[NetBehaviour] "I want to ask Jacques Derrida a question."

Curt Cloninger curt at lab404.com
Sat Dec 12 20:53:52 CET 2009

Hi Alan,

My phrase below is obviously an oversimplification of Bakhtin's 
position. Along with J.L. Austin and Lakoff/Johnson, Bakhtin provides 
an alternative to the idea that language somehow stands outside of 
the world and re-presents it (or wholly constitutes it, or plays a 
game regardless of it), as if language is a system that can be 
analyzed and uderstood apart from historical instances of embodied 
utterance. It's not to say that matter equals language and 
vice-versa. There are obviously radical differences. It is to say 
that language and matter are perpetually enmeshed and refracting. 
Language alters "culture" which alters matter. Material contingency 
(vocal inflection, bodily gesticulation, historical context, a 
recently intense bowel movement, the light in my eyes) alter uttered 
instances of language which collectively alter consensually agreed 
upon nuances of linguistic meaning. Language as performed, embodied, 
historically contingent event/force.

Deleuze/Guattari talk about the regime of language as one among many 
regimes (regime of geology, regime of the human face, regime of 
movement through space, etc.). Language received an inordinately 
important amount of attention at the end of the last century, mostly 
by sedentary humans who write a lot of language.  But language is one 
of many refracting forces at play. Words get the last word (amongst 
humans who value words), while the world modulates forward with[in] 
and without words.

Or so my words assert.


>  >>>
>>>>   Bakhtin might disagree -- matter flows into language and
>>>>   language
>>>>   flows into matter (whatever matter and language may be).
>Just want to say I don't agree with the assertion above, if it does (or
>doesn't) represent B's position. If you look at Soviet diamat philosophy,
>information formed a permanent problematic within (dialectical) material-
>ism; the way out turned on medieval ideas of reflection. The 'whatever'
>above unpacks similarly, since there are ontic issues at work. Language
>also doesn't possess the genidentity that matter does, which might be the
>heart of it. Finally, cosmology tends to unpack matter itself, as well as
>information, albeit differently (vis-a-vis the holographic universe).
>- Alan
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>NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org

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