Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Totalization of Shadows, Part XI

Just to keep things moving here… If my goal is to determine the material conditions for the reactivation of a philosophical ethos, what prevents me from taking a “labor theory” of reactivation seriously?

If I think that the reactivation of a philosophical ethos involves a real problem, a problem which remains worth thinking about, this means I assume we are not taught to think. If we could be taught to think and we required a reactivation of a philosophical ethos, we have an educational problem, (and the various accompanying logistical, organizational, and economic problems,) but not a problem of thought itself. The educational problem involves knowing how to transmit what it is to think, but wouldn’t as an educational problem involve or need to solve knowing what to think is.

If I don’t think I can be taught to think, and yet sense somehow I am not thinking (how do I sense this?), how do I work on myself so that I attain thinking? Do I goad and reprove myself, marinate myself in the shame of not thinking to such an extent I become so miserable I force myself to break out of this intolerable state? Is it an act of will? Or do I wander about, trying this or that, experimentally trying different combinations of thoughts and ideas (and what, in this context, are these thoughts and ideas, and how do I recognize them as such?) until one way or another I hit on a combination through which I sense some activation occurring, (and how do I sense such a thing? What are the characteristics of the sensation of a reactivation of a philosophical ethos?)

If I seek the mentorship of others who are thought to have been successful in the reactivation of philosophical ethos, how do I know what I am achieving is reactivation rather than mimicry or imitation, (which I take to be different than reactivation, though I am willing to consider this may not be correct. I don’t think the problem of a reactivation is the same as seeking to be original—I would be interested in seeing how the two are related. To tell the truth, I don’t think much of the problem of seeking to be original.)


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