20.1.15

the ecological a priori?

Adam Robbert bringing the Foucault and Deleuze eco-style: 
For Foucault, then, the nonhuman impresses itself onto anthropic space through the production of laws and regulations, the production of material infrastructures that manipulate human behavior and perception, and the enforcement of practices that condition human beings. In Foucault’s understanding, the human is always born into a larger historical condition that is not of the same kind as any one person’s individual experience, an experience that is, to an indeterminate degree, an effect of historical trends rather a starting point for historical evaluation. 
Similarly, for Deleuze, nonhuman forces already act on the inside of human experience. Here all knowing is an inter-species effort; multiple species are always on the inside of anthropomorphic space, undermining it from within. The Kantian transcendental subject is for Deleuze a complex and multiple collective of diverging syntheses of cognition and perception. If Foucault initiates a move from the transcendental a priori to the historical a priori then Deleuze initiates a similar movement—from an historical a priori to an ecological a priori. Crucially, the enfolding of divergent species into human cognition marks not just an ecological basis for all human thought—a mark that suggests that all human thought is dependent on a multiplicity of nonhumans living and dying on the inside of human subjectivity—but more cosmically that human cognition is a higher dimensional enfolding of spacetime itself, a synthesis that makes the vastness of the cosmos thinkable to the human mind.
What I like about Adam's framing of F & D here is his seemless demonstration of how each of these Frenchies are already thinking ecologically in their appeals to structure and materiality, without having explicitly stated as such. Reading Adam's post (here) reminds me exactly why the work of these two gents is so near and dear to me: each attempts to think about the structural dynamics embodied in material relations of power, subjectivity and episteme in an ecological manner.

I cannot stress enough how important it seems to me to find ways of operationalizing the insight that nonhuman forces always already act on the "inside" of human experience, as the non-human-in-human - the dark flesh conditioning and positioning hominid experience. Experiencing bodies are complex multiplicities of synthesizing assemblage - higher dimensional enfoldings of space-time...
"[M]an and nature are not like two opposite terms confronting each other – not even in the sense of bipolar opposites within a relationship of causation, ideation, or expression (cause and effect, subject and object, etc); rather they are one and the same essential reality, the producer-product" (Anti-Oedipus, p. 4-5).

16.1.15

nKnK

"To say, with Rousseau, that we do not know what our nature permits us to be, is to say that our status as natural beings underdetermines our status as normative beings—in other words, that “our nature” does not answer the question of what it means to be a human being, or dictate what it is that we should become. This is somewhat reassuring since it tells us that there is a domain of human freedom not dictated by our biological nature, but it is somewhat unnerving because it leaves uncomfortably open what kind of beings human beings could become." (Kompridis 2009:20)

NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis NIKOLAS KOMPRIDIS Nikolas Kompridis

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Nikolas Kompridis is a Canadian born philosopher and political theorist contaminated by the the work of the Frankfurt School of critical theory (having worked closely with influential academic Jürgen Habermas), romanticism and the aesthetic dimension(s) of politics. His writing re-works the concepts of receptivity and Heidegger's 'world disclosure' into a minor paradigm he calls "reflective disclosure". He is currently a Research Professor and Director of the Institute for Social Justice at the Australian Catholic University.

In Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future (2006), Kompridis argues that Habermasian critical theory has largely severed its own roots in German Idealism, while neglecting modernity's distinctive relationship to the utopian potential of critique. In the book, Kompridis draws upon Habermas' work, along with the philosophical traditions of German Idealism, American Pragmatism, and many others to propose an alternative approach to social criticism as a facilitator of social change. Arguing against Habermas' "procedural conception of reason" and in favour of reflective disclosure, the book suggests that critical theory should become a "possibility-disclosing" practice of social criticism "if it is to have a future worthy of its past."

His publications include:

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"To theorists whose thought is self-consciously developed as a response to some deep and abiding experience of crisis, we might wish to give the name 'crisis thinkers'. Although not always apparent, and certainly too little understood, the experience of crisis may well be the primary inducement to thought in our time, the time of modernity. This is not an accident or some contingent fact about modernity; rather, modernity induces 'crisis thinking' because it is inherently crisis generating." (2006:3)

14.1.15

"revolution is not a moment in the future; it’s a line we trace in the present."

From Woodbine1882:
"Distress. Existential, metaphysical, planetary. If our time resonates with that of other civilizations in the process of collapsing, we have to also note that the collapse we are experiencing is so much worse than that of say ancient Rome. Whereas the inhabitants of these eras witnessed and aided in the passing away of a certain order to the world, the catastrophe we live today is not just a crisis of a world, but of the world.The extent of what we face, as we watch species, languages, and coastlines disappear before our eyes, while we watch ourselves disappear a little more and more with every selfie, is a devastation so total, so encompassing, that we can literally say we have utterly lost the world. Unlike us, the Romans could probably know that even if the structuring, knowledge-giving ground of the empire, or the gods, wouldn’t be there, the literal ground they walked on would in fact still be there. We can’t really say the same."
"Faced with the catastrophe, there are those who get indignant, those who take note, and those who get organized. History depends on those who get organized. Revolution is not a moment in the future; it’s a line we trace in the present." - Woodbine1882

11.1.15

When The Levee Breaks

The levee is not the only thing about to break. 'Time' is the Michael Jordan of catastrophic catalytics. This heat trap of clusterfukk is going down.

 "Crying won't help you, praying won't do you no good..."



"When The Levee Breaks"
Written by Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy
Based on Led Zeppelin's version.

Performed by Zepparella



10.1.15

U.S Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Keystone Pipeline

Senator Warren is a baddass. (Why doesn't she run for President?!) In the following short video Warren calls out the Canadian oil industry, and Transcanada in particular who recently spent over 7 million dollars on lobbying U.S politicians directly, and argues that an alternative governmental focus on infrastructure would do much more for the U.S economy and the American people than pushing through the Keystone XL mega-project. The recent intense focus on ramming the pipeline through has to do with POWER and elites doing favours for elites, plain and simple.

the violence of thinking?


Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art”, 1933 (p.150-151):
Occasionally we still have the feeling that violence has long been done to the thingly element of things and that thought has played a part in this violence, for which reason people disavow thought instead of taking pains to make it more thoughtful. But in defining the essence of the thing, what is the use of a feeling, however certain, if thought alone has the right to speak here? Perhaps, however, what we call feeling or mood, here and in similar instances, is more reasonable – that is, more intelligently perceptive – because more open to Being than all that reason which, having meanwhile become ratio, was misinterpreted as being rational. The hankering after the irrational, as abortive offspring of the unthought rational, therewith performed a curious service. To be sure, the current thing-concept always fits each thing. Nevertheless, it does not lay hold of things as it is in its own being, but makes an assault upon it. 
Heidegger was the best among the Nazis - a horrible human being who made massive contributions to public intellectual deliberation. A thinking that opens to thought itself.. or whatever. In the passage above he points out the violence of abstraction, of making a caricature of things, without the wherewithal to understand the facile nature of thinking as such. There is a quality to the type of thinking that is a kind of mood or tone that does not aim to conclude on things and concerns. We do violence to the world when we take our synthetic compositions and projections as the texture of the world in-itself. We assault the world with our all-too-human "truths".

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ASIDE: Interestingly, I think this blog is fast becoming what it was originally meant for: a place for keeping fragments of fragments that influence me, and of which I intend to come back to and incorporate in future projects. An archive, no less, that I hope to burn in the pyre of my own creative activity.

8.1.15

Evan Thompson on network-relational sapience?

Evan Thompson's new book Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy (2014) is a hot topic among para-philosophic types these days. I have only been able to glean bits and pieces but won’t get around to reading it until later this year. I’m just bookmarking this here as a reminder.

Here are two excerpts, with some under-formulated comments as chaser:
the brain is always embodied, and its functioning as a support for consciousness can’t be understood apart from its place in a relational system involving the rest of the body and the environment. The physical substrate of mind is this embodied, embedded, and relational network, not the brain as an isolated system.(p.37)
Understanding human sapience as "embodied, embedded, and relational" is where it’s at. Literally. For reals. But in this book Thompson seems to advance a specific (and familiar) philosophical claim: the self is a process, not a thing or an entity, generated in the network dynamics of interacting brains, bodies, and worlds.
At the same time, we can’t infer from the existential or epistemological primacy of consciousness that consciousness has ontological primacy in the sense of being the primary reality out of which everything is composed or the ground from which everything is generated. One reason we can’t jump to this conclusion is that it doesn’t logically follow. That the world as we know it is always a world for consciousness doesn’t logically entail that the world is made out of consciousness. Another reason is that thinking that consciousness has ontological primacy goes against the testimony of direct experience, which speaks to the contingency of our consciousness on the world, specifically on our living body and environment. (p. 102)
Panpsychists take note: your infatuation with your own awareness provides little justification for believing that other objects/assemblages are aware (or experiencing) as well. The most intrusive and self-centered form of ontography follows from believing animal characteristic exemplify existence broadly considered. Sentience and sapience are emergent properties generated via complex elemental materials.

The term “emergence” comes from the Latin verb emergo which means to arise, to rise up, to come up or to come forth. The term was coined by G. H. Lewes in Problems of Life and Mind (1875) who drew the distinction between emergent and resultant effects. [h/t Bill Harryman for this and much more]



7.1.15

Pragmatism (full audiobook)

Pragmatism (1907) contains a series of public lectures held by William James in Boston 1906-7. James provides a popularizing outline of his view of philosophical pragmatism while making highly rhetorical and entertaining lashes towards rationalism and other competing schools of thought. James is especially concerned with the pragmatic view of truth. True beliefs should be defined as, according to James, beliefs that can successfully assist people in their everday life. This is claimed to not be relativism. That reality exists is argued to be a fact true beyond the human subject. James argues, nevertheless, that people select which parts of reality are made relevant and how they are understood to relate to each other.

Pragmatism (1907), by William James


From an introduction to the book by Bruce Kuklick:
James went on to apply the pragmatic method to the epistemological problem of truth. He would seek the meaning of 'true' by examining how the idea functioned in our lives. A belief was true, he said, if it worked for all of us, and guided us expeditiously through our semihospitable world. James was anxious to uncover what true beliefs amounted to in human life, what their "cash value" was, and what consequences they led to. A belief was not a mental entity which somehow mysteriously corresponded to an external reality if the belief were true. Beliefs were ways of acting with reference to a precarious environment, and to say they were true was to say they were efficacious in this environment. In this sense the pragmatic theory of truth applied Darwinian ideas in philosophy; it made survival the test of intellectual as well as biological fitness.
In the section 'What Pragmatism Means', James wrote that the central point of his doctrine of truth is that "Truth is the function of the beliefs that start and terminate among them."

William James Studies (org): HERE

the legacy of William James in American politics?

William James may be the greatest influence on my attempts at thinking outside of Nietzsche. I always return to his concepts and arguments when I need reminding what philosophy can be in practice, and how to think about things sensibly. I will be posting a boat load of stuff about that guy going forward.

The following informative but extremely boringly lecture was delivered on May 26, 2007 by one James Kloppenberg, a Professor of American History at Harvard University. Apparently he's all about "theories of democracy" and American philosophy in society. Fancy. He the author of A Companion to American Thought (Blackwell, 1995).

James's Pragmatism & American Social Thought 1907-2007

Goffman on Real Definitions?

Frame Analysis (1974) is Erving Goffman's attempt to explain how conceptual frames act as ways to organize experience and structure an individual's perception of society. A “frame” is a set of concepts and theoretical perspectives that organize experiences and guide the perceptions and actions of individuals, groups and societies. Frame analysis, then, is the study of the organization of social experience.

Goffman from Frame Analysis:
"There is a venerable tradition in philosophy that argues that what the reader assumes to be real is but a shadow, and that by attending to what the writer says about perception, thought, the brain, language, culture, a new methodology, or novel social forces, the Veil can be lifted. That sort of line, of course, gives as much a role to the writer and his writings as is possible to imagine and for that reason is pathetic. (What can better push a book than the claim that it will change what the reader thinks is going on?) A current example of this tradition can be found in some of the doctrines of social psychology and the W. I. Thomas dictum: "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences." This statement is true as it reads but false as it is taken. Defining situations as real certainly has consequences, but these may contribute very marginally to the events in progress; in some cases only a slight embarrassment flits across the scene in mild concern for those who tried to define the situation wrongly. All the world is not a stage-certainly the theater isn't entirely. (Whether you organize a theater or an aircraft factory, you need to find places for cars to park and coats to be checked, and these had better be real places, which, incidentally, had better carry real insurance against theft.) Presumably, a "definition of the situation" is almost always to be found, but those who are in the situation ordinarily do not create this definition, even though their society often can be said to do so; ordinarily, all they do is to assess correctly what the situation ought to be for them and then act accordingly. True, we personally negotiate aspects of all the arrangements under which we live, but often once these are negotiated, we continue on mechanically as though the matter had always been settled. So, too, there are occasions when we must wait until things are almost over before discovering what has been occurring and occasions of our own activity when we can considerably put off deciding what to claim we have been doing. But surely these are not the only principles of organization. Social life is dubious enough and ludicrous enough without having to wish it further into unreality."
READ THE ENTIRE BOOK: HERE
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