Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Shadows of Totalization, Part XXVI

To pry apart the concept of objectivity—this is difficult.

Among the difficulties to be surmounted is to convince oneself objectivity is a concept. Under most circumstances, I find it much more pleasant to treat objectivity tautologically: objectivity is objective. I think: somewhere, somehow-–buried deep within me-- or is it at the limit of the universe?—there is objectivity, I only need reach it. (Strangely, I do not trouble myself with the problem of whether I will know it when I've reached it.)

Objectivity is objective—not conceptual. One thinks. One can even be aware of the history of objectivity and believe this to be true—because history (even evolutionary history) can be viewed as progress towards objectivity, towards the reaching of the objective. Objectivity is out there and we as a people or a species are on our way to there. We realize ourselves as a people and species when we reach objectivity; we betray ourselves as a people (and as species?) when we turn from it.

We can and have viewed the historical Enlightenment in precisely this way: as a very important step on our species’ journey towards a realization of the objective. I think we’ve confused ourselves by doing this, however, because such a view of the historical Enlightenment is not entirely coeval with our view of the Enlightenment as the overcoming of Totalization, the reactivation of a philosophical ethos.

The one strand of the concept of objectivity which I can at present grab onto (in the hope I can make the rest of the ball of yarn unwind) is the strand of the objective as the publicly accessible. There is a terrible, fantastic, and debilitating interweaving of this notion with the previously-mentioned one of the Enlightenment as progress towards a realization of the objective: Enlightenment as progress towards publicity.


Blogger Christoffer said...

For an experiment, let us try and rephrase Kants definition of Enlightenment:

Where there is Publicity, Freedom, and Universality, and an excerise of Reason, there is Objectivity.

Heidegger tell us that Objectivity, is the essense of science as research, which is the fundamental "thing" of our age
(modernity). Perhaps paradoxically, or maybe by nessecity, it also makes us subjects. Thus, subjectivity is really the essense of the modern age.

2:57 AM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

I propose a destruction of the concept of objectivity is called for. A method to undertake this destruction, is a dobbelt movement: From concept to experience, and from past to present.

4:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Heidegger tell us that Objectivity, is the essense of science as research, which is the fundamental "thing" of our age
(modernity). Perhaps paradoxically, or maybe by nessecity, it also makes us subjects. Thus, subjectivity is really the essense of the modern age."

I think what we're trying to do is get at the Totality of the modern age--within which is both the character of subject/object. Publicity does have this character.


I like your idea for a method to undertake the destruction.

BTW, I was quite surprised to learn you and Orla are compatriots.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

I am not familiar with that word. However, it does not sound like something I am. As for te one you mention, I dont know who he is and have never met him.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

Actually, I did read a rpely in an online newspaper that mr. Schants had authored. In which he expressed strong support and defended the Bush administration and their -war for freedom-. And globalisation as well.

Neither is "my cup of tea".

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the bottom of your most recent post, you obliquely mentioned your attendance at the University of Copenhagen (you had quoted from your senior thesis from there.)

I know Orla is from Denmark, so I thought maybe you were both from Denmark.


1:04 PM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

Yes, I am from Denmark. I was surprised too, to see that Schants also was. I stopped studying philosophy, since my interest in the field has narrowed quite alot.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

Enlightenment has to do with objectivity. How do we experience objectivity? In many ways, most of them are obvious. I propose one of the central experiences we have of objectivity, is that of predictability. The apple that falls to the ground on its own, does so because it is objective. When we understand the world, by causality and other laws that predict how things will behave, then the world is objective. When something perhaps awful happens that reveals the exception to the law, like a tsunami flood or an earthquake, we possibly begin to revert into mythology.

The better we understand the world as objective, the more clearly we begin to see ourselves.

Enlightenment has to do with publicity and perhaps self-disclosure.

2:38 AM  

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