cannot end—of course it can. However, the difference lies in the fact that if the relationality is wholly transparent, it is subsumed under reason—completely predictable, within the self, and thus never open to the possibility of otherness, exteriority, musing. A love that is an event is one that is also open to the possibility of the divine, the sacred—always already closer to the possibility of wisdom. If we establish that both love and wisdom are exterior, to our knowledge, and the finitude to our selves, this suggests that both are names for the possibility of openness to otherness. In other words, and what choice do we have here but to use the words of the other, the philosopher—the lover of wisdom—is a name for one who is waiting, and nothing more. But that still leaves us with the question of this uncomfortable relationality between philosophy and poetry. But before we address that question, we have to take a momentary detour, and consider the whether it is possible to call one a poet. For, if we take the notion of a poet to be one who reaches the highest levels of rhetoric (beyond the lawyer, and the orator, who only aim to either please the crowds, or convince by way of sophistry), then we must also acknowledge that one can only become a poet at the moment of seizing, the point of inspiration, by the muses. Without this divine moment, all (s)he can do is practice her craft. As no one can control when the muses make their appearance, one could always be practising in vain—in some way, one is always already practising to be least in the way when the muse whispers into one’s ear; one is practising so as not to be vain. And since one cannot know when the muse will appear, there is no time frame to the practising—unlike the lawyer who speaks against a clock, poetry knows no time; the only time that matters is the time appropriate to poetry itself. Thus, all the poet (if one can use this term) is practising for the possibility of effacing her/him self—and waiting. Thus, in order for poetry to occur, in order to be seized, the poet—along with all her concerns—must cease. In other words, there is no poet; there is only the possibility of poetry. However, even as there is no time frame to this waiting, even as all we can say is that poetry is a name for waiting, the one who is practising is always already also in time. And since (s)he is in a symbolic relationality with the possibility of poetry, this suggests that the practising is her sacrifice, and time is precisely what she is sacrificing. Here, it might be helpful to turn to a strange source when it comes to poetry—Georges Bataille—and consider his teachings in the first volume of The Accursed Share where he reminds us that, the “essence [of sacrifice] is to consume profitlessly .” This is where each exchange is beyond rationality, beyond calculability, beyond reason itself, “unsubordinated to the ‘real’ order and occupied only with the present.” He continues: Sacrifice destroys that which it consecrates. It does not have to destroy as fire does; only the tie that connected the offering to the world of profitable activity is severed, but this separation has the sense of a definitive consumption; the consecrated offering cannot be restored to the real order.” (58) Since there is no need for a physical change in the object of sacrifice—“it does not have to destroy as fire does”—this suggests that the tie is severed symbolically. Hence, there is an aspect of trans-substantiation in this sacrifice: the form remains the same; in fact there is no perceivable change—this is the point at which all phenomenology fails—but there is always already a difference, an absolute separation from the “real order,” from logic, calculability, reason. The object of sacrifice, the victim [,] is a surplus taken from the mass of useful wealth…Once chosen, he is the accursed share , destined for violent consumption. But the curse tears him away from the order of things…” (59). And it is this tearing away from the order of things—the order of rationality—that “restores to the sacred world that which servile use has degraded, rendered profane” (55). For, only when it is no longer useful, when it is no longer abstracted—subjected, subsumed under—merely a use-value, can the object be an object as such, can a subject be a subject as such; be a singularity. Thus, it is never so much who or what is sacrificed, but the fact that there is a sacrifice. So even as (s)he is sacrificing her time to poetry, it is always already beyond her knowledge whether what (s)he is doing is actually preparing her for poetry or not—all (s)he can know is that she is sacrificing and nothing more. Hence, all (s)he can do is to open her self to the possibility of this relationality—all (s)he can do is be in love with poetry. At the moment the muse whispers into her ear, (s)he ceases to be, and becomes a medium for poetry—and since this possession is always already beyond our cognitive knowledge, this is also a moment of divine wisdom. In other words, there is no difference between poetry and wisdom—the moment of poetry is the moment of wisdom. And this might be the very reason for the philosopher’s aversion to poets. Not so much because they may corrupt the youth (this is after all the aim of all thinking, all philosophy), but precisely because in order to do so, the philosopher must wait for a moment of possession, for divine musing, for poetry. Hence, all thought, all thinking, all philosophy, is nothing but the waiting for the possibility of poetry itself. (shrink)
On 22 July, 2011, we were confronted with the horror of the actions of Anders Behring Breivik. The instant reaction, as we have seen with similar incidents in the past—such as the Oklahoma City bombings—was to attempt to explain the incident. Whether the reasons given were true or not were irrelevant: the fact that there was a reason was better than if there were none. We should not dismiss those that continue to cling on to the initial claims of a (...) wider Jihadist plot behind the actions of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols as Islamophobes (or merely lacking common sense): for, it is often easier to rely on reason—no matter how fictional—than not to have anything to cling on at all. In many ways, it is even better if the reason is fictional: for, if grounded in a certain fact, or reality, it can then go away. However, if it is in the realm of the imaginary, it is then always already metaphorical: thus, can be applied to any and every situation. And it is this, if we echo Friedrich Nietzsche, that gives us our “metaphysical comfort”; that we can know what is going on. This is why conspiracy theories are so popular: underlying them is the logic that someone—no matter how implausible—is in control of the situation. One would rather believe that all acts of terror stemmed from Osama bin Laden (and the narrative worked even better when he was in a ‘cave in Afghanistan’) than if they were the actions, and decisions, of singular individuals. For, if there is a head organizing everything, it can be cut off; there is no controlling a mass of singularities. As Jean Baudrillard continues to teach us, the term ‘mass’ is not a concept. It is a leitmotif of political demagogy, a soft, sticky, lumpen-analytical notion. A good sociology would attempt to surpass it with ‘more subtle’ categories: socio-professional ones, categories of class, cultural status, etc. This is wrong: it is by prowling around these soft and acritical notions (like ‘mana’ once was) that one can go further than intelligent critical sociology. Besides, it will be noticed retrospectively that the concepts ‘class’, ‘social relations’, ‘power’, ‘status’, ‘institution’, and ‘social’ itself—all these too-explicit concepts which are the glory of the legitimate sciences—but also only ever been muddled notions themselves, but notions upon which agreement has nevertheless been reached for mysterious ends: those of preserving a certain code of analysis. To want to specify the term ‘mass’ is a mistake—it is to provide meaning for that which has none.1 And it is this lack of meaning—this nothingness of not only the mass, but our inability to know in general—that truly scares us. For, if we are never able to legitimately make a generalizing statement, this suggests that we can never actually posit beyond a singular, situational, moment. Hence, we can never claim to know anyone: at best, we can only catch momentary glimpses. It is for this very reason that the insanity plea Breivik’s lawyer will attempt is the one that horrifies us the most. For, if Breivik is insane, this foregrounds our inability to understand, know. And as Aristotle has taught us, it is more important that something is plausible than if something were probable—in this context, we would rather have Breivik as a calculating mass murderer than someone who was completely out of his mind. This is especially ironic in the light of the fact that none of us would say that we have any similarity with Breivik. If that were so, the declaration that he was mad should be no more than a logical consequence. However, we also want Breivik to be accountable for his actions. And in order for that to be so, we need him to be of sound mind. But if that were true, we can then no longer distinguish ourselves from him. And it is precisely this that scares us. For, we are horrified not when there are abnormalities to our way of life. There are usually two different reactions to this—either oppose and destroy it; or subsume it under the dominant logic. We see this most clearly in reactions to immigration: there are either calls for immigrants to ‘pack up and leave’ or pseudo-liberal notions of ‘we are all alike’. Both of which are merely version of “all men are brothers”—the brutal translation of which is that you are my brother if you live the same way as me; otherwise not only are you not my brother, you are also potentially not part of mankind (you might as well be, to echo Giorgio Agamben, bare life ). This is played out in our age of what is commonly termed post-political bio-politics —an instance of horribly awkward theoretical jargon that Slavoj Žižek channeling Agamben unpacks rather elegantly: “ post-politics is a politics which claims to leave behind old ideological struggles and, instead, focus[es] on expert management and administration, while bio-politics designates the regulation of the security and welfare of human lives as its primary goal.”2 Žižek continues: Post-political bio-politics also has two aspects which cannot but appear to belong to two opposite ideological spaces: that of the reduction of humans to ‘bare life,’ to Homo sacer , that so-called sacred being who is the object of expert caretaking knowledge, but is excluded, like prisoners at Guantanamo or Holocaust victims, from all rights; and that of respect for the vulnerable Other brought to an extreme through an attitude of narcissistic subjectivity which experiences the self as vulnerable, constantly exposed to a multitude of potential harassments [….] What these two poles share is precisely the underlying refusal of any higher causes, the notion that the ultimate goal of our lives is life itself. That is why there is no contradiction between the respect for the vulnerable Other and […] the extreme expression of treating individuals as Homini sacer .3 This is why the ones that are harshest towards new immigrants are the recently naturalized citizens of any country. For, if there is no longer any “ideological struggle” and all life is reduced to mere automaton-living, there is the realization that we are all the same—not in a tree-hugging hippie sense—but that the immigrant is the same as us precisely because we are all immigrants. And since all nations, and by extension peoples in a nation (especially those who believe in the notion of nationality, and national identity), have to find some manner, no matter from where or what it is, to distinguish themselves from those around them, the other (in spite, and especially in the light, of its absence) is the most crucial aspect of the discourse of nationality. More precisely, in the interests of what Baudrillard calls “preserving a certain code of analysis” (nationality in this case), what has to be maintained is the absolute otherness of the other. Very rarely is Boris Johnson right: “it is not enough to say he is mad. Anders Breivik is patently mad.”4 However, much like Breivik in his manifesto, he should have stopped whilst he was ahead. By attempting to diagnose Breivik—“the fundamental reasons for their callous behavior lie deep in their own sense of rejection and alienation. It is the ideology that gives them the ostensible cause … that gives them an excuse to dramatize the resentment … and to kill.”—Johnson falls into the same trap that he accuses others of: “to try to advance any other explanation for their actions … is simply to play their self-important game.” More crucially, and this is the point that Johnson completely misses, attempting to rationalize Breivik’s actions—to rehabilitate reason—is a desperate attempt at maintaining his otherness. In fact, we’ll end up going one step further, insist on Breivik’s sanity, put him on the stand, and hope that he will display such a difference from all of us that we can rest safe that we are unlike him and his kind. That, in itself, is a dangerous game to play. One should not forget that the turning point in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is in the central part of her novel where she lets the monster speak. At that moment, the monster moves from an ‘it’ to a fully subjectivized person; with his own stories, historicities, emotions, and so on. In Slavoj Žižek’s reading of Frankenstein , this is the moment where “the ultimate criminal is thus allowed to present himself as the ultimate victim. The monstrous murderer reveals himself to be a deeply hurt and desperate individual, yearning for company and love.”5 But, in the case of Breivik, this goes beyond just a risk of us feeling for him: for, no right-minded person should ever deny another the opportunity to put forth her or his own case. The problem lies with us trying to deny the madness of Breivik’s act by putting him back under reason. The problem is in our inability to differentiate the act from the person; the singular from the universal.6 In our desperation to preserve the notion that we are rational beings incapable of becoming monsters, we’ve had to deny the meaninglessness—in the strict sense of it lying outside of reason—of Breivik’ act; we’ve had to “provide meaning where there is none.” For, if this act were a moment of madness—a moment that comes from elsewhere—we cannot say that it will not descend upon us one day. If Breivik’s actions were that of a sane person, one who is in control of his being, his self, we can then locate the otherness in his being. More importantly, this would allow us to distinguish ourselves from that said being. Breivik’s sanity is the only thing that allows us to say that ‘this act of terror is borne out of one with an ultra-right ideology’; and ‘since I am not of that ideology, I would never do such a thing’. By doing that, we attempt to protect ourselves by claiming that people who share Breivik’s ideology are foreign to us, other to us. However, if Breivik’s act was a moment of insanity, his otherness is no longer locatable: and the notion of ‘us and them’ shifts from a geographical, physical, religious, or cultural notion, to one in the realm of ideas. And this is what truly scares us. For, if what is foreign is not phenomenological, then it cannot be seen, detected, sensed. Anders Behring Breivik, Timothy McVeigh, and Terry Nichols, terrify us not merely for the fact that they were white in a white society, but more pertinently that their skin color did not matter: we would not be able to spot them even if they were blue, even if they were right next to us, even if we had known them all our lives. Even as we are grappling with holding Breivik accountable by declaring him of sound mind, what truly terrifies us is that deep down we know that Breivik’s act is a moment of madness; beyond all comprehensibility. And this means that we would not be able to spot the idea; even if it were in our heads at this very moment. We have gone to lengths to rehabilitate Breivik, McVeigh, Nichols, and such perpetrators of massive incomprehensible violence, in order to preserve our difference from them. What we have really been trying to deny is the fact that everyone, at any given moment, could have a moment of madness. And this is the true radicality of Mary Shelley: in allowing us to momentarily enter the head of the monster, she shows us not just the fact that he is like any one of us, but that any one of us could, in the right (or wrong) circumstance, be like him. Perhaps here, there is a lesson to be learned from Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street . The most dangerous thing that one could do on Elm Street was to mention Freddy’s name—once you had knowledge of him, you were open to the possibility of a visit during your dreams. This suggests that Freddy is a combination of externalities (after all, when you die, he survives) and your self (if you have never heard of him, he cannot come for you). In this sense, Freddy would be the manifestation par excellence of what Avital Ronell calls a “killer text”—it is one’s relationality with the text (and the ideas, notions, in the said text) that opens oneself to it, to the lessons of the text, to being changed, affected, even to the dangers of the text. After all, one should never forget Plato’s warning that ideas can corrupt, can be perilous. To compound matters, as Ronell reminds us, “the connection to the other is a reading—not an interpretation, assimilation, or even a hermeneutic understanding, but a reading.”7 Thus, in attempting to differentiate ourselves from Breivik by concocting some reason(s) why we are not like him, we have done nothing but read him, open a connection to him. *** Bang bang, he shot me down Bang bang, I hit the ground Bang bang, that awful sound Bang bang, my baby shot me down. “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” Sonny Bono, 1966. This is the part that we all know and remember. Whilst never quite remembering that this is a song that is not so much about violence, love, but about remembering. For, after the bridge comes the accusatory stanza: “Now he's gone, I don't know why/ And till this day, sometimes I cry/ He didn't even say goodbye/ He didn't take the time to lie.” Bang Bang is a game that the two lovers used to play; and all she has now is the memory of the game to remember him by. And the only reason she has to recall this game is: he never provided her a reason for his leaving, his death. Not that she will, can, ever get that satisfactory answer. This is precisely the game we are playing with Anders Behring Breivik. Even though he has left a 1500 page manifesto, even though we will allow him to use the court-room as his platform, we will continue screaming at him “tell me why …” For, what we want him to say is that we are not like him: what we really want him to do is, “take the time to lie …” Perhaps here, we should allow the echo of the infans to resound in baby . As Christopher Fynsk reminds us, the infans is one that is pre-language, pre-knowing, pre-understanding: it is the very finitude, and exteriority, of relationality itself.8 And thus, it is a position of openness to the fullness of possibility—and nothing else. This would be, in Ronell’s terms, a “connection to the other” that knows nothing other than the fact that it is a connection. The true horror of 22 July, 2011, is the fact that it is not Anders Behring Breivik who is mad, but the act itself that is. And this is precisely why only “my baby” that could have “shot me down.” For, it is an act that is from beyond, a sheer act of madness that—as Plato warns us—is whispered into our ears (and can so easily be mistaken for inspiration, and even wisdom), an act that can both seize, and cease, us at the same time. And what can this utter openness to an other, the other, be but a moment of love, a true ‘falling in love’. At the moment of whispering, nothing can be known as we are babies as our baby shoots us down …. Hence, all attempts at analyzing this event (including this one) are not only futile, but border on the farcical. The real tragedy is that we forget that all of us have the possibility of becoming Breivik. NOTES Jean Baudrillard. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities . Trans. Paul Foss, John Johnston, Paul Patton, & Andrew Berardini. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2007. p. 37. Slavoj Žižek. Violence: Six Sideway Reflections . London: Profile Books, 2009. p. 34 Ibid: 35-36. Boris Johnson. “ Anders Breivik: There is nothing to study in the mind of Norway’s mass killer .” The Telegraph . (25 July, 2011): Slavoj Žižek. Violence: Six Sideway Reflections . London: Profile Books, 2009. p.39. What is killing us is the notion that Breivik’s act is beyond reason, beyond knowing, outside understanding itself. This is why Boris Johnson’s plea was for us to ignore Breivik as a madman. But to do so, Johnson conflates the notion of the act and the person; the singular and the universal. This is exactly the same gesture as insisting on his sanity: the ‘madman’ is merely the absolute other, one that we are not. Avital Ronell. The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia, Electric Speech . Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989: 380. Christopher Fynsk. Infant Figures: The Death of the Infans and Other Scenes of Origin . Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000.  . (shrink)
A year ago the documents included in this piece were sent out from three locations to three threads of thinkers. Including a small description of the drift process, the Welcome Letter, Protocol & Guidelines, as well as the Statement of Intent are reproduced here in their entirety. This statement was previously published by continent. in-between a conversation of the drift guest editors in issue 2.3.
continent. 1.4 (2011): 310—311. Writing Death . JeremyFernando, foreword by Avital Ronell. Den Haag: Uitgeverij. 2011 ISBN: 978-90-817091-0-1 Rite and ceremony as well as legend bound the living and the dead in a common partnership. They were esthetic but they were more than esthetic. The rites of mourning expressed more than grief; the war and harvest dance were more than a gathering of energy for tasks to be performed; magic was more than a way of commanding forces (...) of nature to do the bidding of man; feasts were more than a satisfaction of hunger. Each of these communal modes of activity united the practical, the social, and the educative in an integrated whole having esthetic form.(1) JeremyFernando’s Writing Death is a sensitive attempt at exploring the depths and heights to which the processes of mourning can take us. Death, as an absence, renders all gestures (for what is mourning but a gesture with many faces) surrounding it at once as a possibility and an impossibility. Fernando poses questions that often elude the mourner and the mourned—the same, and different—by raising the specter of subject and object; by compelling the examination of what it actually means to mourn; and most crucially, by considering the very status of possibility itself that the act of mourning foregrounds. Mourning, he reminds us, is premised upon memory (remembrance, recollection), the shadow of forgetting upon which is perpetually cast—the inextricability between memory and forgetting haunts the living more than it does the dead. And if grief has anything to do with it, mourning can quite easily be mistaken for an attempt to remember in order to forget; an attempt, in other words, to deny death, deny the one thing that confirms mortality. As if living has anything to do with it. What, then, of writing death? It becomes an unceasing process of locating—and addressing—possibility itself: the passing as possibility; loss as possibility; impossibility as, and of, naming this possibility. In confronting the passing on, it is possible, nay inevitable, to move on, move away from the site of loss, of grief. All the while, we forget, Fernando reminds us, that mourning has little to do with the dead, and a whole lot to do with the living, the mourning self. Here, he echoes Dewey’s consolidation of rituals and ceremonies, of the dead and of the living, all as parts of a larger unity, of a social, public gesture meant to sate a private need: In trying to “get over it,” are we trying to get over ourselves? Or more than that: are we trying to get over the fact that we can never quite get over ourselves? (Fernando, 77) As if guilt has anything to do with it. And “it” continues to be the point that he is driving at, driving towards. “It” is the possibility and impossibility, death and life, memory and forgetting, lost and cherished. “It” is what eludes mourning, eludes attempts to overcome grief. Nonetheless, move on, he must. And Fernando does this in fewer moves than a 12-step program—hardly therapeutic, but intellectually satisfying. Writing Death attends to some of the pertinent aspects of the act of mourning—both as gesture and as meditation: eulogy, distress (call), tears, and the question of how (beyond ritual, beyond sentimentality) to mourn. And what’s love got to do with it? Everything and nothing. Mourning, after all, is an articulation of love, but it is also one that forces the mourner to be selective, as with myth-making, in the recollection: Remembering only ever occurs in exception to memory—quite possibly in betrayal of a memory. In this way, each remembrance is a naming of that memory, a naming of something as memory, bringing with it an act of violence. (40) Mourning is thus not only an act of fictionalizing, it is also an act of reading, to continually be compelled to respond to another, all the while keeping vigil against a reconceptualization of the dead, without, therefore, misreading the dead. This can only be done, Fernando argues, by all the while “maintaining the otherness of the other. After all, one must try not to forget that one cannot be too close—space is needed—to touch.” (82) There is also tacit acknowledgement that doing so foregrounds the fact that the selectivity of memory becomes exclusive, and concretizes into a singularity, thus negating the multi-dimensionality of a life lived – and thus killing the already dead. Writing Death is framed by two eulogies—or the approximations of eulogies; approximation because both foreground and call into question the eulogy as a genre. The first is Avital Ronell’s foreword to the book, remembering Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe; the second is Fernando’s own response to the passing of a mentor, Jean Baudrillard. Both are not merely attempts to philosophize their way out of the act of mourning. Both are in fact deeply moving pieces that remind us of the emotional possibilities that may reside within any intellectual undertaking, that the latter need not be cold and devoid of feelings. And whereas Writing Death does not attempt to make any philosophical claim for humanism, the underlying wistfulness of both pieces does suggest that there is a proper place for deep-seated human response to death. We can (and the book does) intellectualize and problematize the acts of mourning and grieving, but these do not diminish the fact that we mourn and grieve. And, framing Writing Death as the two eulogies do, JeremyFernando perhaps finally, and inadvertently, names “It”—it is, above everything else, Human. August, 2011 Singapore NOTES (1) Dewey, John. Art as Experience . New York: Perigee, 1934. (shrink)
In [HKL00] (henceforth HKL), Hamm, Kamp and van Lambalgen declare ‘‘there is no opposition between formal and cognitive semantics,’’ notwithstanding the realist/mentalist divide. That divide separates two sides Jackendo¤ has (in [Jac96], following Chomsky) labeled E(xternalized)-semantics, relating language to a reality independent of speakers, and I(nternalized)-semantics, revolving around mental representations and thought. Although formal semanticists have (following David Lewis) traditionally leaned towards E-semantics, it is reasonable to apply formal methods also to I-semantics. This point is made clear in HKL via (...) two computational approaches to natural language semantics, Discourse Representation Theory (DRT, [KR93]) and the Event Calculus (EC) presented in [LH05]. In this short note, I wish to raise certain questions about EC that can be traced to the applicability of formal methods to E-semantics and I-semantics alike. These opposing orientations suggest di¤erent notions of time, event and representation. (shrink)
Anankastic conditionals are analyzed in terms of events conceived as sequences of snapshots – roughly, comics. Quantiﬁcation is applied not to worlds (sets of which are customarily identiﬁed with propositions) but to strings that record observations of actions. The account generalizes to other types of conditionals, sidestepping certain well-known problems that beset possible worlds treatments, such as logical omniscience and irrelevance. A reﬁnement for anankastic conditionals is considered, incorporating action relations.
Notions of disambiguation supporting a compositional interpretation ofvambiguous expressions and reflecting intuitions about how sentences combinevin discourse are investigated. Expressions are analyzed both inductively byvbreaking them apart, and co-inductively by embedding them within larger contexts.
are considered with a view toward analyzing operational semantics from the perspective of predicate logic. The notion of a bisimulation is employed in two distinct ways: (i) as an extensional notion of equivalence on programs (or processes) generalizing input/output equivalence (at a cost exceeding II' ,over certain transition predicates computable in log space). and (ii) as a tool for analyzing the dependence of transitions on data (which can be shown to be elementary or nonelementary. depending on the formulation of the (...) transitions). (shrink)
Events and situations are represented by strings of temporally ordered observations, on the basis of which the events and situations are recognized. Allen’s basic interval relations are derived from superposing strings that mark interval boundaries, and Kamp’s event structures are constructed as projective limits of strings. Observations are generalized to temporal propositions, leading to event-types that classify event-instances. Working with sets of strings built from temporal propositions, we obtain natural notions of bounded entailment from set inclusions. These inclusions are decidable (...) if the sets are accepted by finite automata. (shrink)
Dynamic and proof-conditional approaches to discourse (exemplified by Discourse Representation Theory and Type-Theoretical Grammar, respectively) are related through translations and transitions labeled by first-order formulas with anaphoric twists. Type-theoretic contexts are defined relative to a signature and instantiated modeltheoretically, subject to change.
This piece, included in the drift special issue of continent. , was created as one step in a thread of inquiry. While each of the contributions to drift stand on their own, the project was an attempt to follow a line of theoretical inquiry as it passed through time and the postal service(s) from October 2012 until May 2013. This issue hosts two threads: between space & place and between intention & attention . The editors recommend that to experience the (...) drifiting thought that attention be paid to the contributions as they entered into conversation one after another. This particular piece is from the BETWEEN INTENTION & ATTENTION thread: JeremyFernando, Sitting in the Dock of the bay, watching... * R.H. Jackson, Reading Eyes * Gina Rae Foster, Nyctoleptic Nomadism: The Drift/Swerve of Knowing * Bronwyn Lay, Driftwood * Patricia Reed, Sentences on Drifitng * David Prater, drift: a way * * * * * Australia, Summer, 2012. …. essential humanity exists, and runs its course, within a system whose first principle is the preservation of balance. And arching over it all, is the logos of The Dreaming. How shall we state this when we fully understand it I do not know, but I should think we are more likely to ennoble it than not. Equilibrium ennobled is abidingness.” 1 On return to birthplace I write. Caught between jetlag and surprise, a relentless sun cracks my skin. Upright words fall under cockatoo roars. The attempt to settle, to be attentive, is shaken. Some kind of Dreaming surrounds and elements intrude without consent. Homeless at home. Exhausted, I fight sleep’s hard currents. Their victory would confuse the body clock, so the in-between wins. Half-there — half-awake — here in this place — I am driftwood. Driftwood: wood floating in or washed ashore by a body of water. A severed limb set adrift from the birthing body. Tossed from home it’s cast into processes of wind, water, sand, bacteria, decay and movement. Driftwood is orphaned members at the mercy and agency of weather, currents, submersion, and being thrown into dry world. Driftwood — singular plural. White man got no dreaming. Him go ‘nother way. White man, him go different Him got road belong himself. 2 photo: Bronwyn Lay The old man comes from the northern rivers. A while ago, he could no longer pay attention to wage slavery, so retreated north to be with dead redgum that lay abandoned in dry riverbeds. Derived from driftwood peoples tossed here by the sea, he followed the fragile river veins of his birth. He walked along water bodies and through country’s lungs. Some kind of displaced ancestral song compelled his leathered hands to pick up centuries old driftwood from flood plains. It emerged from under muddy creeks, was flung up by salt soaked coves, pushed underground by cracks in the claypan and lay embedded in mud and salinized soil. Smoothed and grooved in equal measure, the branches were marked by an organic alphabet that preceded him. As he held the wood, he touched decomposing circles that started with a blast and never ceased writing into abandoned flesh. When the ute was full the old man returned home having been away with the stuff that ‘growed him up’. His shed filled with red sawdust and the sound of tools at labour. His hands sculptured driftwood. History carved into itinerant skin. I sit opposite the old man. His body no longer holds the repetition of carpentry. He can no longer gift driftwood its detail. Outside redgum bits lie scattered around the fence line and beside the dam. He crouches over an unreliable computer researching the massacres of indigenous peoples that occurred along the same river veins that ‘growed him up’ long ago. Staring into the remnants of frontier resistance that he and I inherit, his eyes nurture fire. He discovers severed limbs and the slicing of tribes. In the ashes of sentences he sifts the lies that smoulder into our histories. In the 30’s the anthropologist Stanner said that due to certain factors — lack of change and isolation — the ideal and real come very close together in indigenous Dreaming. They are a people who were able to defeat history. 3 “If the Ideal and the Real drift too far away from one another (as they did at the end of the middle ages and seem increasingly to do this century) men face some difficult options. They have to change their way of life, or their philosophy, or both, or live unhappily somewhere in-between.” 4 Stanner says Indigenous Dreaming is blackfella thinking. 5 Dreamtime is not ethereal, not utopic, or otherworldly. It’s fused with the real and it’s not mine. I might never understand, but it’s the substance of my home. This here place ‘growed me up’. Is driftwood the unhappy in-between? Is it a radical itinerant written upon by currents? Where are we? The settler restless? photo: Alison Pouliot I return to the bush late one night, tired from high talk in city cafes, to find the old man at his computer. He’s either researching his white farming ancestors, or tracing unrecorded massacres of blackfellas. I laugh, “You know Dad, if you were indigenous you might go out by the dam and sing up your ancestors rather than try find them on a screen.” He peers over his glasses. His stare delivers an ancestral scold. He’s white man. Of course he archives. This is our way. One may see that, like all men, he is a metaphysician in being able to transcend himself. With the metaphysician goes a mood and spirit, which I can only call a mood or spirit of assent, neither despair nor resignation, optimism not pessimism, quietism nor indifference. The mood, and the outlook beneath it, make him hopelessly out of place in a world in which the renaissance has triumphed only to be perverted, and in which the products of secular humanism, rationalism and science challenge their own hopes, indeed their beginnings.” 6 The clinamen sometimes comes abstract — the rarefied swerve of possibility. But in the place we gather &mdash where this text has landed — in the heart of settler colony denial — the clinamen reminds of familiar violence and goes maximum. The earth’s swerve. Topography’s tip. Physics gone violent. Here, drift is initiated by the tear of flesh, scurvy voyages, frontier blood and the deracination from belonging. Here, war precedes drift. We all got tossed. Here. Pay attention. The country has its own gaze. ‘Lest we forget’. The seasonal turn on aborescent substances starts with a fall, an upwards rupture, a drop, a cut, a storm, a violence, a loss, forced migration, refugees, agricultural imperialism, settler wheat and poisoned rations. Pay attention to aftermath debris. Don’t drift too far from the real. History hasn’t settled into the water. It still tosses limbs back and forth. Surrounded by the backdrop of Dreaming country the old man archives and dreams. Both ways of settling into the real. But lest we forget, time, in this place, has no textual tick — tock. Our bodies know this, even though we persist with shipwreck illusions. It’s difficult being here. Here. Pay inattention. I walk through eucalyptus, over dried out clay pans and under kookaburras. It’s been two years in-between. This time country speaks strong underfoot. Forget books, forget texts, forget other lands and times, beginning and end. Be here. All falls raw. Leaves drop and refuse to compost. Bark untethers quick. Light denudes worlds. The heated horizon melts monoliths. It’s enough to make Cartesians shiver. Awake. Refuse the temptation to run. Have enough courage to drift into here. Love with a gum tree. Stand with her whole and dissolving. She moves light between our limbs, tossing them to wind. She — the original romance — is the dream that dares touch flesh and reaches over nightmares with elemental desire. I gaze and lose me. There’s no distance. The land that ‘growed me up’ speaks with symbiotic breath. There’s no division, no separation, no other. The gum is plastic arborescence. You be my body for me, always were. …..but I wake to driftwood histories and recall slaughters. Drifted, wicked fellow citizen — the other is someone else’s blind sleep. Betrayal maintains the other as mine. Archives reveal this place doesn’t belong to me. Body articulates that it became here. Gumtree cares not………her arms take me in anyway. “Like all men he is a philosopher in being able to use his power of abstract reason. His genius, his metier, and in some sense — his fate is that because of endowment and circumstance this power has channelled itself mainly into one activity, making sense out of social relations among men living together.” 7 The old man excavates seven generations of settler ancestors. They’re an ordinary lot with written-upon skin. He records genocides that occurred alongside his peoples fertility. Bodies rise from riverbeds like sovereign sacrifices. It hurts. It disrupts. He labours at the past with gestures that might go unnoticed in a country suffocated by rich amnesia. Inside walls, he seems attentive to historical details. Outside he seems inattentive to time, lost to us and embedded in a family of active matter — the bush. His driftwood skin appears around my eyes - grooves of experience, the rush of cruel sun, the push of blind winds, and the love of everything. The sovereign’s reluctant children are thrown here by, with and through blood, but country gets in and sculpts us here. photo: Chris Corrigan “But his abstractions do not put him at war with himself.” 8 The kangaroo family appears at dusk. When the sun is soft I follow the old man into the back paddock. Children skip behind us. In-between generations, I step into the old man’s driftwood leanings. My feet find traces of his understanding – the archivist that reads trees. Here, on home dirt, inattention and attention collapse as we wander into where we are. The roo family gaze at us. Through the grass the old man’s wooden finger articulates kin’s details. He points to the head male, the mother holding a joey in pouch and the young warriors side by side. My children, quieter than ever, meet the laser - eyed silence of another family. In half-light Dad, me, and the kids mirror the kangaroo constellation and stand gentle together. At the bushblock’s limit we encounter ancestral desires. White peoples are subject to driftwood histories. We’re severed limbs attempting to fuse here now, with what was, only to discover our skin becomes racked and embedded with the weather. Into the shelter and fissures of this difficult and ambiguous inheritance, I fall into dream light until balance saturates. Light breaks when the kangaroos move. They bounce someplace else without effort or impact. We turn and tread through the dark towards home. It’s time to sleep. Driftwood skin covers the country. Dreaming is still. photo: Bronwyn Lay NOTES W.E.H. Stanner, The Dreaming and Other Essays , (Melbourne: Black Inc. Agenda, 2009), 72. Ibid., 56. Stanner is recalling one intelligent old man who said to him, “with a cadence almost as though he had been speaking in verse.” Ibid., 60. Ibid., 69. Ibid., 58. Ibid., 67. Ibid., 68. Ibid., 59.  . 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The processing of sequences of (English) sentences is analyzedcompositionally through transitions that merge sentences, rather thandecomposing them. Transitions that are in a precise senseinertial are related to disjunctive and non-deterministic approaches toambiguity. Modal interpretations are investigated, inducing variousequivalences on sequences.
This piece, included in the drift special issue of continent. , was created as one step in a thread of inquiry. While each of the contributions to drift stand on their own, the project was an attempt to follow a line of theoretical inquiry as it passed through time and the postal service(s) from October 2012 until May 2013. This issue hosts two threads: between space & place and between intention & attention . The editors recommend that to experience the (...) drifiting thought that attention be paid to the contributions as they entered into conversation one after another. This particular piece is from the BETWEEN INTENTION & ATTENTION thread: JeremyFernando, Sitting in the Dock of the bay, watching... * R.H. Jackson, Reading Eyes * Gina Rae Foster, Nyctoleptic Nomadism: The Drift/Swerve of Knowing * Bronwyn Lay, Driftwood * Patricia Reed, Sentences on Drifitng * David Prater, drift: a way * * * * The gaze drifts where the stare dares not. The gaze is attentive while the stare is intent. Dériver : Equally to drift and/or to derive. —When drifting then, something must be taken along. Something must be derived from the drift. Something of oneself must always become other. Incorporating the other, incorporating oneself as other. Je est un autre , Rimbaud disait; 1 this in his last letter to Georges Izambard, a final correspondence to a former mentor and friend, from whom he was drifting away, having derived much. The drift is a control incomplete. To drift is to come closer and closer, but to always be turning away, pulling apart, pulling oneself apart. It is parabolic in the sense that it is always eluding a formerly established intent. Of all axes, it never finds room to rest. Filling new spaces, always changing places, ever escaping the Cartesian; the indubitable pinpointing of position. It is never pinned down. Love together what we will be apart. Once together, we will drift apart. Il le faut . Attention is held; it traces the path. It follows each point which traces the arc, the line, the swerve. It is not concerned with the figure being drawn, but rather the movement between one point and the next. The smallest movement. The clinamen of De Rerum Natura is the smallest of swerves, it is nothing more than the minimum — nec plus quam minimum . Michel Serres says of the clinamen , that it is an absurdity — a logical, geometrical, mechanical, physical absurdity. 'The clinamen, from here (its state of absurdity), finds refuge in subjectivity; it passes from the world to the soul, from the physical to the metaphysical, from the theory of inert bodies in freefall to the theory of the free movements of the living.' 2 So this swerve is something of the mind and something of the body, both in action, rather than a body which is merely acted upon. Swerve, however, has a connotation of suddenness. It is a movement which is made to avoid an otherwise inevitable impact. Drift, on the other hand, is the unleashing of something which is then allowed to follow a more complex series of forces. These forces now come from within as well as without. It is no longer tethered; now following tides, winds, flows or pitched slopes, now acting on its own. We are not atoms in freefall. Our attention long ago pulled us from this precipitous descent. We now live, ourselves, as one of the many forces. In the drift, as with the gaze, there is an ease. ‘Ease is the proper name of this unrepresentable space.’ It is the space nearest, the next, the neighboring space. To occupy this space requires a turn, a shift or a drift. It cannot be reached by proceeding straight ahead. ‘..the space adjacent, the empty place where each can move freely, in a semantic constellation where spatial proximity borders on opportune time (ad-agio, moving at ease) and convenience borders on the correct relation.’ 3 Intention always seeks to straighten this line, to make it less complex, to isolate the point of departure and the desired destination. It believes there can be two points and, between them, there must be a straight line. Can there be? Maybe. Must there be? Never. Straight lines may exist, but they can never be followed to the finish. After leaving this point, we will never reach that one without being buffeted at least a little — at least the least. One foot in front of the other, this is a very restrictive dance, less even than a two-step. Straight lines lead only to lost intentions, being the shortest and quickest way to get there. When attention drifts it slowly turns away from the intended target, leaving it for something which pulls the attention away. Now we are for a moment free; all at once we can pivot, now we can waltz. Drifting along the page, deriving from what is seen. Reading is seeing; the movement of the eyes as they drift. Reading in the eyes what has been seen, what has been derived from the act of reading. Reading eyes drift back and forth down the page, now and then jump back and forth, up to the top, one word, back down, quickly a few pages back, now gaze out towards the horizon. When attention drifts it is the gaze that follows. Our attention is not restricted to the path the words follow, but links them together; deriving what is to be seen, rather than read. La philosophie fait voir . ‘Thus, philosophers speak through proverbs, and demonstrate. They connect their imaginations with foreign rings, flown into famous tombs.’ 4 Now drifting off to sleep, dreams come as unintended visions. To dream is pure drift, vision without an object, gazing into the dark, reading the unknown of the night. NOTES: Arthur Rimbaud, Poésies (Paris: Bibliothéque de Cluny, 1958), 57. Michel Serres, La Naissance de la Physique (Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1977), 10. Translation courtesy of R.H. Jackson. Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1993), 25. Louis Aragon, Une Vague des Rêves (Paris: Editions Seghers, 2006), 10. Translation courtesy of R.H. Jackson.  . (shrink)
A modal logic for translating a sequence of English sentences to a sequence of logical forms is presented, characterized by Kripke models with points formed from input/output sequences, and valuations determined by entailment relations. Previous approaches based (to one degree or another) on Quantified Dynamic Logic are embeddable within it. Applications to presupposition and ambiguity are described, and decision procedures and axiomatizations supplied.
This piece, included in the drift special issue of continent. , was created as one step in a thread of inquiry. While each of the contributions to drift stand on their own, the project was an attempt to follow a line of theoretical inquiry as it passed through time and the postal service(s) from October 2012 until May 2013. This issue hosts two threads: between space & place and between intention & attention . The editors recommend that to experience the (...) drifiting thought that attention be paid to the contributions as they entered into conversation one after another. This particular piece is from the BETWEEN INTENTION & ATTENTION thread: JeremyFernando, Sitting in the Dock of the bay, watching... * R.H. Jackson, Reading Eyes * Gina Rae Foster, Nyctoleptic Nomadism: The Drift/Swerve of Knowing * Bronwyn Lay, Driftwood * Patricia Reed, Sentences on Drifitng * David Prater, drift: a way * * * * * 1. To drift is to be propelled by currents. 2. Sentences are textual currents. 3. To drift is to be com pelled with currents. 4. To be compelled is to be overcome by some force. 5. To be overcome by some force requires the instantiation of a weightless body (virtual or actual), upon which and through which a force can operate. 6. Forces can be physical, cognitive, unconscious and sensory. 7. Forces of drift have no particular telos; they incline bodies without knowable destination. 8. Drifting is nomadic, where nomadism includes movements between places, times (also time-zones), genres, thought and cognitive states. 9. Forces are attractors; attractivity is a force. 10. Attractivity is a relation between force and body. 11. Attractivity is relation of exteriority; it is of the domain of the foreign. 12. To drift is to become the prey of attraction, the prey of the foreign. 13. In the movement of becoming prey, one can either be eaten or feed into a re-composition of things. 14. Drifting is liminal; it can be equally productive and destructive. 15. The deviated course implied by drifting may yield novelty, yet may equally yield a perpetual deferral of any positionality. 16. The state of drifting is necessary to the creation of novelty. 17. The state of drifting can inhibit the creation of novelty. 18. The modern drift was celebrated as a form of emancipation, through the liberation of urban structures traced on foot, to the negation of banal tasks in riding on the open highway. In the attention economy, drifting has become a paradigm of labour, precarious and otherwise. 19. To drift in a novel fashion requires a necessary threshold between distraction and re-attraction. 20. Re-attraction is a form of going off-track, yet implies the fidelity to an alter force. Re-attraction is eccentric in inclination, that is, decentred, casting alter orbits of orientation. 21. Eccentricity is a form of drift defined as a body inflected by the force of heterogeneous inclination. Eccentricity is the fidelity to the becoming-foreign of the body as prey to attractivity. 22. Drift as eccentricity is equal to the creation of novel modes of inclination alter to the limits of normative orbits of determinate trajectories. 23. The effects of eccentric drifting can only be known post-movement. 24. All modes of drifting (natural and cognitive) are relative to some former position, although distances and their capacity for measurement are inconsistent. 25. Eccentric drifting does not result in relativism. Drifting is transitional, and, like a Moiré pattern, produces interferences between things. 26. Where there is drifting there are both side-effects and side-affects, which feed-back into the inclination of drift itself. 27. Side-effects and side-affects may produce conditions and sensibilities of failure. 28. The ethics of drifting play out in the responsiveness to side-effects/side-affects. 29. Eccentric drifting is not algorithmic, informational, strategic nor opportunistic; it is tactically lived experience. 30. Eccentric drifting is a dance with contingency, of repositioning a body (a body includes thought) through the affirmation of re-attraction. 31. Eccentric drifting is a form of love, a love of existence that proceeds strategic coupling with ideas, people, situations, places and so forth. 32. As a form of love, eccentric drifting can generate changes of state (and even changes of State). 33. Currents that propel/compel a state of eccentric drifting may be imaginary; a possible current includes the attractive force to that which is not (yet) present. 34. Eccentric drifting is not only a state of transitional movement, but most importantly includes the fabrication of imaginary forces that could propel/compel a given body and its spheres of interaction. 35. These sentences comment on drift, but are not exemplary of drifting. (shrink)
On behalf of continent. and as a representative of guest editors, April Vannini and JeremyFernando, I would like to welcome you to the drift , special issue of continent . In the summer of 2012, April and I set forth a proposal to the editors of continent. that would engage with a manipulation of the structure of how a journal's materials are curated, accrued, and compiled. The following issue is the partial final product of what our Statement (...) of Intent calls an "attempt to give the scene for an emergence and what can become conceivable when given the opportunity to create chains of thought—linking, welding, fusing, looping, stitching." In this issue you will find the details of the initial scene of drift in the Statement of Intent & Original Documents . This compilation of documents made up (and yet makes) the core of the project's explanatory measures and accompanies the accruing contributions as they are sent from one person to the next. What follows are two of the three threads that were sent out from Singapore, Singapore; Gabriola Island, Canada; and Denver, Colorado. Each piece was written once the accruing contributions were received through the postal system(s). Each contributor (after the initial contributor) chose the next person to participate in the issue, thus not only directing the content by providing a piece, but also by continuing to extend the invitation. The results of the drift that you will encounter in this issue are only a portion of the entirety of the project. As drifting things will do, the third thread, between mischief & disobedience , lived up to it's scene of emergence and got caught up in the mail system between Austria and Scotland at the same time between space & place required some emergency attention. It is the intention of the drift editors to allow this thread to live past the original five contributors to gather twice as many and to publish the entire set along with the contributions you will find here in a physical form in the next year. To attempt a general consensus amongst my selves, my fellow guest editors, and editors of continent. as to what has transpired here under the name of drift would be a disservice to a project still in motion. However, what can already be seen in the documents accrued through the two threads, between space & place and between attention & intention , is a gesture of how one approach moves into the next and then into the next. In between space & place the thread beginning in a wondering of a shaping of "between" moves into narrative, images (both visual and written), and manifestos. The nature of between attention & intention , on the other hand, accumluates in intertextual references amongst the contributors before culminating in poetry. While the movement of thought from one piece to another is the intended method of experiencing the between-ness of drift , I leave the reader to follow their own threads through this drift special issue of continent. We would also like to thank Jason Wagner of Univocal Publishing for his help in the PDF rendering process of drift . You will notice that the PDF copies of the pieces appear differently than that of the usual house-style of continent. This was to preserve the linearity and personality of the original materials as they were accumulated. (shrink)
This piece, included in the drift special issue of continent. , was created as one step in a thread of inquiry. While each of the contributions to drift stand on their own, the project was an attempt to follow a line of theoretical inquiry as it passed through time and the postal service(s) from October 2012 until May 2013. This issue hosts two threads: between space & place and between intention & attention . The editors recommend that to experience the (...) drifiting thought that attention be paid to the contributions as they entered into conversation one after another. This particular piece is from the BETWEEN INTENTION & ATTENTION thread: JeremyFernando, Sitting in the Dock of the bay, watching... * R.H. Jackson, Reading Eyes * Gina Rae Foster, Nyctoleptic Nomadism: The Drift/Swerve of Knowing * Bronwyn Lay, Driftwood * Patricia Reed, Sentences on Drifitng * David Prater, drift: a way * * * * * ‘Kraftledningarna / spända i köldens rike / norr om all musik.’ TOMAS TRANSTRÖMER Attention! You are not dreaming, you are drifting into sleep. You are feeling veeeerrry sleepy now. The curvature of the earth is causing you to shift away from the pinpoint that you circled yesterday on a map, your eyes hazed. That was also a today, in a novel fashion—the today of days long gone, of clouds long transformed into rain, or else snow drifts. That’s okay, you know this: in cathedrals of bone we find arcs that keep us warm. In drift- wood we find the puzzles that madden us all night, Tetris dreaming. In from our past, deriving steam, straight lines, axes, branches, kindling. Attention! Does anyone here speak Spanish? Si? Bueno! Dream with me. Cry out in your sleep. Step fearfully out onto the ice and drift awhile, inside a massive Perspex speech-bubble dream. A massive bubble longing to become detergent. The louvres of a ribcage snapping shut. Awe. Curvature of the earth is a con job: ask a dervish. Hail an imaginary cab in a hail-struck avenue and wait for the popcorn to drop. Stop, drifter! In the pharmacies and in the alleys, popping rocks while money men drift by in stockings, purling and unfurling their ways, their means. Attention, people!ion hurts. Reading too much into things I know nothing about, the niceness of the void or else a philosopher’s mouth sewn shut. I know about that, at least: the madness of seeking asylum in antipodean dreams, drifting for weeks at a time on a boat more abstract than surreal. Oh, fuck Life of Pi! Heaven basks like a warm, square meal but I can’t get there from here. There is no shark travelling at speed X while I zoom at speed Y in the opposite direction. I can’t use a lasso. I no longer have fits. I am no, mad. Too bad. Attention! Ambient doom slash moon. Over! The curvature of a yawn, a dream sewn shut. This skin, that knows my dreams, forgets me. Fruit tingles, wet on the tongue: get me some analogue hits, expressways to frozen, lakeside moon-dream voiceovers. The narrator’s cues infuse the afternoon, the canoes, with nostalgia. Somewhere, out there, we become driftories. We lie down in atoms and the clinamina bore. We fight against our own handwritten lies, type marching letters into files and save. Awe. Fidelity is a kind of surveillance. Current A. Attention! It was never my intention to score cheap points at the expense of polar bears, of driftwood, shores. The cockatoos roar. Their explosive chatter could strip a pine tree raw. Implant in me some destructive grace, to drift. Planetoid lamps all along the turnpike’s busy arcs. Extreme emissions of things. Drift-rings. The target of my gaze, sewn shut. Your eyes rising slower than a star from what you read, condensed into steam, here, north of all music. Driftories, signal fires, smoke: disappear. Go back to sleep now. No, we were never here. (shrink)
L’Autrice si propone di tracciare la genealogia della posizione neoliberale, partendo soprattutto dai testi di Gary Becker. Il pensiero economico neoliberale è posto in relazione con la rivoluzione scientifica e l’operazione di matematizzazione della natura che da essa scaturisce. Questo percorso porterà poi a Jeremy Bentham, il cui sistema è spesso visto come antesignano degli studiosi neoliberali. Secondo la tesi sostenuta dall’Autrice, il neoliberalismo presenta il proprio sguardo come una neutra e scientifica descrizione del reale, sennonché in tale mossa (...) si annida pur sempre una tendenza normativa. È così che gli economisti neoliberali elaborano un sistema che è altresì prescrittivo, proponendo un modello che si pone sul piano politico; modello il quale viene qui designato con il nome di «utopia economica». (shrink)
Jeremy Bentham was an ardent secularist convinced that society could be sustained without the support of religious institutions or beliefs. This is writ large in the commonly neglected books on religion he wrote and published during the last twenty-five years of his life. However his earliest writings on the subject date from the 1770s, when as a young man he first embarked on his calling as a legal theorist and social reformer. From that time on, religion was never far (...) from the centre of his thoughts. -/- In Secular Utilitarianism, James Crimmins illustrates the nature, extent, and depth of Jeremy Bentham's concern with religion, from his Oxford days of first doubts to the middle years of quiet unbelief, and finally, the zealous atheism and secularism of his later life. Dr Crimmins provides an interpretation of Bentham's thought in which his religious views, hitherto of little interest to Bentham scholars, are shown to be integral: on the one hand intimately associated with the metaphysical, epistemological, and psychological principles which gave shape to his system as a whole, and on the other central to the development of his entirely secular view of society. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 53, Issue 2-4, pp 405 - 423 This article deals with a brief _difficultas_ in the _Tractatus de compositione propositionis mentalis_ by Fernando de Enzinas: _qualiter copule significent tempus et an copule de presenti et preterito sint synonime_. A progressive determination of the signification of the copula is analysed: first, Enzinas defines his position about the principal syncategorematic signification of the copula; then, he analyses the sense of the consignification of time traditionally attributed to the copula. (...) The originality of Enzinas’ position is highlighted, given the fact that he gives preference to the question as to _how_ the copulae signify time rather than the question as to _which_ time the copulae signify. (shrink)
En el marco ambiental del XIX se produce la penetración de Jeremy Bentham en el horizonte intelectual salmantino. Bentham el filósofo-legislador se avenía perfectamente con el espíritu de renovación jurídico y política que se respiraba en los círculos más inquietos de la Universidad de Salamanca a comienzos del siglo XIX. El método utilitarista de Bentham propiciaba una vía nueva para fundamentar una ética jurídica y política a posteriori; en vista de los resultados dolorosos y placenteros del acto humano y (...) de sus repercusiones prósperas o nocivas en el plano social. De ahí, que la minoría intelectual que en la Universidad de Salamanca aspiraba a una profunda revisión de los esquemas didácticos vigentes eligiera la doctrina de Bentham como la más adecuada y eficaz para el logro de sus propósitos. (shrink)
Os heterônimos do poeta português Fernando Pessoa constituem uma das mais fantásticas criações da poesia moderna. Através deles, fingindo-se um deles, o poeta apresenta-se múltiplo, como que habitado por várias pessoas, encerrando vários eus, num jogo literário em que entretanto não se identifica com nenhum deles. Sem desconsiderar a complexidade dessa criação literária, o artigo propõe-se a abordar alguns aspectos da obra do “Pessoa ele-mesmo”. Em certo sentido, Pessoa ele-mesmo é também um heterônimo. Poeta fingidor, nada nele é diretamente (...) confessional ou biográfico. Pessoa ele-mesmo apresenta-se como a expressão dramática de uma busca de identidade, aberta numa constelação de personalidades complexas e sofridas. A dor fingida que finge a dor sofrida e outras representações da dor existencial de Pessoa ele-mesmo podem ser lidas como angústia e mística. Para tecer esse percurso, o artigo se reportará basicamente às poesias inéditas de 1919-1935, basicamente os últimos escritos do grande e múltiplo poeta português. Palavras-chave : Fernando Pessoa. Heterônimos. Angústia. Mística. Teopoética.The heteronyms of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa is one of the most fantastic creations of modern poetry. Through them, and pretending to be one of them, the poet presents himself as multiple, as if inhabited by several people, assuming several selves, in a literary game in which the poet does not identify himself with any of them. Without ignoring the complexity of such literary creation, the paper aims to address some aspects of the work of “Fernando Pessoa-himself”. In a sense, “Fernando Pessoa-himself” is also a heteronomous that carries a message that is neither confessional nor a bibliographic one. “Fernando Pessoa-himself” presents himself as a dramatic expression of an identity search within a constellation of some complex and suffered personalities. The “pretended pain” that pretends to be a true suffering as well other representations of the existential pain of “Fernando Pessoa-himself” can be comprehended as anxiety and mystique. To accomplish this purpose, the article will report primarily to the unpublished last poems of the great poet Fernando Pessoa, written between 1919 and 1935. Keywords: Fernando Pessoa. Heteronyms. Anguish. Mystique. Theopoetic - DOI: 10.5752/P.2175-5841.2012v10n25p93. (shrink)
Mill, J. S. Bentham.--Whewell, W. Bentham.--Watson, J. Bentham.--Hart, H. L. A. Bentham.--Parekh, B. Bentham's justification of the principle of utility.--Peardon, T. Bentham's ideal republic.--Hart, H. L. A. Bentham on sovereignty.--Burns, J. H. Bentham's critique of political fallacies.--Mitchell, W. C. Bentham's felicific calculus.--Roberts, D. Jeremy Bentham and the Victorian administrative state.
The new critical edition of the works and correspondence of Jeremy Bentham is being prepared and published under the supervision of the Bentham Committee of University College London. In spite of his importance as jurist, philosopher, and social scientist, and leader of the Utilitarian reformers, the only previous edition of his works was a poorly edited and incomplete one brought out within a decade or so of his death. Eight volumes of the new Collected Works, five of correspondence, and (...) three of writings on jurisprudence, appeared between 1968 and 1981, published by the Athlone Press. Further volumes in the series since then are published by Oxford University Press. The overall plan and principles of the edition are set out in the General Preface to The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 1, which was the first volume of the Collected Works to be published.An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, Jeremy Bentham's best-known work, is a classic text in modern philosophy and jurisprudence. First published in 1789, it contains the important statement of the foundations of utilitarian philosophy and a pioneering study of crime and punishment, both of which remain at the heart of contemporary debates in moral and political philosophy, economics, and legal theory. Printed here in full is the definitive edition, edited by the distinguished scholars J. H. Burns and H. L. A. Hart. An introductory essay by Hart, first published in 1982 and a widely acknowledged classic in its own right, is reprinted here. It contains an important analysis of Bentham's principle of utility, theory of action, and an account of the relationship between law and morality.A new introduction by the leading Bentham scholar F. Rosen, specially written for this Clarendon Paperback edition, provides students with a helpful survey of Bentham's main ideas and an extensive bibliographical study of recent critical work on Bentham. Professor Rosen's essay also contains a new analysis of the principle of utility in Bentham's philosophy which is compared with its use in Hume and J. S. Mill. (shrink)
Origens : Alex Atala, Fernando e Humberto Campana -- Presente : Fernando e Humberto Campana e Jum Nakao -- Intermezzo : convívio : Jam Nakao e colaboradores -- Destinos : Alex Atala e Jum Nakao -- Entrevistas -- Um pouco de história.
The writings collected in this volume make an important addition to The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. They lend credence to Bentham's claim that his ideas were appropriate `for the use of all nations and all governments professing liberal opinions'. The essays, dating mainly from late 1822 and early 1823, are based exclusively on manuscripts, many of which have not been previously published. -/- Turning his attention towards the Mediterranean basin, Bentham here attempts to legislate for one Islamic state, (...) and offers advice to another in the process of throwing off Islamic rule. The Writings for Tripoli include the famous `Securities against Misrule', in which Bentham draws up a constitutional charter with an accompanying explanation of its provisions. He also discusses the social, political, and religious institutions of the country, and proposes a scheme for the introduction of constitutional reform both there and in the other Barbary states. The Writings for Greece include a rare commentary on the first Greek constitution of 1822, and advice and warnings to the Greek legislators against the temptation of `sinister appetites'. The main theme in both groups of writings is the efficacy of representative institutions and the publicity of official actions in preventing the abuse of government power. (shrink)
This is the tenth volume of the Correspondence produced in the new edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. The great majority of the letters have never before been published. They illustrate the composition, editing, publication, and reception of several of his works. The volume reveals Bentham's attempts to influence developments in France, the USA, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and South America. -/- Despite Bentham's importance as jurist, philosopher, and social scientist, and leader of the Utilitarian reformers, the only (...) previous edition of his works was a poorly edited and incomplete one brought out within a decade or so of his death. This new critical edition of his works and correspondence is being prepared by the Bentham Committee of University College London. (shrink)