[NetBehaviour] Philosophy (text so far)

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Tue May 9 07:36:09 CEST 2006

*/ This is a text I've been working on; any larger would be unwieldy here.
Images are at http://nikuko.blogspot.com . I hope to add another portion 
in a while, although the groundwork is already covered here. - Alan /*


How to begin philosophy, how to begin the process of philosophizing, an 
activity, a form of labor, the philosopher and the production. Whether the 
philosophy is cast asunder, whether it is interpretable, that is, 
translatable; whether it remains intrinsic to the act of philosophizing, 
therefore bound. If bound, whether it is of the substance or thing or 
continuity of its creation, or whether it is of some other substance, some 
other, cast asunder; whether the production is one with its production; 
whether the producer is one with the production. Here beginning without 
return, without recourse to the return, beginning in the sense of an act 
of writing designating this particular production which is named 
Of such, without recourse to the return, because of evidence: one cannot 
return, or rather a return would be always and only from the present to 
the present, operable upon a remnant of the production, but only the 
remnant, which would be drawn into presence, or re-presence. It is evident 
that undoing is not that of doing, that one alters, that things have 
altered, that things have altered within one within the world; that one is 
altered within an altered or altering world. That the world is what is 
evident, that the world is without recourse, without return. That the 
world is therefore unbounded, bounded without the boundary or delineation 
of the return; that the present is this unbounded, continuous unbinding. 
The present is a filter. The return is nowhere, returns nowhere.
Of such, without foundation; the present has no foundation; neither within 
nor without, neither within the apparatus of writing nor without. Mathema- 
tics possesses no return; every mathematical statement is foundation; 
every mathematical statement exists and presences. Of mathematics and its 
production is identical; is unique; is inescapably equivalent. Identity 
and equivalence remain within product and production; are remnant within 
product and production. Mathematics is that within which identity appears 
and appears exactly within equivalence. The world is that which is without 
identity, with the appearance of identity, without equivalence, with the 
appearance of equivalence. The splitting of the world is the splitting of 
perception into classes of apparent identity and apparent equivalence 
whose boundaries remain within the present, are imminent; but whose 
boundaries are such as projections. The projection of a boundary is within 
the present. The history of a boundary is a projection.
Consider a toaster or electronic computer; consider anything which may or 
may not be present, presencing; this is of the order of philosophy, always 
already an acceptance; every reduction includes; or includes, at least as 
construct. Thus of the panoply, or rather panoply, which is present, 
presencing; then what of memory, of the enumeration, accountability of 
objects? In philosophy, these remain within the presence; they appear 
recuperable; they appear identical or equivalent; this is appearance, 
genidentity; this is always other. This is the giving of permission of 
philosophy the killing-ground or grounds of philosophy; the winding-sheet 
of assertion. A man or a woman, an organism, a being, a human being, 
universals, these presences accompanied by deductions, for what is a man 
or a woman if not recognized as such; if recognized for example as thing 
or flesh; if recognized as meat; if recognized only as thing or flesh as 
meat. As for recognition: a problem for cognitive psychology, for 
neurophysiology. As for the symbolic: transformation and transforming 
structures, structures undergoing continuous transformation with the 
appearance of equivalences. As for mediation: the appearance of extension 
of appearance of equivalences. Mediation: a presencing, a present. One is 
always already synchronic; one is never diachronic; one does not live in 
time; one does not extend in time; one is replete; is fullness; the world 
is panoply, fecund; the world is a world of potential; potential is 
incomplete. There is no completeness in the world. There is completeness 
in mathematics; there is no completeness in mathesis. Mathesis is of the 
present. Mathesis is presence, the ontology of presence.
As in digital manipulation of layers, the world is flattening by the 
subject; is always flattening; there is no depth; depth is an illusion; 
multiple viewpoints; apparent histories; apparent identities. The 
flattening of the world: the stitching of ontologies, suturing 
epistemologies. Thus the thetic, continuously working as the gesture 
works. The gesture is working language; language gestures, gesticulates. 
Language is always at a loss; hence the fury of language, presence of 
obscenities or thickening, escape routes, of interjections, phonemically 
other. Representation is the same; the same of the other; chiasmus: other 
of the same. It is a disturbance of flattening which is flattening. 
Disturbance is the apparency of discontinuity, anomaly; flattening is 
substantive; substance. To disturb - to nudge - is to initiate 
bifurcation, response. The limits of discontinuity are catatonias; 
analogic inerts; substance is limitless. Consider an epigenetic landscape: 
the flattening of the real. Consider elementary catastrophes and their 
extending sheets: disturbance.
In my work several decades ago (I mention this only in relation to 
Badiou), I wrote and write of farming-out; the perception of temporality, 
of progress, resulting in the collocation of disciplines, subjects, within 
which specialists take care of advance, increased knowledge, goods. 
Temporality tends towards complexity; cellular automata can grow 
in-conceivably chaotic within a few generations. The regular or reiterated 
which is death (certainly without recursion which leads to quantitative 
jumps) is unimaginable; it is the circumlocution, centrifugal forcing, of 
the world. The apparency of disturbance tends towards centering. "Now I 
must proceed without time."; with the perception of time; of what is known 
now, what is processed now, as opposed to; what was processed; what was 
processed then. What was conceived then; what I conceive now what was 
conceived then. This is a conceiving; a state of conceiving; the bundle of 
conceivings constitutes the world which appears undergoing transformation; 
always irreversible. But not irreversible in fact: from presencing, from 
presence there is nothing to return to; the state is unpresent, 
non-present; one says "the state has vanished" or "we've moved on."
"I conceive of the world as such-and-such." "What is it that is being 
conceived? What is conceiving?"
There is no Now; there is no philosophy of the Now. The present presence 
is smeared, fuzzy; it is degenerate; it was never generate. Philosophy is 
from present presencing, from this smearing; it is irrevocable; it cannot 
be constituted otherwise. The Absolute is embedded in time; there is no 
Absolute to return to; the embedding is within the present. The text is 
always its memory; the text - any text - is always memory. I speak and 
write concretely: this is such-and-such a writing which is only 
inscription, artifact; the artifact is present, before you; the artifact 
is presenting by virtue of your procurement. Everything, the world, 
artifact, product-production, appears as, exists within, reconstitution; 
the subject (who is always already embedded) recuperates, which is the 
definition of the subject; objects do not. To recuperate is to draw 
boundaries, definitions, negations: X = this; not-X = that. Not-X is 
always problematic; it's "that" may be fuzzy, complementary; chained; 
non-existent; indecipherable; generative or degenerate, degenerative. This 
is the difficulty of the monopole in ordinary language within an ordinary 
world; that is, what is termed the "lifeworld," or world of daily life. 
The lifeworld is presencing, as if a gift or given; there is no negative 
or negation; negation is a drawing. What occurs, occurs, is, is. 
Flattening is necessary construct; thus disturbance within flattening 
portends negation which is channeled within flattening. This is the sphere 
of daily life which appears extended.
Fiske: The "discovery of the law of gravitation, as well as the 
invention of such a superstition as the Hand of Glory, is at bottom but a 
case of association of ideas." I cannot comprehend Being; Being does not 
exist in my comprehension, nor in my understanding, nor in association, 
nor in empathy. Of beings, I understand association. Being is a taste, a 
connoisseurship of the world or collector of the world, tending towards 
the final object. If Being is not absolute, what is? It is as if what is 
given "is given"; it is not; the thetic tends towards the thetic; 
circumlocution occurs within the same flattening as the world at large; 
writing is such a tendency. The philosophy of sex, of sexuality, of love, 
of war, hate; the philosophy of culture; of media theory: all are 
farmed-out; all are within the provenance of disciplines, speciality. Art 
is the drawing of negation; art is a disturbance of association; art 
reveals the flattening and non-Being of the world; even within its 
presentiment of Being, non-Being. Art is corruption; preservation holds 
its own in the skein of decay. To create is to bifurcate; creation is 
discrete, the rasa no exception. The commonality of art is gesticulation; 
the commonality of art and language is gesture. As for sexuality: 
"Language is always at a loss; hence the fury of language, presence of 
obscenities or thickening" [5] - rupture is production; sexuality infects 
the social; the infection is the social. Jouissance and preservation: 
farmed-out to psychology; psychoanalytics; biogenetics; anthropology: this 
central drive whose centrifugal emotion colors everything; presents or 
re-presents the philosophical as determinative property, boundary, 
territory and its circumambulation. Sexuality has no belonging; philosophy 
is a speaking or carrying-out a longing for belonging, lengthening of 
situation, just as death dissolves belonging which rites recreate for the 
survivors. Obscenity is obscenity in its absence, its impossibility, of 
circumlocution, a symbolic axis of interiority. Obscenity is that which is 
spoken because it cannot be spoken; philosophy is an obscenity; a 
pornography; its speaking is a flattening; a circumdiction of disturbance; 
what is called a therapeutic or meditation; a dreamwork or working- 
through; what is symbolic labor. In labor exchange value and use value are 
equivalent; to think otherwise is to mistake ontology for content. The 
value of labor lies in reification; in "fitting" (Bohm); in the production 
of materials; of thought; operations within or across ontologies; emotions 
or prime numbers; bricks or philosophy. Obscenity is valuable in its 
valuelessness; it works, working through nothing; it is contrary or 
wayward, contradiction; obscenity occurs within the Sheffer stroke dual 
"neither A nor B"; in its elsewhere; in its range outside the organization 
and data-basing of labor and its production.
Of the absurdity of analysis of X: X-beneath-the-sign-of-Y- analyzed or 
mediated by Z: Z(Y(X)) for example; forgive the errors of category. A 
loss: Philosophy exists qua philosophy to the extent that Y is 
problematic; that Z turns away; turns the other face; that the tending of 
X; of the world; is towards Other. What can be said dissolves in 
speciality; in the interconnections among specialities; in the discourses 
of specializations; that is, in the discourses of analysts; perhaps in 
analytical discourses or discourse. The value of art is in opposition to 
the value of labor; art is active and potential laborlessness-in-produc- 
tion; obscenity underlies both; underlies philosophy; violence and 
sexuality underlie obscenity; obscenity underlies both.
By default we are stewards of the earth. An irresolute contradiction: 
beginning and ending of philosophy, absence of, not absented, Being; 
philosophy of this labor, this presence, this present: but: philosophy not 
of psychology, not of sexuality; neither the tropology nor the speciality; 
therefore the body present and absent; desire present and absent; mathesis 
present and absent: but: the remoteness of philosophy; remoteness of 
mathematics; remoteness of fundamental ontologies; within beings without 
Being. Therefore "by default": given that there is none, that there is 
none other; our ethos: subsummation of the other; recuperation of the 
other within the same; recuperation of the same within the other. Sheffer 
dual: "neither A nor B"; Sheffer: "not both A and B"; the fundamental 
"jectivity" - projection and introjection - expulsion and incorporation - 
exculpation and absolution (the register of ethos) - of organism in 
relation, in dialog, dialectic, with the world: imminent perceived 
environment - the project of organism, project of the environment 
vis-a-vis organism. The given without the giver, given without the gift, 
limitless, unbounded: the present. Stewardship by default: the given of 
the world, the wager of local zero-sum. Foundation of belief in relation 
to "what is to be done": Second jectivity, the overlay of ethos, Spirit, 
what passes for foundation. The foundation of belief is in passing. Is in 
passing as such. Belief is nothing if not of consequence; the consequence 
of belief is stewardship.
The basis of stewardship is decision. Decision is bifurcation, digital. 
Bifurcation is fundamental: the Schrodinger cat paradox depends on it. 
>From analog continuous waveform to digital. The suturing of the digital: 
flattening; flattening by the organism in relation to the organism and its 
functioning. Suturing: the mathematical operation of integration. The 
other side of flattening: Contrast increase: the mathematical operation of 
differentiation. Differentiation is the basis of survival Differentiation 
is a disturbance of the digital within the analog. From disturbance, 
suturing. Worlding is dialog-dialectic among flattening and disturbance.
Here philosophy no longer speaks: I no longer speak. For what is being 
spoke is, can only be, speech broken by the world. Speech by its very 
present-presencing is always already broken; philosophy breaks on speech.
"Of such, without recourse to the return, because of evidence: one cannot 
return, or rather a return would be always and only from the present to 
the present, operable upon a remnant of the production, but only the 
remnant, which would be drawn into presence, or re-presence.'' The return 
is inconceivable, a conceiving; the return: from heroic travel; from death 
to birth; from wound to heal; from anomaly to suture; from digital to 
analog; from (mythology of the) death drive to (mythology of the) death 
drive; from arousal to satiation. The return is as-if, fiction. The return 
loops; there is never a return; the return re-presents the world; all 
re-presentation of the world is the appearance of return. To return is to 
re-possess; possessions are repossessions. The loop of the return is the 
process of reification; it transforms the appearance of inherent value 
into exchange; within mathesis, it is capital. Capital is seeing the 
world; it is eternal presence. Eternal return is always eternal presence; 
it is the presence of as-if-I-had-known within the I-know; return is the 
foundation of culture.
Return is the foundation of culture; desire is the foundation of culture; 
language is the foundation of culture; sexuality is the foundation of 
culture; product-production is the foundation of culture; disturbance is 
the foundation of culture; differentiation is the foundation of culture; 
negation is the foundation of culture; there is no foundation of culture 
as such; there is no cultural foundation. (If the world were not a stew, 
philosophy would be axiomatic; if philosophy were axiomatic, there would 
be no philosophy. The exhaustion of the absolute is the absolute of 
To clear the house: the necessity of God/Spirit/Meaning; abstracted 
capitalized universals. These are misrecognitions, misapplications; from 
the specific to the general; from the imminent to the immanent; from many 
to one; from one to One. Occamic pragmatism; eliminate them. They are of 
service (they do not "serve") intrinsically; they comfort; they provide a 
matrix (as-if from matrix to Matrix); the appearance of transcendence; the 
therapeutic of warding-off death. They contradict flattening as tropes of 
disturbance. They appear from elsewhere, elsewhen; they appear elsewise; 
an introjected Other. Beware of capitals; of Capital. The projection of 
capitals returns as meaning; returns the loop; implies foundation (as-if 
from foundation to Foundation). They recuperate, exculpate, death (as-if 
from death to Death). They are the marrow of human culture. Farm them out; 
construct theologies, emblems; consider them (capital) Emblematic. Thus 
the symbolic emerges (from pre-linguistic, from proto-linguistic, from 
"chora") as-if from the Emblematic; as-if the Emblematic situates the 
symbolic vis-a-vis the human. From "situates" to "Situates," situation to 
"Situation"; Situation is generated by the Emblematic. To follow-through 
is to follow through with difficulty; with the problematic of 
verification. Adopt what works; otherwise adapt. "What works" = "what 
works for you."
>From meanings to meaning to Meaning; from beings to being (copula 
included) to Being; from spirits to spirit to Spirit. But the last already 
implies an ontological split, disturbance, fueled by the foreknowledge of 
death; by problematic causal explanations of lifeworld events; by the 
recuperation, exculpation, of random tragedies. From humans to spirits is 
the production of meaning extended to the imminent. From imminent to 
immanent is father than the eye can see.
Flattening is being in the world; it is, references (what is, here, 
references) the style of the world.  Depth absorbs disturbance, literally 
circumlocutes, circumscribes. The totality of circumscriptions of 
disturbances constitute a cultural textuality. The calling-forth of the 
Emblematic follows suit, exists within linguistic-psychoanalytic 
registers. The Emblematic is constituted by the virtual; from the virtual 
(as-if) to the Virtual. The virtual is always already within the world; 
technology, from tacit knowledge through electronic avatar, augments it. 
Augmentation filters (appears to filter) flattening; appears to distort; 
appears to generate depth (ontological fecundity), multiply-connected 
manifolds (epistemological fecundity). The virtual is inner speech, 
historicity and fecundity of interiority; philosophy is always already 
virtual; the discourse of the virtual is philosophical.
Every symbol is a ligament of avatar; every referent is a gesture; every 
gesture procures the body; every body is a speaking body; every body is a 
spoken body; every body is spoken-for.
Organism inhabits the symbolic; the symbolic is not a matter of 
consciousness; a manner of consciousness; the symbolic is a manner of 
worlding; of inhabitation. The provenance of the symbolic is not solely 
human; the provenance of stewardship lies within the symbolic of the 
human. "By default we are stewards of the earth": precisely because of the 
extension of human power; of the vectorization of human culture. 
Vectorization: the physical extension of culture, the sprawl.
Distinctions among protocols and interfaces; every interface is protocol; 
every protocol interfaces; each is pole ("poles") the other; each 
participates in flattening. What is external to protocol: inconceivable 
content, subjectivity; what is internal: invisibility, objectivity. From 
GPS through VLF radio: the measurement of the world, its skein. What is 
required for visibility, what technology, organism, protein? Protocols 
extend perceptual tacit knowledge; functionality. Of etiquette let it be 
said it is first and foremost exclusionary. Cybernetic feedback 
designates. Protocols distinguish, differentiation and integration in 
dialectic. The symbolic remains unread; the symbolic is transparent, 
readable. For the first time a three-dimensional map of the second planet 
from the sun is available for visual search with or without placenames 
given a desktop configuration of sufficient power. Protocols are the mute 
inverse of stewardship; they do not serve; they serve-to. Interfaces are 
not end-points; they bridge ontologies, continue the flow. Mind locates 
nowhere; is located nowhere; extensions extend without center, centering. 
Mind locates within presencing present; mind locates nowhen; is located 
nowhen. The purpose of philosophy is to pare; to pare even the ladder or 
the propositions. Philosophy has no purpose; it is not an exhibition; art 
is exhibition and venue; philosophy chatters; philosophy is doing and 
reading philosophy is a continuation of doing. Reading philosophy is the 
pretense of interface; doing philosophy problematizes protocols. To do 
philosophy is not to have done with philosophy.
"I have promised you a journey which is a journey of no return; a journey 
of conceptualization or imagination; a journey within the imaginary. There 
is no return in return; there are no loops in looping; what fits has 
always fit; what does not fit remains incommensurate. If I integrate: 
flattening and the apparition of death (which never appears); if I 
differentiate: disturbance and the reality of organism (which always 
appears; always is apparent). This philosophy - this of all philosophy - 
tends towards particulation, particulate matter; tends towards emission; 
tends towards gathering." Reverse Sheffer stroke and its dual: from out 
there, possibly from A or B, the appearance of A or B; B; from out there, 
the appearance of A and B. From a distance: the disturbance. In the 
neighborhood: flattening and absorption. The abacus of infinitely fine 
grain appears to the base infinity; the abacus of extraordinary 
differentiation signifies presence of the framework. What was once 
dialectic clearly has no resolution or leap; no tendency towards 
bootstrapping elsewhere. Instead: continuous dialog, information, 
absolutely mute: indiscernible processes. The world is infinitely 
Infinitely invisible: What is seen on the surface of granite for example 
hides interior grains. The granularity of the world is always already 
inaccessible; art serves to make symbol of substance; of the surface of 
substance; of the cloak or masquerade. Art is farming-out; physical 
analysis is farming-out; microscopy is farming-out. Microscopes/telescopes 
reveal everything and nothing; occurrences continue on 
ontologically-cohering n-dimensional manifolds. Everything is what it 
appears to be; nothing is what it appears to be; everything is leveled, 
intertwined, intermingled, mingled, muxed. Ontology only goes so far to 
the portal of universal origin, "big bang" and inflation, just as 
increased accelerator energy may conceivably generate "new" and unexpected 
phenomena forever - the only limitation is economics (Brillouin). Nothing 
satisfies; ontologies may be enumerated, epistemologies extended to 
theoretically-infinite tolerances; it is all the same - not ennui (that 
surely is different) or boredom (that surely is different as well) or 
defuge (the same). One might say this is a "condition of the age." Of 
course there is no thing-in-itself; there are always already others.

[24 forthcoming]

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