Friday, June 05, 2009

Instances of Reactivation, Part VIII

My schizoanalysis of the texts discussed at Enlightenment Underground over the last three and a half years, (Dr.Sax’s ten to fifteen posts from 2006, Kant’s epistle answering the question of the essence of the enlightenment, Foucault’s preliminary response to that epistle, Nietzshe’s parable of the eagle and the sheep, Paul Celan’s poem describing the light of the enlightenment as nuclear radiation, Dick Armey’s “fib” about a janitor named Charlie, Dickey’s poem about the sheep-child, fragments from Sartre’s play No Exit, bits of Thoreau, bits of Descartes, and others), is also my own schizoanalysis, and these texts are my territory.

The schizoanalysis must be my schizoanalysis and if it’s not, then it isn’t schizoanalysis. If the schizoanalysis reduces to terms which don’t include me, no matter how chaotic and jumbled, variable, and supposedly playful as those terms might be, the schizoanalysis has been rendered into analysis, and a poor one. I feel a need to mention this to counter Orla’s final word on this matter: that the personal is to be eradicated through the eradication of the personal pronoun in philosophy. (While meanwhile wishing to make an argument for Deleuze’s espousal of the “private” thinker…A highly problematic argument to make.)

So, I am retaining the personal. (Though I do feel the embarrassment of this.) I have to have it to make my machine work. But there are a couple of things I want to say about this.

1. Mine isn’t mine. The me here isn’t me. The I isn’t fixed, either in space or time. It circulates and changes both in space and time. What remains to be done is to find out whether I can make my I which isn’t mine and which isn’t fixed, circulate as a positive element and not a gap or hole. Paradoxically, I would then author or create this I without it being any more me or mine. This also would not be a process of going through a jumble of texts or terms to find out what I had put into them, or why I had selected them over other terms, why I had assembled them in the particular way I had. If it did, this would be a sign of still being a circulating hole. (The quarrel between Lacan and Deleuze and Guatarri: it’s not between a structuralist and two post-structuralists. Neither party believes in a fixed subjectivity with self transparency. The dispute is about the nature of what circulates with variable opacity.)

2. The way I see it, Orla doesn’t want to waste time on any territory at all—in delineation or assembly. He might be wondering—if the idea, the goal, is to deterritorialize, why bother? But while I also think the goal is to deterritorialize, I can’t find the sense of deterritorialization if there is no territory to deterritorialize. We may have common ground (common territory) in both believing the assembly of a territory in order to define the personal is misguided. We may also have in common the belief that the academic goal of polishing, refining, and clarifying of territory is to polish and strengthen the bars of one’s own mental cage.


Blogger Christoffer said...

I am curious to know why you think clarifying a philosophical position (territory) equals strengthen 'the bars of one's own mental cage'.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the value of clarifying a philosophical position (territory) is the force which this could give to the deterritorialization which must follow. What I could have said to make that statement more clear would have been "clarifying a philosophical position FOR THE SAKE of clarifying a philosophical position is to strengthen the bars of one's own mental cage."

I suppose,to be fair about it,that to clarify could be to deterritorialize. What I need to understand better is the distinction between categorization, system building, cognition and other "mental acts" and concept creation...The distinction between being a specialist of thought and an amateur but powerful act of thinking.

This kind of goes back to the question of how to reactivate a philosophical ethos. If clarifying philosophical positions were sufficient, then all we would need to do would be to have the administration of the population to clarify philosophical positions, whatever would encourage that. My feeling is that to do this would even be counter-productive.



2:14 AM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

Why or for what sake people in academia practice philosophy, is anyone's guess. I dont think it is wise to speculate on behalf of other people in regards to their reasons or motivations.

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not a bad point.


12:05 PM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

So why do you think you know what the goal is, for people who study philosophy in academia?

I think it is arrogant that you (outside of academia) pretend to know what the goal of academic philosophy is.

What the goal is for philosophy is in itself a philosophical question.

We may also have in common the belief that the academic goal of polishing, refining, and clarifying of territory is to polish and strengthen the bars of one’s own mental cage.

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't say what I did to offer a generalization about the goal of philosophy--however, as a generalization about the goal of academic philosophy, I don't think what I said is all that bad.

People outside of something can often see it more clearly and honestly than those within it, because the people within it are often constrained in their perception in ways they are not aware. In this way and in others, the academy is in general about as coercive and authoritarian as any modern institution. I see it and if you can't, then you're the one with bullshit in your eyes, not me.

The philosophical question is indeed about the goal of philosophy. Is philosophy creative?

What I see in virtually all contemporary philosophical effort is the beginning of a creative activity which doesn't gather enough oomph to get off the ground. It taxis down the runway, and then instead of lifting off, it circles back around on itself, and over and over. In our period, about which the kindest thing we could say about ourselves is it's a period of retrenchment, we would love to say, "this is what airplanes do." It flatters us and there's no one around to correct us on the view anyway. You're right I'm not a pilot...but I'm firm in thinking airplanes aren't built to solely taxi on runways.


12:25 PM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

I dont have that particular knee-jerk reaction towards anything with authority. Authority can be qualified by different ways, one of them being knowledge, which is a hallmark for academia. This is often misunderstood by some who does not know what is going on in academia, and equated to truth.

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The authority of and in virtually every modern institution is qualified "by knowledge." I wish this meant, as enlightenment philosophers perhaps wished it meant, enlightened authority.

Actually it does mean enlightened authority as long as enlightened authority can be understood as the worldwide governmentality of fat waddling birds shorn of flight and feathers.


11:21 AM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

fer 'sure

2:08 AM  

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