Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Deterritorializing Totalization - Or Assemblages?

I want to return to Yusef’s reflections on Totalization (and quote him correctly this time :))

"I don’t want to break away from the elements of Carl’s theory, (Totalization being one such element,) I want to separate these elements and then reassemble them somehow, with the reassembly being determined by which way accomplishes a reactivation of philosophical ethos."

This is, of course, commendable, but there arise problems in the philosophical consequences of this activity. There is a demolition and a re-creation of the elements at the same time, coupled with a hope of somehow giving birth to a new philosophical ethos.

Are we talking about deterritorializing, followed by reterritorializing?

Or can we escape the totalization of Totalization?

There is still the matter of what exactly is Totalization?

Of course, it isn’t the ”end of all endings”, but yet it holds in its concept an absolutism, does it not?

Instead I posit that we move beyond fixed structures and enter the fluid, inter-dependent assemblages of the present.

When we are writing under the ”subversive” The Enlightenment Underground title we are also digging tunnels (as in Gaza) and deterritorializing the ground we are walking on.

The Enlightenment was absolutist in its rejection of superstition and ”darkness”, but that was over 200 years ago and now we must deal with philosophy in the present, a much more inter-woven patchwork of assemblages and flowing definitions, in the constant creation of ”soft intellectual power”.

But can we reach this far when ”God is in the grammar” (Nietzsche) or when Wittgenstein writes,

You often hear – time and again - that philosophy never makes any progress, that the same philosophical problems that concern us are the same that the Greeks were preoccupied with. But those who say so, don’t understand the reason why this must necessarily be so: The reason is that our language remains the same and always seduces us to ask the same questions. As long as there is a verb ”to be” that seems to function as as ”to eat” and ”to drink”, as long as there are adjectives like ”identical”, ”true”, ”false”, ”possible”, as long as there is talk about ”the ebb and flow of time”, the ”limits of the universe”, etc. –human beings will again and again confront the enigmatic difficulties , and they will be staring at something that no explanation seems to do away with.

By the way, this also satisfies the longing for the transcedental, since by seeming to think they see ”the limit of human reason” – they, of course, believe they are able to look beyond it.

So, isn’t it time to philosophize in the present?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Instead I posit that we move beyond fixed structures and enter the fluid, inter-dependent assemblages of the present."

I think you need to tell us what makes a fixed structure fixed, structural, and what makes an assemblage, and then what makes an assemblage fluid, interdependent, of the present.

In other words, why is an assemblage these things while a structure is not?

Fixed structures, even the most fixed we know, are flowing. It's just that some flow at a rate which is imperceptible to us without the use of specific devices and instruments which allow us to perceive this.

They are, similarly, inter-dependent. Fixed structures interact with the environment, they weather, they age, they undergo chemical reactions, etc.

It goes without saying we have fixed structures in the present.

You may not be aware of it, but I am not the only person who writes with words, uses sentences and paragraphs, etc. or uses the word Totalization. In fact, you do, too.

Why are your comments of the present, fluid, and of the present while mine are not?

I don't object to anything you have to say--I don't even mind your tone or your combativeness. I think it is great to see you writing these posts. I think we'll go somewhere with this newly (at least in the context of our Denmark to Alaska connection)emerging aggression and productivity of yours.


12:12 AM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

As Foucault, Derrida and others have demonstrated (in their writings) structures are not "fixed", their perspective is however ahistorical. The whole point with post-structuralism (which is not a collection of theories that I blindly if at all subscribe to anymore) is that every structure has a genesis (a becoming) which is historical and it is that "movement inside of a system" when a sign changes position that is the all-consuming object of inquiry for deconstruction. Deconstruction is not the apposite of construction. Deconstruction does not mean taking things apart.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent points.


11:51 AM  

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