Valery l ikes to say, in fact, and as if in passing , that this is the "capital" question. O r will it remai n what it seems-that i s , the e lect portion of t h e terrestrial globe, the pe arl of the sphe r e , t h e b r a i n of a v a s t body? An accident or a necessity, these traits are at once discriminant and significant. When Heidegger defines place, art, he recalls that in its High or Old German idiom, Ort refers to the point of a spe ar, there where all the forces a re j oined and gathered in the e nd; and when he says that questioning is the piety of thinking, he recalls that fromm, Frommigkeit, comes from promos: what comes first, leads, or directs the front line [l'avant-garde in a battl e.
We are old, I say it again. I note only that from Hegel to Valery, from Husserl to Heidegger, in spite of all the differences that distinguish these great examples from e ach other-I tried to mark them elsewhere, in Of Spirit for example-this traditional discourse is a lready a discourse of the modern Western world.
It dates, it is dated. It is re lated to prowess a nd profi t. Tra ns. It dates fro m a moment when Europe from sees itself on the horizon, that i s to say, its end the horizon, in G reek, is the limit , from the imminence of its end. This old disco urse about Europe, a discourse at once exemplary and exemplarist, is already a traditional discourse of modernity.
Now, we for this We must ourselves be responsible d iscourse of the m odern tradition. We did not choose this responsib ility; it imposes its e l f upon us, and in an even more imperative way, in that it is , as othe r, and from the other, the language of our language. How then does one ass u me this responsibility, this capital duty [devoir? No, I believe that this is taking place now. We will l a t e r ask ourselves what this th r e at consists of today. Der rid a ' s Of Spirit, trans. When speaking of the Mediterranean lake, w hat are we naming? Tran s.
More precisely : a question in two genres, with two genders [a deux genres. It comes down first to the feminine, in the feminine: the question of ia capitaie. We are far from being able to avoid it t od a y Are there. In this form, the qu e s t i o n may seem c r ude and outdated.
But the ineluctable question of the capital doe s not d i sappea r for all that. It now signals toward struggles over cultural hegemony. One no longer needs to link the c ultural c apital to a metropolis, to a site or geographico-politic a l city. This is, of course, an aporia, and we must not hide it from ourselves.
In that case, one must acknowledge this and stop talking with authority about moral or political responsibility. For the telephone no longer leaves in place the limit between public and private, assuming that such a limit was ever rigorous. It is necessary not to cultivate for the ir own sake minority differences , untranslatable idiolects, national antagonisms, or the chauvinisms of idiom.
That is not easy. No doubt. As we said just a moment ago, when a responsibility is exe rcised in the order of the possible, it simply follows a direction and elaborates a program. It makes of action the applied consequence, the simple application of a knowledge o r know-how. It makes of ethics and polit i c s a technology. No long e r of the order of practical reason or dec ision, it begins to b e i rrespo nsible. The logical THE OTHER HEAD ING 48 schema of this argument , the backbone of this national self- a ffirmation, the nuclear statement of the national "ego" or " subject, " is , to put it quite dryly: "I am we are all the more national for being European, all the more European for being trans-European and international; no one is more cosmopolitan and au thentically univers al than the one, than this 'we, ' who is speaking to you.
To advance itself, that is the word, for it c apitalizes most of the figures we have been observing here. This sophisticated text defines in a competent and convincing way what is called the "European cultural construction. What i s it "to respond "?
HSprenger Dog Whistle
To respond to? To respond for? The same text also recalls that France must "conserve its avant-garde position. For it is necessary that we learn to detect, in order then to resist, new forms of cultural takeover. This can also h a ppe n thro ugh e s pe c i ally Under a new university space, and through a philosophical discourse. It tends to suspect or repress anything that bends, overdetermines, or even questions, in theory or in practice, this idea of language.
U nder these or other names, they are present and powerful elsewhere, including France. For the moment. Like the vocable "cap. What philosophy of translation will dominate in E urope? I rem e mber that last year, in this very place, a name was chosen for an important European newspaper. Let us consider only the title chosen for this newspaper. The newspaper is called Liher Revue europeenne des livres. Those in charge of the newspaper are quite attached-and they are entitled to be so-to this name's rich polysemy, since they recall its ellipti c a l economy in e ach issue. They apparently de cided in t he end not to panicipate in the project.
F rom the Lati n jubto to order or command. This affirmation defies all metalan g u ag e , even i f i t produces, and precisely for this, by this even, the effects of metalanguage. Why speak today, only today, and why name today the "today" in the margins of Valery? If this could be rigorously justified, which I doubt, it would be b ecause of that which, in a certain text of Valery, bears the marks of an urgency, or, more properly, an imminence.
The Freedom of Spirit appears in 1 9 3 9 , on the eve of the war. He evokes navigation, exchange, this "same ship" that carried "merchandise and gods. And in creating trade, it ne cessarily created freedom of the spirit. Valery assumes the rhetoric of these tropes, the different figures of capital referring to each other to the point where one cannot nail them down into the propriety of a literal meaning.
I shall not dwell o n them. For myself, as I have told you, they a re a kind of capital that grows and can be used and accumulated, can increase and diminish like all the imaginable kinds of capital-the best known of wh ich is, of course, what we call our body tics,. II, p. And if I in turn insist on "our body, " already emphasized by Val e ry as in the end the best-known, the most familiar, capital.
But this is not any more than a n ingot of gold, an acre of good land, or a machine can be capital unless there are men who need them and kn ow how to use them. Note these two conditions. I say that our cultural capital is in peril II, pp. We are quite familiar with the program of this logic-or this anaiogic.
It is a logic, logic i t s e lf that I do not wish to criticize , here. I would even be re a dy to subscribe to it, but with one hand only, for I keep another to write o r look for something else, perhaps outside Europe. Through th is respons ible memory, what was constituted as "solid value" Valery emphasizes these two words produced at the same time an absolute surplus value, namely, the increase of a universal capital: ".
And the world's wealth was thus increased" II, p. It is indeed a question of this capital paradox of universality. When we say, "it seems that we do not have at our disposal any rule or general solution, " is it not necessary in effect to infer or understand by this, " it is necessary [iJ taut] that we do not have them at our disposal"? There are no exceptions to this law. No cultural identity presents itself as the opaque body of an untranslatable idiom, but always, on the contrary, as the irreplaceable inscription of the universal in the singular, the unique testimony to the human essence and to what is proper to man.
That is why it can be put into a series and formalized into a law. Among all the possible examples, I will cite, yet again, only Valery's, since I find it just as typical or archetypical as any other. We are still in the theater of imminence. Notice the paradox: to specialize in the sense of the universal. Not even, no doubt, for Europeans. Husserl said that insofar as the European philosopher is committed to universal reason, he is also the "functionary of mankind. David Carr Evanston: Northwestern University p. Yet it has at the same time, and through th is even, begun to make out, to see coming, to hear or understand as well, the other of the heading in general.
It may have to do with faith, with different forms of faith. But it also calls for respecting whatever refuses a certain responsibility, for example, the responsibility to respond before any and every instituted tribunal. I am going to stop because it is late. One could multiply the e x a mples of this d o uble duty. One can be certain only of this negative form.
And, naturally, the words " identity" and "culture. In the name of what? By which I mean, by which I wish to say, or must say: I do not want to be and must not be E uropean through and through, European in every part. Being a part, belonging as " fully a part , " should be incompatible with belonging "in every part. Both, no doubt. Let the consequences be drawn from this. It is up to the others, in any case, and up to me among them, to decide.
I monthly, January 1 Like "dice, " t h ey defy both "force and reason. D'Alemben on the Theatre" in Politics and the Arts. One can also fear the tyranny of shifts in opinion. A disconcerting typolog y. How does one here identify public opinion? Does it take place? Where is it given to be seen, and as such? The wande ring of its proper body is also the ubiquity of a specter.
It is not present as such in any of these spaces. Now, this god of a negative politology can give no sign of life, in broad daylight, without a certain medium. This techno-economic power allows opinion to be constituted and recognized as public opinion. For the phenomenon was never natural, that is to say, universal. But as for the history of public opinion, it seems to be linked to the political discourse of Europe.
This judgment is not some knowledge , but an engaged evaluation, a voluntary act. But, from the point of view of the properly political decision, this considerable potency always remains " potential. RU is what is known in the U. It is not that opinion is the am o rphous reservoir of an untamed spontaneity that would exceed organizations partie s, labor unions, etc. It is phenomenal. Charles Hafner Publishing trans. For it is indeed a question of the future of democracy. Yes and no, in contraband. Think of the transformations that an opinion poll technique introduces when it can literally accompany and, even better, produce the televisual event liThe Hour of Truth"!
Derrida's "The Politics of Motzkin.
KNEPPER'S CRITICISM AND PROPOSAL
Friendship, " trans. G abriel vol. Every day. At least. And democracy along with it. A democracy must surely be vigilant so that censorship in the legal sense: this "criticism" that has, Kant says, public "power" does not win back lost ground. Reli9ion within the Limits M. Theodore Hoyt of Reason Alone. Hudson New Trans. A wager, an aporia? This invention, at once impossible and necessary, can only be announced on the basis of another imperative : the unity o r "centrality" of the democratic forum must not be confused with that of the mass, with concentration, homogeneity, or monopoly.
For the " new censorship"-and this is the strength of its ruse-combines concentration and fra c t i o n alization, acc um u l a t i o n and privatization. It de-politicizes. This terrible logic is not restricted to the "audiovisual, " though i t i s more perceptible there. I t i s at work as soon as an interpretation, that is to say, a selective evaluation, informs No information escapes it.
When a single judge , no matter what one may think of his or her particular talents, is entrusted somewhere with a monopoly of evaluation, of screening, of exhibiting in full daylight, he or she determines sales in the supermarkets of culture. But once again, let us not simplify things. Perhaps it is also necessary to take account of other rhythms and trajectories. Perhaps it is necessary not to let oneself be fascinated by quantitative immediacy.
Access to the average is often a form of progress. But is the power of the media unlimited? This heterogeneous power can sometimes criticize itself, from one part of its large body to another. Is it not in the end judged over a longer period of time and ac cording to criteria that remain necessarily indecipherable to it?
U n timely developments that escape its grid of readability might one day take over without any resistance at all. What would our great media machines do with Rimbaud or Lautreamont, with Nietzsche or Proust, with a Kafka or a Joyc e of 1 9 89? They were at first saved by a handful of readers a minimal listening audience , but what readers!
Between the two , samiz dat. A general term for a group of means to distribute works prohibited by censorship. Passage is never assured. The only choice is thus no t concentration or dispersion. The alternative would rather be between the unilateral and the multilateral in the relations of the media to the "public, " t o the "publics. Droit de reponse was also the name of a cont roversial though popular French TV talk show.
Is there demo c rac y without re c iproc ity? This is a fundamental right. And of c o urse, massively, in books. Only in the pre ss? It b rings publi c space to the light of day, gives the light of day to it, to its p ub l icity It brings. Thus the right of response hardly exists. Why the hypocrisy, the denial or the blindness before the all-too-evident? Why is this "all-too-evident" at once as clear as the light of day and the most nocturnal fa c e of democracies as they are, presently? The memory of a promi s e , such an a ppe al or call seeks a new t o n e.
Already the days are numbered: at another speed, the day is announced, the day is coming, when the day reaches its end. Has the day ever been the measure of all things, as one pretends to believe?
In its first edition, this opinion, I hardly dare say this fiction, remains the most widely shared thing in the world. The long note that this book consecrates to Valery in particular p. It began a "co mparative analysis o f these th ree discourses-Valery's, Husserl 's, and He idegger's-on the c risis or destitution of spirit as spirit of E u rope , " a n d i t h a d a l ready been called for by o n e of Va lery's quest ions : Must such phe nomena of the as democracy, the exploitation spread of technology, all globe, and the g e n e ral of which p res a g e a deminutio capitis for E u rope.
Or have we some freedom against this thre ateni ng con spi rac y of things? La Crise de i"espTit. He concludes these few pages by defining Homo Europaeus by distinctive traits other than race, language, and customs. Europe is the name of that which leads the desiring or willing subj ect t oward h i s object ivizable maximum. Capital belongs to the series of E urope ' s phenomenal manifestations. In power and precise knowledge, Europe still, even Or today, greatly o u twe ighs the rest of the world.
See o n this subject "L 'Amerique, projection de l'esprit europeen, " t. Whereve r that Spirit prevails, there we witness the maximum of needs, the maximum of labor, capital, and production, the maximum of ambition and power, the maximum transformation of external Nature, the maxi mum of relations and exchanges. It is remarkable that the E u rope a n is defined n ot by race, or language, or customs, but by his aims and t h e amplitude of his will. In this u ni qu e and i rrepl a ce able reference, it is a matter of an individual whose i d ent i ty is p e r s o nal p e rh ap s more pers on al than all European persons; for t h e latter participate in this absolute spirit that makes them p o s s ibl e H e nce the form of the definition or description: "All these m a x i m a t a k e n to g e t h e r a re Europe , " - not.
N OTE 2 1 14 Politics, p. I n other words, what has not yet happened to history, as science, is the capital of a concept, of a event possibility of thi nking that would allow it first to think the event as such. This event i s not only capital, it i s the event o f capital itself, namely, of what is called the head. And in addition, or as a result, beyond historical knowledge, this discourse immediately and at the same time touches upon the historical thing, upon the very fabric of events , first of all from Europe 's point of view.
W hat would have escaped the historians is what would have , in short, happened to the event, come to be an event. The "cons iderable event " that, because of its "essential singularity," would have esc aped the his- NO T E 2 torians as well as the event's " c ontemporari es," is the saturation of the habitable earth and the fact that, " u nder the evil spell of the written word, " everything is put into relation with everything else; and so "the age of the finite world has begun. T h e " Decline of Europe" II, p. Europeans have competed for p ro fi t in awakening, instructing, and arming vast peoples who, b efo re were im pr i so n e d in their traditions and asked nothing better t h an to rem a i n as they were There has been n o t hi ng more stupid in all history than European rivalry in ma t ters of po l it i c s and ec on o m ics when com p ared, combined, and confronted with E uropean unity and collaboration in m at t e rs of science.
While the efforts of the best brains in Euro p e were amassing an im ,. The equivocity o f t h i s discourse w i l l have never seemed s o pliable, from the very best to t he worst, as it seems today I date this today, the to da y of this note, o n the third day of what is called "The G ulf War" ". The thunders of some future Verdun will then be re ceived at the antipodes.
Here are the c l os in g words of this "Hypothesis" : Is n o t o u r life , i nso far as it depends on w h a t comes t o s piri t, on w h a t seems to come from spirit and t o im pos e itself first on s p i r it and then on ou r whole exis tence-is n o t our life governed b y an e normous, disorganized mass of conventions. We s h o ul d be hard put to it either to express or to define the m. Soc iety. A n d of other things. Europe aspires visibly to being governed by an American Commission. And those happy p eop l e s will impose their happiness on us.
Europe had clearly distinguished herself from all the other parts of the world. In our desire s , our regrets, o u r quests, in o u r emotions a n d passions, and even in our effort to know ourselves, we are t h e puppets of nonex istent things things that need not even exist to affect us I I , pp. Ralph Manheim New York: Boll ingen, 1 , pp. N O T E S 2 - 6 1 18 and created, by the obstinate pursuit of results that could be accurately compared and accumulated, a capi tal of pow e rful laws and procedures. I t a k e t h e liberty of referring once again here to De l'esprit: Heidegger et la question [Of Spirit: Heidegger and the Question.
There i s nothing surprising in th i s , and i t is a re ana ly z ing here. The inhab itant of the c ap it al is then t h o u gh t" by the h ab i t at earlier than he thinks. Rough, 1 , pp. One actually looks the capital in the face. One dist inguishes the face, the head and the forehead: that, The more one tries, the on the c o n t r a ry , i t is by PA RIS that one For she is the head of France , in which a re sited the country ' s organs o f percept ion and most sensitive re N O T E 6 1 20 actions.
Her b e a u ty and light give France a counte nance on which at moments the whole intelligence of the land may be seen v i sibl y to burn. When strong feelings se i ze our pe o p l e , it is to this brow the bl o od mounts, irradiating it with a m i g ht y flush of pride II, p. Indeed, " d istinction" will be the master word of th is discours e. On the one hand, it is the capital of the country in every doma in, and not only , as in other countries, the po l itic al or economic or cultural cap ital.
We must neglect neither the insistent ambiguity of this evaluation nor the abyssal potentialities of this equivocation. In 1 92 7 , the " Function of Paris" spoke of everything in the capital that. What distinguishes, what distinguishes always the most threatene d , the best being always right up against the worst.
CFP: Varieties of Continental Thought and Religion
This is a genuine multiplicity continuous heterogeneity because it is a repetition not bound to a prior form. To say that the reframing project is less than subtle here is not to contest the value of Lawlor's interpretation. Lawlor's account of Freud is especially good on the interrelated themes of the topographical aspects of the model, repression, and meta-psychology -- including the recognition of the unconscious by consciousness, and the ability to avoid such recognition.
Meta-psychology lies at the heart of Freud's contribution to early twentieth-continental philosophy. Meta-psychology has three aspects: 1 the topographical view of the psyche with its unique spatial regions; 2 the energetic view with its quantities of psychic energy seeking discharge; and 3 the dynamic view, which discloses mobile drives that can charge different ideas p.
Meta-psychology is always indirect, since consciousness cannot have direct and immediate access to the unconscious. Thus the kind of recognition that we can have of the unconscious entails a kind of "agnostic" understanding of some translated original state. Rather, what is implied not known with certainty is an original state that is always already lost.
What is actually presented is anarchic energy manifest as repetitions without access to some origin. Lawlor makes a useful analogy, since Freud invokes the metaphor of translation to describe the task of psychoanalysis: "If the sublation of repression occurs through translation, then the original text to be translated has been lost" pp. That is, it discloses a language that is unfettered by that of which it speaks -- a description of schizophrenic speech.
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So meta-psychology is not the pure presentation of the inner depths of the psyche, but "a critique and correction of inner perception" p. Both Bergson and Freud have provided fundamental challenges to modern theories of consciousness cast as philosophies of transcendence and hence provided a foundation for the development of a philosophy of immanence. Thus, Lawlor has reframed the origins of early twentieth-century continental philosophy to Bergson's and Freud's critical upheaval of modern thought rather than the traditional story of Husserl's transcendental phenomenology, to which he turns in the next chapter.
As usual, Lawlor's discussion is clear, informed, edifying, and forceful. He presents the basic features of Husserl's phenomenology i.
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Instead Lawlor stresses a version of Husserl as a philosopher of difference and a philosopher of immanence. This is accomplished, according to Husserl, as we clearly differentiate the psychological from the transcendental aspects of experience. Lawlor's emphasis resituates Husserl's later thought as a calling-into-question of his earlier idealistic consciousness-based phenomenology. This will lead Husserl to move beyond consciousness as presence to "something like the unconscious" pp.
Indeed, Lawlor's commentary section concludes with a hopeful gesture to the value of Husserl's thought even while acknowledging the withering critiques offered by Derrida, Foucault, and Deleuze. Lawlor reframes the triumph of Husserlian phenomenology as perhaps reaching "variation freed from univocity and teleology," -- "something like Bergsonian multiplicity and Freudian schizophrenic thought" p. Lawlor next turns his attention to the thought of Martin Heidegger, whose work was surely the most important philosophical influence in early twentieth-century continental thought.
And since Heidegger made not one single grand contribution, but two, Lawlor devotes two separate chapters to him. Lawlor has characterized early twentieth-century continental philosophy as a transformation from immanence, to difference, to language-questioning, to the overcoming of metaphysics p. If Husserl's phenomenology was hopefully described as tending toward the overcoming of metaphysics, it is fulfilled in Heidegger's early work.
Lawlor nicely explicates Heidegger's reflection on the nothing in the context of the ontological difference -- the difference between being and beings. In this key text, Heidegger explains that the history of metaphysics likewise involves a misunderstanding of "how it is with the nothing" p. This should come as no surprise when we remember what Heidegger said: "The ontological difference is the 'not' between beings and Being" p.
And it is this metaphysics that must be overcome. According to Lawlor, Heidegger shows us in his early work that the overcoming of metaphysics is tantamount to the overcoming of our way of thinking and of our way of being. Our existence "is saturated with nihilative behavior" since it is "being held out into the nothing" or "a placeholder of the nothing" pp. Our nihilation is not an annihilation of the whole of being, or some calculation of negation on our part.
Rather, as Heidegger famously and cryptically says, "The nothing itself nihilates, the nothing itself nothings" p. So even though we do not nihilate, we are of nihilation: because of this saturation of nihilation, all of our being is a pointing-away. For example, while "Heidegger is defined by transcendence" in his early work, Lawlor reframes this hallmark of the phenomenological tradition completely. And language is at the heart of this eventfulness.
Lawlor selected Heidegger's essay, "Language," as representative of his later thought. It is by considering the language question that the task of overcoming metaphysics can be best addressed. This is at once a transformation of humanity, according to Lawlor p. Just as in the previous chapter, Lawlor foregrounds a famous cryptic statement of Heidegger's: we do not use language as an objective tool, "language speaks.
Language calls forth things, and the world things bear. But likewise, the world is also called forth, granting things. Lawlor foregrounds the difference between world and things as the event of appropriation. Language calls humans forth in the "fundamental rift or tear Riss of Being itself" p. Lawlor stresses the way language is an opening to the outside -- not from an inner subject, but in a profoundly new way -- from silence.
What we must do is learn to dwell within this 'whole of traits'. Another name for this whole of traits is the outside" p. This chapter contains some of Lawlor's best exegetical work. It includes sensitive and careful explanations of some very enigmatic and difficult material. And Lawlor brilliantly manages to do this within his reframing project -- a fine example of language as an event of appropriation. This chapter continues Lawlor's long tradition of excellent and influential work on Merleau-Ponty. Merleau-Ponty contrasts the "hidden science" disclosed by the painter with the Cartesian ontology of modern science.
In his other ontological works, Merleau-Ponty refers to that which is to be revealed in the ontology as "the flesh of the world. And the hallmarks of this hidden science turn out to be those of the great French philosophies of the sixties: "This invisibility, intangibility, difference, and distance, within visibility, tangibility, identity, and proximity, is, as Merleau-Ponty says, 'the metaphysical structure of the flesh'" p.
Foucault had noted that we suffered from a hegemonic "anthropological slumber" which needs to be challenged. Lawlor notes how Foucault's early work follows Heidegger: language speaks man and displaces the subject as the subject even further. That is, Lawlor calls attention to the manner in which Foucault's work shares a common trajectory alongside the phenomenological movement, while the challenges Foucault presents are, for some, the death knell for phenomenology. The inclusion of the early Foucault in the tradition is interesting and controversial -- and a crucial part of Lawlor's reframing project.
Foucault's essay is designed as "a way of undoing interiority" p. Modern literature is not about interiority i. Instead of a subject folding over onto itself in language, language inserts distance and divergence making it other than itself. But speech about speech leads us to the outside in which the speaking subject disappears" p. Thought and speech turn out to be similar in that regard. Far from providing immediate, certain self-reflexive knowledge of an interior subject, we see that the very existence of the subject is suspect.
It is only by displacing this interior subject that the being of language appears, and only by opposing interiorization that language can say something new pp. Lawlor again does an excellent job explaining the nuances of Foucault's use of Blanchot while referring back to the trajectory he has established in the previous chapters to show that "within every person. And the bond between the 'I' and this 'it' is not positive enough to make a bond that could be untied" p.
This is the nameless voice to which the title of the chapter refers -- standing in stark contrast with the sovereign subject of modern discourse. This is, in effect, to transform experience from auto-affection to hetero-affection. Interestingly, Lawlor likens Foucault to Heidegger here, when he depicts this eventfulness without a return to an origin as a "messianism without a messiah" p.
And it is in the early thought of Foucault that the aforementioned four features of the agenda of early twentieth-century continental philosophy are each made explicit. Lawlor's transition section at the end of the Foucault chapter also likens this aspect of Foucault's thought to Deleuze and Derrida, which was the point of the reframing project, after all. In the brief conclusion, "Further Questions," Lawlor nicely reiterates the structure of the reframing project.
He also investigates the difference between event and presence.
CFP: Varieties of Continental Thought and Religion - PhilEvents
This deconstruction also shows that presence is not simple, is uncertain, is not formally extra-linguistic, and is origin-heterogeneous. All of these untimely results of early twentieth-century philosophy raise a number of important questions. If we can assume that thought is unfamiliar with itself, that it inevitably mediates, that it throws us outside, then what must we do in the predicament of the unjust "necessary violence, irreducible pain, [and] this insane anxiety" that it leaves us with?
Do we have access to some other "power behind the absence of power? Can the "we" who wait ever be identifiable or unified? What would be the nature of a land of people whose friendship includes their enemies in such a quest for the least violence pp.