Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Once again...

As ever, after an absence I feel the need to wave a big flag saying 'I'M STILL HERE!'

And, as ever, the only reason I've not been posting anything is I've not been bothered to write anything.

But have a couple of things anyway:


I'm toying with perhaps writing something trying to draw a parallel between the notion of Oedipus/Capital in Anti-Oedipus and the totalising tendency of Gestell in Heidegger's later writing. Can't promise that anything will happen with this any time soon, but a very, very rough outline would be something like:

For Deleuze & Guattari, Oedipus/Capital inflicts its codes onto the flows of productive desire, delimiting the range of productive desire within narrow limits (libidinal desire is coded through the frameworks of marriage, family, gender binary, heteronormativity etc.).

For Heidegger, Gestell is a particularly insidious form of revealing as in its purest form it masks its characters a form of revealing, presenting itself not as a perspective among others, but as the single, correct viewpoint upon the world. And this viewpoint is one where the world is only permitted to reveal itself to us as a calculable totality of resources ready for plundering.

(I'm not) Sorry for the gratuitous use of jargon there.


A friend managed to convince me join him at a local Effective Altruists meeting. The people there where exactly what I was expecting. Fiercely determined to do good, brilliantly intelligent, utterly, utterly caught up in their own way of thinking. It'd be unfair to say they were blinkered, and I had very good conversations with them, but in a memorable episode, one person outlined the epistemology he held, which was similar to the point of being identical with the phenomenological method of Husserl.

I pointed out this parallel, and was surprised that he'd not heard of Husserl. He informed me that he didn't bother with continental thinkers, as he saw nothing of value in them. 

Now I've said and thought the same about the Anglo-American tradition, so I'm in no position to criticise. But, it has made me wonder about this whole 'Analytic/Continental divide' business. I recall something I read in a book by Iris Murdoch once, that many of the ideas one finds in deconstruction were arguably hit upon and presented with greater clarity by Wittgenstein. 

I'm not familiar enough with either Wittgenstein or deconstruction to pass judgement on this, but my intuition agrees with Murdoch. 

Anyway, I'll try and post something that doesn't suck soon.