Unidentified Flying Objects: Parallelism, Virtuality, Immanence, Transcendence



And: there is a conception, both in its generic and particular sense—always spatial, spatializing and temporizating—, according to which the ontological category ‘space’ is to be understood—a classic spatial scheme for apprehension in general: one must ‘stand under’ to understand—as a con-tainer, συν-εχει, con-tinens, etymologically meaning “that which holds together”, as that which con-tains and contains itself, in presence. In such space there will be objects, of course; I, the hypokeimenon, am standing under so as to confront what is ob-jected, what is for—for me or whoever else like me. And all objects have to be kept at rest, have to be hold together, and thrown together, as in the sym-bol, constituting “symbolicity.” Because only thus will I be able to identify, so it is thought—space. Nietzsche’s “eternal recurrence of the same”—notwithstanding his saying in The Will to Power:

I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently:



the advent of nihilism[2]—is not different from those other perhaps more mythical thoughts in which are stated that what perhaps, depending on this or that, is to come is the same as what now is—only with an almost ineffable difference. Whether in the language of the Buddhist, the Cabalist, the Christian, or the Muslim: “There is nothing new about the thesis that the Absolute is identical to this world. […] What is new, instead, is the tiny displacement that the story introduces in the messianic world.”[1] Indian logicians stated that between Nirvana and this there is not the slightest difference.Toward the end of his life the great Arabist Louis Massignon, who in his youth had daringly converted to Catholicism in the land of Islam, founded a community called Badaliya, a name deriving from the Arabic term for “substitution.” The members took a vow to live substituting themselves for someone else, that is, to be Christians in the place of others.[2]

In Cabalistic thought there is a well-known parable, the Hassidim, about the Kingdom of the Messiah:

The Hassidim tell a story about the world to come that says everything there will be just as it is here. Just as our room is now, so it will be in the world to come; where our baby sleeps now, there too will it sleep in the other world. And the clothes we wear in this world, those too we will wear there. Everything will be as it is now, just a little different.[3]

To continue the story of that certain narrative introduction into the messianic:

And yet it is precisely this tiny displacement, this “everything will be as it is now, just a little different,” that is difficult to explain. This cannot refer simply to real circumstances, in the sense that the nose of blessed one will become a little shorter, or that the cup on the table will be displaced exactly one-half centimeter, or that the dog outside will stop barking. The tiny displacement does not refer to the state of things, but to their sense and their limits.[1]

Agamben lets himself be instructed by Saint Thomas theory of the halos to explain this non-thing difference, to answer his question: “But how is it possible that things be “otherwise” once everything is definitively finished?”—the finished state being the world to come, but, then added with something else, a certain “otherwise”: since the “beatitude of the chosen,” “includes all the goods that are necessary for the perfect workings of human nature,” nothing essential can be added. But there is something to be “added in surplus (superaddi),” says Saint Thomas, viz. “an accidental reward that is added to the essential.” The superaddi will make it “more brilliant (clarior),” something “like the vibration of that which is perfect, the glow at its edges.”[2] Agamben speaks of the audacity in this thought and its uncommented status in the Latin Patristics, and wants to make halo, through Duns Scotus, the individuation of the beatitude, the becoming singular of what is perfect. Here the perfect is common ground, unproblematic, and what matters from here on is their singular instantiations,—obliterating thus what is, with Derrida, called ‘perfectibility,’ which is something other than the perfect:

The lover desires the as only insofar as it is such—this is the lover’s particular fetishism. Thus, whatever singularity (the Lovable) is never the intelligence of some thing, of this or that quality or essence, but only the intelligence of an intelligibility. The movement Plato describes as erotic anamnesis is the movement that transports the object not toward another thing or another place, but toward its own taking-place—toward the Idea.[1]

We continue in our Agambenean inspired whatever, the adjective quodlibet—not meaning “it does not matter which, indifferently,” but “being such that it always matters”—and sew the theses of the tiny difference and beatitude and halo, with modern philosophy, Descartes (the speculating and isolated, properly solipsistic, brain), Kant (the transcendental I that accompanies all possible experience), Husserl (the epokhē of everything except the monadic ego), where these progressive articulations of transcendental machineries soon will become high-tech war-machines and simulation machines, the proper paradeigma—similar to the German ‘beispiel,’ it means “that which is shown alongside/plays alongside”[2]—of the “intelligence of intelligibility.” The proper is always what is alongside, beside itself. (The parasite is beside, beside the place, the site: para-situs. Michel Serres’ The Parasite is indispensable reading.) And this may certainly constitute a certain “erotic anamnesis”; it all depends upon how that desire, that eros, is configured, how it is “invested.”

Perhaps even the “empty cave” could be translated into this genealogy: with Jesus having left, there opens up the possibility and necessity of speculation and interpretation, but always from within that “cave,” always, that is, surrounded by a certain surrounding preparing for the closing of all gates of interpretation announced nearly a thousand years ago in Islamic thought? Perhaps. ‘Perhaps’ as different from the Derridaean ‘perhaps.’ Since that is meant to pronounce a revolution—stressing the iterabilistic sense of the prefix ‘re-,’ escaping the classic revolutionary tradition where revolution is terminable, so neglecting iterability—in the interior of the ontological modalities of the banalities of the may or may not be. Escaping every pro-gram, whatever—‘whatever’ in Agamben’s exposition—is “before” writing, incision, decision, introducing that abyss in world history of the before and the after writing. Or perhaps not that different. Writing is already simulation.

With a view to Spinoza, Agamben says: “Taking-place, the communication of singularities in the attribute of extension, does not unite them in essence, but scatters them in existence.[1] And: “In a line of writing the ductus of the hand passes continually from the common form of the letters to the particular marks that identify its singular presence, and no one, even using the scrupulous rigor of graphology, could ever trace the real division between these two spheres.”[2] The tiny displacement that the story introduces in the messianic world is perhaps not that different from the parallelism of Husserl, that parallelism of which nothing can be said that it consists, con-tains, a certain nothing.[3] Is not this fictional philosophy what is approached, approximated, by high-tech simulation machines? Approximated with a view to reduce to zero what is not immediately urgent and relevant? Is this not what we already believe in, believe is the case?

Baudrillard: The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true. This is something that, if not commonly experienced and consciously lived, is, beyond doubt, highly operative in the most realpolitically strategic currents of contemporaneity. Everywhere there are inserted models, simulation machines, and virtual realities, in the decisive areas in contemporary social, educational, scientific, political, economical, military life. This is what thought was preparing for. One can express these things in religious or mysticist terms—or in pragmatic terms; it will anyway constitute a tremendous revitalization of the religious. “The return of the religion.” But when was this ever a return? Have not religion so far already occupied space, been the hegemonic taking-place of which Agamben writes, and which precisely for its appeal is dissimulated as love, as love for the whatever singular, the singular as such? Its “return” is only its solid substantialization, its simple taking-root in space en bloc.

Never before have the religions of the ex nihilo parallelism been thicker in their common stem. Who is better than Marx in diagnosing the imperialism and colonialism of capitalism, relegating religion as the secondary superstructure and false consciousness of opium? Probably no one; at least this is what is commonly proposed. But not a word on religious colonialism and imperialism, neither from Marx’ pen nor from others’ pens. Those Middle East religions, especially Christendom and Islam, have traversed the crust of the earth, many times now, and colonialized thought everywhere in his world, taking hold of the space outside our brains and the space inside. Its manipulation is physical and institutional and neurological and chemical: religionized space. As capital forces us to act it as the general equivalent, so the monotheistic God forces us to act it as the general equivalent. This is not essentially different with ‘truth’ in philosophy, ‘efficiency’ in science, and ‘party’ in politics. These all constitutes a vast machine of command and control. They reinforce and support each other, substantially. The other ones supplement the one where this by itself, according to its own always developing de jure and de facto logic, cannot expropriate more. And when space is so “substituted,” when capita, capital, and capitol is taking-place, in all its beatitudes, in all its halos, where the perfect is the root through which grows the law of the love for the singular, then time gets spatialized. Time will not be the life, the “radix,” of space, what renews space, makes it appear and appear and …, but will be administered as hierarchical space, such: paraphrasing Husserl: intentional space relies on models of retentional space, both of which secures that force necessary to make of future only protentional space—the most efficient condition for power and its growing and cultivating. The parallel of nothing in between Husserl’s phenomenological and psychological ego is precisely a temporal structure obeying such “radicalized” spatiality. Nothing new will ever occur; no event is possible. Everything is possible only according to the to-be-or-not-to-be of the maybe of transcendental-phenomenological mind architecture.

The Husserlian “adumbration” of sensation is to be compared with a beholder to be filled. When filled it, the sensation is true because it adequates this or that transcendental-phenomenological archetype. By way of phenomenological reductions thought is supposed, by itself, through adumbration, to constitute a virtual world. What haunts us is not so much an irreconciled past, void of redemption, as it is futurity. This is so because even the most sophisticated mnemotechnics would immediately be eradicated if not for its continual life and “presence” given from futurity. In this sense, memory is something that comes from the future. It is not transmitted to us from the past. For every single one of our mnemes must, before it becomes “retention,” ‘before’ in a sense completely devoid of any anteriority, come by way of futurity, it must come from the future; the past have not the force, not the means, of course, of poiesis, so to speak. How could it? What is eating that what-is-to-come the most in this world if not iterability? Iterability is future’s manerie, its manner.[1]

What haunts, then, what constitutes the spectrography, the spectromania and the spectrophobia, is the taking-place of past where what is to come is to come, take place. The specter, the revenant, and the revenance is coming from what is to come—futurity—in the degree that we blind ourselves in our simulatory spatiality. Now there will always be interferences, because every gramma is simulation. But the spectrality is sounder, it seems, if recognized as of futurity, and not as a assemble belts from past to present, making its interruptions and disturbances the motive for maiming presence. If I should try to determine further what past is, I would say that it is to be related to the iterativity of futurity as what definitely will not come, only can not-come, already shit out of the what-is-to-come; this is what the past is, however “valuable” one may deem it, in other respects. Now, in The Man Without Content, Agamben quotes Benjamin, thus:

The quotations in my work are like armed robbers lying in ambush on the highway to attack the passerby with weapons drawn and rob him of his conviction.[1]

Besides of the fact that all grammas, therefore including linguistic terms in general, are



quotable, therefore always capable of robbing us of our convictions, I will let Agamben do his interpretation. The power of quotation consists not of transmitting the past, allowing the reader to “relive it,” but, rather, to make, in Benjamin’s words, “[a] clean sweep, to expel from the context, to destroy.”[2] Thereby it loses its authentic testimony and “[i]nvests it with an alienating power that constitutes its unmistakable aggressive force.” The authority of quotation, then, consists of the destruction of the original authority, apropos of the collector which

[a]lso “quotes” the object outside its context and in this way destroys the order inside which it finds its value and meaning. […] The collector frees things from the “slavery of usefulness” in the name of their authenticity, which alone legitimates their inclusion in the collection; yet this authenticity presupposes in turn the alienation through which this act of freeing was able to take place, by which the value for the connoisseur took the place of the use value. In other words, the authenticity of the object measures its alienation value, and this is in turn the only space in which the collection can sustain itself.[3]

Then he writes:

And it is certainly not an accident that the great collector figures flourish precisely in times of break from tradition and exaltation of renewal: in a traditional society neither the quotation nor the collection is conceivable, since it is not possible to break at any point the links of the chain of tradition by which the transmission of the past takes place.[1]

Benjamin who sums up this process as the “decline of aura” does nevertheless not notice the coming of a new aura. With the “age of technical reproducibility,” this corrosive agent of the traditional authority of the work of art, we see “raise forth” authenticity to its extremes: by multiplication of the original, authenticity becomes the “very cipher of elusiveness.” Then Agamben invokes Baudelaire to anticipate this age with his insistence on “shock” and “intransmissibility.” To survive, the artist will transmit what is no longer transmittable; transmission of transmission itself, then. Alienation is from this viewpoint the destruction of tradition. Because:

In a traditional system, culture exists only in the act of its transmission, that is, in the living act of its tradition. There is no discontinuity between past and present, between old an new, because every object transmits at every moment, without residue, the system of beliefs and notions that have has found expression in it. [..] In a mythical-traditional system, an absolute identity exists between the act of transmission and the thing transmitted, in the sense that there is no other ethical, religious, or aesthetic value outside the act itself of transmission. […] Loss of tradition means that the past has lost its transmissibility, and so long as no new way has been found to enter into a relation with it, it can only be the object of accumulation from now on.[1]

If tradition contained itself such, how was the break, our new regime of “accumulation,” possible? There is a manifest contradiction here. There are rather degrees of technical reproducibility. Further, there indeed was, and still is, the intention of aligning present—and future—with past; what I propose be called ‘radicalism.’ But, still further, there is not today, even if diagnosed already by Baudelaire, a simple transmission of the act of transmission: un éclair … puis la nuit! For Agamben, in this shock, this heroic mission of art, left to its empty shells of transmission, bereft of turtles that somehow, mysteriously left its houses for some for us unknown destination, there is nothing save a life “[s]uspended in the void between […] past and future, man is projected into time as something alien that incessantly eludes him and drags him forward, but without allowing him to find his ground in it.”[2] This, however, was always the case, the difference being recognized. But this is not to say that so is actually possible, not to speak of actually the case. Far from it. Agamben cites Benjamin once more, from “Theses on the Philosophy of History”:





A Klee Painting named “Angelus Novus” shows an angel  …………….. looking as though he is about to

move away from something he is  ……………………………………………………………. fixedly contemplating.

His eyes are staring, his mouth  ……………………………………………………………………… is open, his wings

are spread. This is how one pictures  ……………………………………………………… the angle of history. His

face is turned toward the  ………….. past  …………………………………… Where  …… we perceive a chain

of events, he sees one  …………………… single  …………………………………………………. catastrophe which

keeps piling wreckage upon  …………………………………………………………………….. wreckage and hurls it

in front of his feet. The angel would  ……………………………………………………….. like to stay, awaken the

dead, and make whole what has been smashed.  ………………. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it

has got caught in his wings with  …………………………………. such violence that the angel can no longer

close them. This storm irresistibly propels  …. him  ……… into the future to which his back is turned

while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.[1]


“Without grounding,” thus—and this is according to Agamben conditioned by the advent of the technical reproducibility splitting the authority of past over future, because the living stem of past/future presumably is only thinkable as past rooting future—we are propelled backwards,

“irresistibly,” into the future, with no content, forced, in want of an alternative, to enter the now only possible relation with the past: that of accumulation. The past is still in charge, and there is this price to be paid, there is this revenging angel. What we call progress is therefore nothing but having our wings, our means of orientation, stretched out, in a freezed spatial figuration, “debrised,” disappearing from a past where the only relation is that of disappearing while accumulating in space what time no longer has the means to give us.


A lost spatial homogeneity accelerates time till it is flattened into innumerable helpless now’s undeterminable as to whether absolute event or absolute non-event reigns, so to speak. The absolute eventness or noneventness of disparate and disjointed limbs is blown away by a past that resents not being in space anymore. Accumulation as absolute eventness: in the distancing of past everything will appear as absolute event, what irrupts beyond any calculable expectation, protention, because there is nothing to measure them against. Accumulation as absolute noneventness: in the distancing of past everything will appear as absolute nonevent, what iterates itself more and more as pure, that is to say, empty iteration. Besides from the fact that iteration never is pure or empty: how does one explain the coming of technical reproducibility? Perhaps this coming is not that dramatic, unique. Perhaps it always was of ours. Perhaps instead of keeping saying that past is right, and is vital, “critical,” we could easily say yes to futurity.

How far is this not from Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space! The moralizing and nostalgic gestures—the topos of an angel having mouth and eyes open, its wings spread, facing only skyward piles of dirt—are absent, and what is there instead is the poetic wonderings of the workings of spatial imagination in man and nature: topophilia. Bachelard says that it relieves, after having traversed the there-is, to say Das Dasein ist rund. But surely not so in the virtual sense of Husserlian Abschattungen, the hologram, the virtual training program. It is a reminiscent of those multiple-exposure photographs that captures successive phases of a movement in a single frame. Such photos were being seen for the first time at the turn of the century. Husserl also mentions new media such as the stereoscope and the cinema. Friedrich Kittler would not be surprised by this mentioning. The age when one imagines one is too immature to tell as to its how or its why; when mature we do not imagine.[1] Dematuring, dephilosopizing, is what space suggests as to imagine its poeticity. Experienced space transcends geometrical space. A house is always more than its physical measures, angels, proportions, ways of construction; it is, by reason of its sheltering, its warmth, its ease,[2] the very place for imagining the imagination of cosmic forces.  The imaginative house is not its own virtualization; this, is something that perhaps some day will “shade” it, perhaps, perhaps by Husserl, or whoever. In that case, if such happens, there will be need of “depsychoanalyzing”—writes Bachelard.

The round metaphysician

[r]ids us of a past of dreams and thoughts, at the same that he invites us to actuality of being. It is not likely that a psychoanalyst would become attached to this actuality enclosed in the very being of expression. From his standpoint such an expression is humanly insignificant because of the very fact of its rarity. But it is this rarity that attracts the attention of the phenomenologist and encourages him to look with fresh eyes, with the perspective of being that is suggested by metaphysicians and poets.[1]

Michelet says “[A] bird is almost completely spherical,”[1] and participates in Jasper’s principle of “round being.” Michelet continues that birds are the most sublime, the divine summit, of living concentration, that one “can neither see, nor even imagine, a higher degree of unity. Excess of concentration, which constitutes the great personal force of the bird, but which implies its extremeindividuality, its isolation, its social weakness.” Bachelard answering the geometrician: “But Michelet seized the bird’s being in its cosmic situation, as a centralization of life guarded on every side, enclosed in a live ball, and consequently, at the maximum of its unity.
All the other images, whether of form, color, or movement, are stricken with relativism in the face of of what we shall have to call the absolute bird, the being of round life.”[1] This image of the bird was, in literary criticism and psychoanalysis, considered of no importance, no significance. Bachelard then dreams of having it evolve in a philosophy of cosmic imagination. To look for centers of cosmicity. This neglected Micheletean round-bird would fly, rounded by cosmicity, “re”-tected, constituting now this “roundity,” now that, ever revolving around new centricities of “round cries of being.” Because—except that in cosmicity there is no ‘because’—“[T]he world is round around the round being.”[1] For geometry, and the learned geometrician, the space of the round is void, it is perfected by surfaces that all act like each other; one principle governing them all, the quest for a formula that asks for what common
and only feature would make the round the perfect in-difference, making them, the tiny surfaces, and it, the spherical surface of which is only the duplicated standard and original, making them as I said what now has become a ‘sphere,’ easily calculable, sure, but also thrown away into that utter darkness where everything is known, at once, by that formula that keeps us ir-oneiric and abortive of any phenomenological experience of immenseness.  This is not far from Bergson’s saying that all Kant saw in science was “frames within frames.” I quote Bachelard who quotes Diolé—because in Diolé’s imagination there is this Gaston Bachelard that perhaps will quote his imaginary writings:
“[T]o go down into the water, or to wander in the desert, is to change space,” and by changing space, by leaving the space of one’s usual sensibilities, one enters into communication with a space that is psychically innovating. “Neither in the desert nor on the bottom of the sea does one’s spirit remain sealed and indivisible.” This change of concrete space can no longer be a mere mental operation that could be compared with consciousness of geometrical relativity. For we do not change place, we change our nature. Diolé writes as a diver, and tells the story from when he was in the desert. If familiar with the deep sea you will never be the same again. In the desert he experienced himself to fill the desert with water. His imagination—real as whatever else, but entering another cosmos— poured water into the desert landscape. “I flooded the space around me while walking through it.” So this is not the logician drawing circles, overlapping or excluding each other, knowing immediately what are their rules. Or the philosopher thinking inside and outside in terms of being and non-being. Jean Hyppolite spoke of the alienation and aggression that is built into the formal opposition of inside and outside; formal oppositions are disabled to stay calm, albeit their intention, perhaps, is to be what is calm and balanced, neutral, weighed, sober.
———————————————————————- Agamben
—————————————————————– writes about taking place.
————————————————————— Veritas patefacit se
———– ipsam et ————————————– falsum. “Truth
——– cannot be shown   —————————– except by
——– showing the false, —————————- which is   ————————————- not,
——– however, cut off and   ———————– cast aside   —————————– somewhere else.
——— On the contrary, according   ————– to the   ——————————- etymology of the verb
——— patefacere, which means   ————– ‘to open’   ———————- and is linked to spatium, truth is
——- revealed only by giving space   ———– or giving   ——————- place to non-truth—that is, as a taking-
——- place of the false, as an exposure of its own inner-   —————— most impropriety. Bachelard writes that
——– the  open  in itself, or should we rather say, the open as of geometrical interest, and this  will for us
——– mean reducing immense interest to what is “interesting,” in conformity with reducing roundness to
———— “sphereity,” is less vast, in this words tensest  tense, than  the closed, the secret. The closed  is
—————- richdom, immeasurable. As to be read in Michelet’s ornithological writings: “[T]he instru-
——————- ment that prescribes a circular form for the nest is nothing else but the  —– body of
————————- the bird. […] There is not one of these blades of grass that,
————————— in   order to make it curve and hold the curve, has
————————————— not been pressed on co-     unt less times
————————————— by the bird’s breast, its
————————————— heart.” Bachelard: “What
————————————— an incredible inversion of
————————————— images!  Here  we have the
————————————— breast created by the embryo.”[1]
That the world is, that something can appear and have a face, that there is exteriority and non-latency as the determination and the limit of every thing: this is the good. Thus, precisely its [the Good’s] being irreparably in the world is what transcends and exposes every worldly entity. Evil, on the other hand, is the reduction of the taking-place of things to a fact like others, the forgetting of the transcendence inherent in the very taking-place of things. With respect to these things, however, the good is not somewhere else; it is simply the point at which they grasp the taking-place proper to them, at which they touch their own non-transcendent matter.[1]

The crash between face and non-latency is salient. The last being a more technical term, the first a more non-technical term, we “under”[2]-stand that what technicality promises is dependent upon what is not technicality. The face is also always latency; the use of ‘face’ betrays the technical intention in this sequence. And so the good, in the measure of the face, is never simply non-latency, simple exteriority, simple propriety. As with Levinas—legible in Totality and Infinity, palpable in Otherwise than Being[3]—there is in this Agamben of The Coming Community—albeit with decisive differences in other respects—an urge towards expressing something completely, without rest, decidedly, as if anything lets itself be de-cided, to “period” it—a thought of the hapax. As with Derrida we know that there is never a hapax, there is never a simple taking-place—that every space is split a priori by iterativity. When I read Levinas’ 1964 “Meaning and Sense,” I notice an expressed concern for the unique sense. In a certain respect it is an anticipation of today’s critique of ‘multiculturalism,’ ‘culture radicalism,’ and whatever the names. He writes:

Absurdity consists not in non-sense but in the isolation of innumerable meanings, in the absence of a sense that orients them.  Hat is lacking is the sense of all, the Rome to which all roads lead, the symphony in which all meanings sing, the song of songs. The absurdity lies in the pure indifference of a multiplicity. […] Over and above these logical and psychological problems, the true meaning is at stake.[4]

And we know that with Levinas it is ethics that is Rome. Now what is of interest is that herein lies the “unique” crash with Levinas and Derrida, and which reveals Derrida to be so much more mature in his thought, however beautiful and true Levinas writes “otherwise than Rome.” ‘Iterability’ is of ‘iter’ and ‘itar.’ ‘Iter’ is latin and means ‘road,’ precisely given meaning and sense in that period of time when in fact “all” roads led to Rome—or were expected to do. We know very well what Derrida does with this. What was supposed to lead to Rome is from now on what may always lead you somewhere else. And this ‘may,’ will take on a serious significance: namely that from now on what we truly we know is that wherever whatever leads it will surely never lead simply to Rome.[5] And this is what brings about the space of questioning, in our times.

The question mark— and it always look the same digitalized—like this: ‘?’, is this period, this “dot,” this sure, ensured ending, but its roundness, so to speak, is disturbed by that line above it, pointing upwards, to what? Of course, upwards, then a slight curve to right, marking the promise of what is to come, what will come after the question mark—and as we know, in writing this is given the space of what is on the right side, what is coming from and going to the right—, but this so only to suddenly, always with more force than the right curving, cast it backwards, to the left, to what was. To what we already know, to what we will always have had to pass. Why not a question mark that makes its fold to the future? Would not that be more right? More in the current of the question? It is indeed a salient fact that it is not otherwise. Always the possibility of the radical, of the turning back to the arche, to the seed and the archive—the past. A radivorous ontology is always full of unidentified flying objects against which it can do nothing better than simulate security and evidence while practicing exorcism. Really of itself: any radivorous ontology in search of the complete egg, the oontology, is bound to have a hauntology forever parasiting, contaminating, auto-immunizing its own homeland ontology.

Surely space is never simply space; so far it has been grounded, and doubly so: it is grounded in what is held to be the hapax of the radix and the radix of the hapax. It is nothing new in Husserl’s principia principium. No more than in language there is in space neither medieval nor postmodern haecceitas. The ‘there-it-is’—the latin ‘ecce’—of a being or entity is never simply at a there. Of course. Not even the root. Because the root is always already at another place, another places, too. Entity or being: they are always articulated as to, not their being there-ness, but as to what is to come of them, what awaits them in what we call ‘future,’ but that essentially is what we so far have used history to unravel, break, know—meaning the erasing of history too. This will and representation of the erasing of history has become very, very dry: it is a growing material fact, even an irreversible one. Having enormous impact of everything we call space. The erasing of history involves temporality, but no less spatiality. Here we must take into account those formidable machines built by Kant and Husserl: those transcendental machines that first saw their light of life in the human mind, in advanced thinking and training, then more and more popularized—to the point where they are everywhere, and always determinately locatable, at least as far as their material intentions concern, located at heres and theres. To the benefit of the generality of popular education and pedagogy. Let us proceed closer.



A rather ruthless claim perhaps, but nevertheless critical to expose: what within computer technology is called simulation machines should for its philosophical explanation cease to be content with post-modern philosophies of simulacra of simulation, like Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation from 1981, and go back to Edmund Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology, yes, even to Immanuel Kant’s first critique of 1871. We should open ourselves up to the possibility that the simulation machines were not first developed within the complex of military industry and computer science, and then, in the aftermath yielding to philosophical reflection. Though surely not intended as simulation machines, certain aspects of the philosophies of Kant and especially of Husserl may indeed be interpreted as the first coherent and systematic appearances of simulation machines. Before they were materialized as technics they were thought systems; they entered the mind before they got replicated technically. This perspective will enforce us to understand that such machines have been in our history for more than two centuries.

The banal understanding of this— affirmed as a recent technoscientific evolution—is in itself an unlucky simulation machine: the fact of the more than 200 years old history of mental simulation machines are obscured by that discursive simulation machine where the technical simulation machines are affirmed being the first ones. By that token, there will be operated a certain distancing into our historical as well as systematical conceptions of this, making us believe that those machines are of recent date, and that they simply are an empirical eventuality on our outside. Being arbitrary, of recent date, and an empirical outside, these machines will not be as problematizable as if interpreted as having been induced into the mind a long time ago, and that this seems, for certain reasons, to have necessitated its repression. Our minds have for two centuries been assimilated to the simulation machine, as an abstract machine of course. This assimilation we are not aware of; its means are ever more efficient, especially so because of the proliferation of such machines on the outside of the brain.

Fiber optical networks, mediating all other medias, immune even to the electromagnetic pulse, constitutes the external dissimulation of the human brain as already a simulator. The technical machines in Kant’s contemporaneity signal the possibility of this relation, and when investigated: surely simulation machines was very well articulated, and made part of a globalizing pedagogy. Already at that time. Thinking becomes simulation; thinking technology, in Heideggerian terms, is impossible: thinking is technology. Or, if what we call thinking lead to the simulation machine inside our brains it never was thinking, and thinking is still what is to come, it still has a future. Of course simulation always has been part of what Derrida calls writing in general; but the Kantian claim that the human mind is irreducibly cut off from reality and that only a mysterious schematism ensures knowledge is surely to graft simulation and machine systematically onto the human brain stem. I will—under the call of a philosophy of nothing—remark the invention of the simulation machines: the invention of the association between transcendental conditions and epistemology leads to the very first simulation machines which in turn leads to what I propose to call prosthesia. Prosthesia is the whole planet metamorphosed by a network of prostheses, mediated in the outer, spatial, and macro registers by satellites, and in the inner, temporal, and micro registers, for instance, by fiber optics. Prosthesia is the totality of the world framed into stratospheric Panoptical, the visual and spatial, and biospheric Panspectral, the non-visual and temporal, prostheses. The philosopher’s sketchy simulation machine ends circumscribing the sum total of everything meaningful to us, threatening man from everywhere.

To understand this evolution it is urgent to, paraphrasing Heidegger, ask a question about the difference between nothing and Nothing—and by that imply that we have lost the Nothing of nothing. Our historically explainable rudimentary understanding of nothing has led us to avoid the Nothing of nothings that laughs at every discourse and institution of be it truth, arche, morality, radicalism, progress, derivation, system, adequatio, messianism, logos, and by the same token the et cetera. As yet we have refused to recognize that the nothings are not arbitrary, disconnected, and meaningless, not to be eventually reduced,—that is to say, not recognized the Nothing of Being. Truth is actually something that against the Nothing of nothings eventually, very much like a Derridaean qualified Husserlian material a priori, will produce that simulation machine that will keep on until it embraces the whole earth. And Heidegger’s Being of beings we can interpret as a plain simulation: he framed the saying that something is that really is not, and he insisted that our freedom was “letting beings be.” He actually simulated the simulation machines of Kant and Husserl.

Already in Kant we do see the first sketching out of such simulation machines. As we already know, Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernunft from 1781 was a critical distinguishing between what is transcendental and what is transcendent. Though one here should, for reasons both of authority and system, stress Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology, one will benefit from reflecting upon some aspects of Kant’s prolegomenic works on the simulation machine. Then the trajectory: from Kant to Baudrillard, then to Derrida and Husserl, then to Prosthesia. In between will be the deposited various frequencies of texts from various writers. The essence of, and what justifies the concept of, simulation machines is that of an organized device simulating reality. The purpose of such a machine is to come as close to the real as possible, approaching the threshold where the real and the simulacra in all significant aspects is if not indistinguishable then irrelevant for the given purpose of the given simulation machine…. We rejoice, and will never forget it seems: the transcendental aesthetic and the transcendental logic deals with, first, whether we possibly can know, as appearing in space and time, empirical objects, and, second, the relationship between appearing and concept, and a priori principles:

Ausgehend von der Beobachtung, dass Erkenntnis auf der Erfahrung der Natur beruht, stellt Kant die Frage nach der Bedingung der Möglichkeit der Erkenntnis bzw. als Aufgabe der reinen Vernunft die Frage: “Wie sind synthetische Urteile a priori möglich?” [6]

Kant fulfilled contemporary physics philosophically, yes, but it is now, 225 years after, due to investigate into other possible functions of that highly prominent transcendental machine. The scheme depicting the relation between the world as it is, viz. what Kant called Dinge an Sich, and the transcendental apparatus: installed within reality is this transcendental computational processing, where man as we knew him, from now on is reductively designated by the terms ‘Sinne’/‘Erscheinungen.’ Man is depicted, so to speak, as being processed by decisive computational procedures, forever detached from reality—called a ‘thing.’ And as if this was not enough: his authoritative I is no longer his concrete, empirical, and enduring I, but what is called ‘Transzendentales Selbstbewusstsein.’ And next, what is outside is either noise to be discarded, or God, Soul, and Freedom. The thing that is nearest to man in 1871 is so the system of transcendental computational processes. That this system of thought has appeared so strong and so compelling tells us something, not necessarily about the truth of Kant’s theory of knowledge, but about how far the thought of the simulation machines had come already for two centuries ago.

I will not in this text try to demonstrate—simulate—further the truth of my thesis as concerns Kant. But I do think it would be enlightening to reread Kant in the light of this hypothesis of his texts being a crude form of a simulation machine: in the unconscious of Kant’s texts there is the wish for simulation machine. In parenthesis written: of course we with Derrida today is able to say that every text was a simulation machine; this is not the point in this text, though. Herefrom, then, will I rather, through a re-detour into Baudrillard, go on into Husserl’s texts. When we eventually will have a closer look at Husserl I bet you will agree that Kant, too, was into this—implying that Baudrillard was a very late articulation, and that mine is even later.

In his essay ‘The Precession of the Simulacra,’ Baudrillard recalls a tale by Borges in which a map (i.e. a representation) is produced so detailed that it ends up coming into one-to-one correspondence with the territory (i.e. everything that had once been directly lived), but argues that in the postmodern epoch, the territory ceases to exist, and there is nothing left but the map; or indeed, the very concepts of the map and the territory have become indistinguishable, the distinction which once existed between them having been erased.[7]

If we took for granted that this is as Baudrillard describes this, we would anyway have to say that this did not happen in what he calls the “postmodern epoch”; there is no epochality in this. With Derrida we may say that the différanceial logic of “map and terrain” is coextensive with every writing, every inscription and gramma. The history, then, is also about the gradual elaboration—or ever new frozened versions of the différance—of this simulation machinery. Writing is in its own evolution, with its own mutations. In parenthesis just let me note that a mutation is not a totally arbitrary thing according the structure of writing; it is an irreducible absolution of chance and necessity. Besides, there could never be a “one-to-one correspondence” to this différanceing/-ed writing, to the point where “the very concepts of map and territory have become indistinguishable.” How could there ever be differance with only transcendental signifieds?

The distinction between writing and its other can never be erased; still they are irreducibly inseparable. They are not two, not one, but always more or less and more and less than one: this is the machine. Now, what is interesting here, in this context, here in this simulation, is that though Derrida’s texts are intolerably irradical in these matters and therefore lend themselves so strong to the notion of the simulation machine, we will never be able to end up with Baudrillard’s position. In the postmodern we simply have no criteria, no outside, no reality principle; we have to ask ourselves— continuing the necessity to still ask transcendental questions—how this is possible to say.

Baudrillard says: “The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.” Baudrillard is still inside of Kant and Husserl’s transcendental machines. Both would have to yield to this simulacrum; das Dinge an Sich mean nothing but this. The simulacrum is the transcendental conditions of possibility for knowledge. We will never know if this knowledge answers to reality; Kant’s vocabulary is stringent on this point. Husserl tries to justify this scandal of simulation, especially through his concept of intentionality: if epistemic matters are confined to the transcendental-phenomenological simulation machine, then the concept of intentionality at least will ensure the consciousness-of, the reality reached by the modulations of intentionality, retention, intention, and protention. It grants discourse to what The Kantian simulation machine simply dismissed under the title of Das Dinge an Sich. Intentionality is something that Heidegger stresses in his essay on Husserl’s greatest discoveries, History of the Concept of Time. Why are they both stressing this quasi-solution? This will only function so as to make this unheard of integration of man and machine easier.

This is unheard of because from this moment on—and I think Kant was unaware of this historical moment no matter how much he accelerated its itinerary—the machine is already inside of man’s mind. We are frightened when thinking of the possibility of microchips inside our brains, but we have already been there for a very long time. Only that these machines of Kant and Husserl are abstract machines. So the fact that we today have this talk of concrete, material microchips, means that this version of writing is about to come to an end. That will, by the way, also give us another interpretation of the quote above. Of course, it was not Kant or Husserl that neither invented nor discovered simulation machines; the possibility of these are language. We remember Leibniz and Spinoza, for instance. And Husserl evokes Descartes as the grounding father of the first true prima philosophiae, as the figure of cogito, ergo sum institutes the possibility and necessity of a procedural consciousness as the foundation from which absolute certainty alone is ensured. In a way every idealism is tracing the simulation machine; in a way every language is idealistic. But Kant was not the first to articulate it; how could we ever establish a criteria for this? But he’s articulations suits our purpose here, especially through the keywords of the-thing-in-itself, transcendentalism, a priorism, and schematism. Husserl articulated it not better, but in yet another way: keywords being transcendental reduction, bracketing, and psycho-physical parallelism. And the two articulations complement each other. Nonetheless I think Kant marks a decisive threshold through his inauguration of a systematized transcendentalism. Let us cite Baudrillard on the religious dimension of this:

One can live with the idea of a distorted truth. But their metaphysical despair came from the idea that the images concealed nothing at all, and that in fact they were not images, such as the original model would have made them, but actually perfect simulacra forever radiant with their own fascination. But this death of the divine referential has to be exorcised at all cost. It can be seen that the iconoclasts, who are often accused of despising and denying images, were in fact the ones who accorded them their actual worth, unlike the iconolaters, who saw in them only reflections and were content to venerate God at one remove. But the converse can also be said, namely that the iconolaters possessed the most modern and adventurous minds, since, underneath the idea of the apparition of God in the mirror of images, they already enacted his death and his disappearance in the epiphany of his representations (which they perhaps knew no longer represented anything, and that they were purely a game, but that this was precisely the greatest game – knowing also that it is dangerous to unmask images, since they dissimulate the fact that there is nothing behind them).

The progression of Baudrillard’s simulacrum has four main momentums, namely when it is thought of as simply the reflection of a basic reality, a tool, then as what masks and perverts a basic reality, an evil, then as masking the absence of a basic reality, a play, and last as bearing no relation to any reality whatever, here become its own pure simulacrum. I think that both Kant and Husserl participate in the transgression from the third to the fourth momentum. In terms of its ambitions the Husserlian transcendental phenomenology is strangely out of joint with contemporaneous developments, yes, even developments that already had effected Husserl’s own ways of working in profound ways, namely concerning the new revolutionizing relations that obtain between machines and thinking, the breathtaking recognition that thinking perhaps was mediated and so thoroughly formed through the chances and necessities of the new media technics of language, such as the typewriter and grammophone, and techniques of phonography, photography, and cinematography, transposing thinking into light and sound waves.

In the wake of the wave of new media technologies Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology appears anachronistic. What are the motives for Husserl’s insistence lasting four decades? Was he simply in profound mistake, or had he something else in his mind? I think that Husserl was ahead and not back of his time: though Husserl never described his thought in terms of simulation and machination—how could he?—, I think such terms make sense to his work. While revolutions of new media were breaching through, Husserl were one of those preparing for the next revolution of machines: virtuality and simulation.

If Friedrich Kittler says that 1900 was about external thinking machines, making their impact on thinking from the outsides of the brain, we will say that what Husserl’s work expresses is the will to internalize the thinking machines, making machine and mind one, only separated by a mysterious sheet of nothing, inscribing the psyche and the transcendental ego onto a universal parallelism. When Husserl gives the example of a perception where what appeared as a man turns out to be a mannequin—this is his articulation of what Kant called the true scandal of philosophy, namely Descartes’ hyperbolical doubt that opens a crack in the most ancient conviction of philosophy and common sense, the fissuring of kritērion tēs alētheias according to which all sensations are true—this will strangely not only serve as justification for the totality of reductions ending with the universal transcendental reduction, but also serve our purpose here. Husserl makes the mind a mannequin. It is decisive that mannequin belongs to the commercial realms. What could be more profitable than make human mind operated so as to be of one and only one constitution? Then the human mind will be manipulable more easily than otherwise. The Husserlian simulation machine comes through by way of the operation of bracketing, or the epokhe, or what he also terms the ‘transcendental reduction.’ What is transcendentally reduced is a variety of so called “natural,” that is to say naive, confused and prejudiced attitudes towards the things themselves. Through the transcendental reduction Husserl institutes the primordiality of consciousness and therefore ends up with construing an abstract brain implant that will function as the universal chronotopoi from which to deal with what is its outside. Husserl was constructing a mind machine.

For Husserlian transcendental phenomenology any empirical psychology will necessarily regress to relativism and scepticism. Any phenomena possible for an empirically attuned psyche must be bracketed for so as to give way to the pure realm of transcendental phenomenology. When the transcendental phenomenology is revealed, everything that enters the empirical psyche will always already have been filtered through pure and evident essences. Empirical psychology is dismissed but will be taken back when complying with transcendental phenomenology; the human psyche will from that universal simulation machine on never go beyond the machinating rules, or be discarded as irrational. Psyche will be with the things themselves, in the closest possible nearness, only separated by what it thinks is the thinnest possible sheet, the sheet of nothing constituting a pure parallelism. This is exactly what occupied Husserl’s mind: first separate transcendental phenomenology from empirical psychology, so that transcendental phenomenology becomes universally irreducible to the realm of empirical psychology, second put psyche back in place, but now mediated by a universal transcendental thinking machine. A large scale effect of this will be the split between the machine-psyche functioning according to principles of simulation and its exclusions as irrational whatever still resists machinating; Husserl’s effect is to reduce the residues of irrational currents, and end up with a global mind-machine, where every ego is a monad obeying the same sets of rules.

The call for the first authentic first philosophy—philosophia perennis—is therefore only the attempt to establish and proliferate a newer and hopefully better modification of the Kantian simulation machine, a machine of which laid out the prospects of this but which in Husserl’s time had become unsatisfactory. The advance would be the Husserlian claim to the contingent a priori, a many facetted adumbration, and intentionality and the will to the Zu den Sache Selbst! The simulation machine is thus through the contingent a priori opened up for breaking up the fixed and linear Kantian a priori machine. We have read this in Derrida’s Husserl and the Origin of Geometry. Through the operations of adumbration it is opened up for multiplied, perspectival and surrounding uses (is this a kind of a phenomenological virtuality?); and through intentionality and the Zu den Sache Selbst it is offering what the Ding an Sich never promised: Husserl claims that his simulation machine will gain access to the very thing itself.

If we let us further inspire by Derrida’s early work on Husserl, viz. Husserl and the Origin of Geometry, we may say that the only difference between the transcendental-phenomenological cognizant intuition and the thing itself is the thin sheet of nothing separating transcendental phenomenology and empirical psychology. There is really nothing separating the two except for it being two and except the one being not transcendental and the other transcendental, the third, the mediator, being the intentional consciousness, something of which implies that reality is dependent upon Husserlian consciousness:

Reality, that of the thing taken singly as also that of the whole world, essentially lacks independence. […] Reality is not itself something absolute, binding itself to another only in a secondary way, it is, absolutely speaking, nothing at all, it has no ‘absolute essence’ whatsoever, it has the essentiality of something which in principle is only intentional, only known, consciously presented as an appearance.[8]

Thus, Husserl thinks that in nullifying reality methodologically we lose nothing. What concerns the phenomena the same structure obtains; it is a matter of locoi. From this point on, the totality of empirical being will be dependent upon the transcendental Husserlian simulation machine; everything not bending to its laws will be discarded as noise in the system. The gradual elimination of noise will make the simulation machine work better, and the machine will by itself furnish the procedures and criteria according to which eliminations are to be done.

As we saw it in the quote above: independence is the key, then. What is dependent is defined in terms of what is not dependent; actually what is not dependent is dependent on the dependent for its very definition. Husserl discovers nature as essentially dependent and posits the human mind as alien to the total regime of dependency; in his poverty, and furthermore speaking in the name of the highest being, namely the human consciousness, his mind is not able to name itself otherwise than in negation. How is this operation not a dependent one? This linguistic dependency structure, so obvious, is actually transposed onto reality, only now turned upside down and using the adequate words describing this kind of linguistic relation, not of course thematized by Husserl, to describe reality as “nothing at all,” where the Husserlian consciousness all of a sudden appears independent and what makes this nothing appear. Husserl’s performative act betrays a total repression of its own linguistic laws of mediation. Husserl transposes mind to a certain nothing, claiming that its true function and full powers only obtains when every dependent thing is bracketed. It is amusing how the key operation of Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology is in need of yet another linguistic operation.

Every text is bracketed; mind is what is bracketing; bracketing as a means to locate mind, behind both text and brackets; when mind is located it will re-enter the text as a device, or as a pro-gram, “before the gramma,” for absolute writing. Absolute writing streams from what is no more anthropological, zoological, psychological, natural. What is it that writes? What is this autogenetic and automatic writing? What were the brackets? It is said that it is the with-holding of judgment. But why the term bracket for this? To articulate what could justify this somewhat odd reading of Husserl, I will start out from a focus on the parallelism of Husserl’s philosophy. In A Taste for the Secret, Derrida says that he always has had to reconcile the Nietzsche that suggests that philosophy is psychology plus biography—a movement of the psyche—with Husserl’s critique of psychologism. He writes, always according to this or that topic and to the law of writing in general:

For me, the critique of psychologism was an important matter; I took it very seriously. It was an essential philosophical lever. In this logic of the critique of psychologism, I recall how interested I was in Husserl’s idea (in fact I wrote about it in 1963, in a review of his Phenomenological Psychology) that between pure phenomenological psychology, transcendental psychology, on the one hand, and pure transcendental phenomenology of the ego on the other, there is no real difference, once all the reductions have been performed. There are parallels. There is a parallel or coincidence between the contents of pure phenomenological psychology (which remains a science of the psyche, i.e. of a region of the world, and of the region on the basis of which the world is organized) and constitutive transcendental phenomenology (the Ur-Region of transcendental consciousness, which is not in the world). Nothing separates them, no content distinguishes them. But there is a nothing between them that does not appear as such, and which is decisive. It is the question of this nothing that has always interested me. I have always situated myself, more or less comfortably, happily or uneasily, on the line or limit between the irreducibility of the psychological and psychoanalytical, and a thought that is philosophical or deconstructive of philosophy, where philosophy implies independence of the psychical, or at least of that psychical which is the object of a science called ‘psychology.’ This, for me, has always been the locus of the problem.[9]

This is what Derrida says of himself, autobiographically. This is something quite else than the operation that Husserl undertakes. Husserl wants a pure autograph to come forth inside consciousness, where even every trace of the graph and graphicity is reduced and bracketed, since these is still of the mundane realm. For Husserl this autograph without the graph or the gramma, this signature without hand, is the only possibility of objectivity, scientificity, and philosophy. Let me quote from Speech and Phenomena as well, where Derrida in his introduction ends up in quite delicate elaborations of the parallelism of Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology. For Derrida this concept of parallelity is really decisive, and what is at stakes in Husserl. We will have to see what Husserl himself writes about this.

Juxtapose, therefore, Husserl with Derrida; first Derrida’s interpretation, and then in Husserl’s own words. What Husserl strives with is delineating the philosophia protè from degenerated metaphysics, which always has been blind to the true modus of ideality, that ideality which is, which is infinitely iterable in the identity of its own presence, since it precisely does not exist, is not real, but irreal.

The Husserlian irreal is not fiction, but is what is the condition of every writing on non-reality and the necessity of the essence, the noema, the intelligible object, and the non-mundane in general. Since this non-mundaneity is not just another mondaneity, and since it never fell down from the heavens, its origin will always be the possibility of the repetition of the instituting act.[10] The ideality is the salvation of the presence or mastering presence in the repetition. In its purity this presence is not a presence of something which exists in the world; it correlates with iterative acts which themselves are ideal.

Does this mean that what opens the repetition ad infinitum or opens itself ad infinitum, when the movement of idealization is secured, is a certain relation between an “existence” and its death? And that the “transcendental life” is the scene of this relation?[11] When empirical life, or even the region of the pure psyche, is bracketed, what Husserl hopes to reveal is still transcendental life or what in the last instance is the living presence of transcendentality. The soulless consciousness [seelenloses], whose essential possibility is unleashed in Ideen I §54 is anyway a transcendentally living consciousness. If we would have to conclude that the relation between empirical life, or mundane life in general, and transcendental life were radically heterogenous, that the two names relate indicatively or metaphorically only, we would still have to recognize the possibility of this relation, a relation of which carries the whole weight of the question of transcendental phenomenology.

Husserl says himself that there is a relation of parallelism between mundaneity and transcendentality.[12] What will allow the distinction between a phenomenologically psychology, as descriptive, eidetic, and a priori science, from the very transcendental phenomenology? What will distinguish between the epochē that reveals the immanent domain of the psyche and the very transcendental epochē? Because that realm thereby opened by this pure psychology has an advantage to all other regions, and its generality will dominate them all. This is why the dependency of pure psychology upon the arche-region of transcendental consciousness absolutely unique. The domain of what Husserl calls the psychological experience is actually covering the totality of that domain he calls the transcendental experience. Notwithstanding this complete covering there will be left a radical difference, a difference which has nothing in common with other differences: a difference which is not differentiating anything, a difference which never differentiate between beings or conceptions, some determinate signification, a difference which without ever making anything different still changes all signs, and of which alone makes possible such a thing as a transcendental question. Without the possibility and recognition of such a doubling, whose stringency never allows any doubleness, and without this invisible distance between the two acts of the epochē, the very prospect of a transcendental phenomenology would be destroyed before it got started.

The difficulty is due to the fact that this doubling of meaning does not answer to an ontological doubleness. As Husserl says in Phänomenologische Psychologie my transcendental I is radically different from my natural and human I, and still it does never differ in any way which would answer to the ordinary signification of distinction. The transcendental I is not an other; it is especially not a metaphysical or formal shadow of the empirical me.[13] In Cartesianische Meditationen §45 Husserl writes about a transcendental ego that makes a verweltlichende Selbstapperzeption.[14] In Phänomenologische Psychologie[15] Husserl concentrates all these difficulties in the mysterious concept of “parallelity.” The one is so to speak implicitly living in the other; the one overlaps the other, both understood as eidetic disciplines.

This nothing, which distinguishes the parallels, this nothing without which precisely no “explicitization,” that is, no language could freely express itself in truth without being contaminated by a real milieu, this nothing without which no transcendental, that is to say no philosophical, question could breathe, this nothing comes forth, so to speak, when the totality of the world is neutralized and reduced to its phenomenon. This parallelity does more than emancipate the transcendental ether; it will mystify the meaning of the psychical and the life of the psyche, namely the meaning of this mundaneity that is capable of carrying transcendentality, that is capable of fully satisfy the transcendental domain but without constituting some kind of perfect adequation.

Walking the path—which is not exactly one of the Heideggerian Holzweg—from parallelity to such an adequation is the most tempting, the most subtile, but also the most perplexing of all con-fusions, “con-fluences”: the instituting of the transcendental psychologism. This must be withheld, though the transcendental consciousness is nothing more or nothing else than the psychological consciousness. If the world is in need of a supplementary soul, then the soul is in need of a supplementary nothing which is the transcendental, without which no world would ever be visible. Even if language never escapes analogy, even if language is analogical from beginning to end, when it has reached this point it has to freely destruct itself and play metaphor against metaphor.

The war of language against language: this is the price for the will to think the meaning and the question of its origin. This war is not like any other war. As polemic for the possibility of meaning and world, this war takes place in that difference of which we have seen that in its transcendental anxiety it has not its home in the world but only in language. Far from only having its home in language, this difference is really the origin and home of language. Language guards difference, which guards language. There is, then, a passage from the eidetic transcendentality to the eidetic psychology to the rest of the mundane. So this simulation machine constructed from Husserl’s hands is the most encompassing, it is indeed all-embracing. And this Husserlian machine is today materializing planetary, and, yes, even what surrounds the planet.

It is the interiorizationing of the planet; perfectly possible to link up with the way Levinas use the word ‘economy’—the ego that cares about itself and turns the world into a home within which it can enjoy itself—in his “Meaning and Sense.” The religious connotations of that essay are not to be underestimated. Not to speak of what motivates those buildings of Kant and Husserl. In a footnote to the 1965 “Enigma and Phenomenon,” in a polemic against Michel Henry’s attempt to drive every moment of transcendence from feeling, Levinas writes:

It has to be said that this transcendence consists in going beyond being, which here means that the aim aims at what refuses the correlation which every aim as such established and which consequently is nowise represented, not even conceptually. The primordial feeling, precisely in its ambiguity, is this desire for Infinity, the relationship with the Absolute which does not become correlative with it, and consequently in a sense leaves the subject in immanence. Is not this the immanence which Jean Wahl once called “the greatest transcendence …, that which consists in transcending transcendence, that is, relapsing into immanence”?[16]

The simulatory machinations of the human mind will constitute a certain world, “affected” by a certain conception of oikos, a transcendent being implanted to the necessary—in Nietzsche’s sense of ‘necessary’—livings of the human brain, making an arbitrary mechanics, soon so adapted to that surely its transcendence will be felt as the purest immanence. The affects inflicted with what is called, by Alain Badieu, ‘the twentieth century Passion for the Real,’ we do see some connections.

The efficiency of these—if I may , in want of a better term, call it—“afficiencies” for the Real is to try to resist the transcendental virtualization, or let us say “phenomenalization,” of all spaces (and times)—the vast substituting of electronico- chemical for whatever we used to associate with phusis—and to get “out there” to the real, the real thing. In this sense it is indeed not unreasonable to say that as various as—e.g.—Levinas, Negri, Lacan, and Bataille may be, they nevertheless partakes of the same urge for splintering the big phantasmagoric bubble.

Here it is as if we could imagine man like an animal uprooted from its natural environment. Such uprooting will cause what is called ‘appetence behavior.’ The animal will simply still execute its instinctual programs, in the absence of any external stimulus, but as it were, in the void. But there are some decisive differences. We can observe the dog’s copulating movements, as if making love with empty space. The enframing of man in cyber machines will give him a perverse amount of knowledge of the future acting to come, in this or that concrete and actual space, precisely by being severed from the concrete spacetime environment.

Another difference is that while the animal still executes instinctual commands, cyber man executes according to external words of command issuing from the inner logic of an ever growing war machine. In a kind of controlled appetence this man will for a long time of his life be trained for operating at determinate coordinates of spaces and times. Even when he actually acts out, this man is still enmeshed in these machines. The actual war will be advised and executed from within a vast system of war machines, distributed as actions of appetence, in the void, then, but in close precision and proximity. And this is surely not so only in the military.

Now called for is another speculation inside of the speculation. In Husserls transcendental phenomenology we see the parallel worlds of transcendental phenomenology and psychological phenomenology, parallel worlds, but differentiated from each other by a certain nothing, since there are no positive middle terms, but there still has to be a discriminatory act for the phenomenological project to work. Husserl claims that the genuine modus of ideality, the one repeatable in general, that is eternally, is not real, but irreal. Only this irreality will enable the repeatability of ideality, something that is of utmost importance to phenomenology, of course. This irreality is not analogous to fiction, however, but rather the possibility of the non-mundane. It is clear that for Husserl the lack of this irreal and this parallelism would mean that language would be deformed by a real environment. Now, this could, perhaps, yield some interesting perspectives, as well, as to how to interpret this third phase of the simulacra.

The phenomenology here is perhaps describable as the first machine of simulation? We could say already Kant traced the possibility of the simulation, of course.[17] Or Descartes when he speculates over the as-if of a-brain-in-the-vat terrorized by the Great Evil Demiurge,[18] and finds deductions supported by the third substance to reveal the real and evade all lures. What has to be the case if we shall have knowledge that is decided for all eternity? Even synthetic a priori, was it not? This is radicalism par excellence. And a gesture that secures simulation as real and real as simulation.


——– I think it quite possible that there are—still—a variety of ways of reading the classics. One way

———— indicated here involves reading Descartes, Kant, Husserl, as pivotal, even “pivotalized,”

—————- figures in the construction of what nowadays is called ‘simulation machines,’

—————— ‘simulacra,’ etc. And this construction was therefore not a superstructure

——————— derivative of other more real substructures. In this reading we see

————————- other possibilities for the ontological category of space—

————————– “ontological category of space” itself to be put to the

—————————- open time of the re-analyst. This is, furthermore,

—————————— not to say linear history, progression, telos,

——————————– dialectic. Only, that is,  that Descartes,

——————————— Kant, Husserl does build—with their

——————————— own means and dreams—machines

——————————– for the mind, machines that now has

——————————- gained the statute of objectivity. These

—————————– are the machines that changed space, very

————————– efficiently and afficiently. As when appearing in

———————— objectivity these machines are sort of easy to sort out,

——————– to hold, to fix, and grab onto. But as soon as you ponder the

—————- possibility that those machines are nothing but variations of what

————— already centuries ago were build into society and citizen, in the form

———- of mind machines, then we could open up new questions on, in and of space.

—— Questions with their curved mark asking onto future, seeking future, wanting future.
Then our green, little friends will certainly be those in unidentified flying objects.

[1] The Coming Community, p. 14.

[2] Is it not rather weird that to understand you will need—it is said, yes—to “stand” and not only so, but stand “under”?

[3] See Emmanuel Levinas, Basic Philosophical Writings, ed. By Adriaan T. Peperzak, Simon Critchley, and Robert Bernasconi (Indiana University Press, 1996), esp. “Substitution.” Substituting oneself for others, so as to make room for Christianity in these others, for instance. The 1967 “Substitution,” later to be inserted as the centerpiece in Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence (published in French in 1974), is commonly received as the break in Levinas’ thought that accomplishes what Totality and Infinity never did: escaping the metaphysics of identity.

[4] Op.cit., p. 47. But please read pp. 46-64.

[5] Jacques Derrida, The Paper Machine, trans. by Rachel Bowlby (Stanford University Press, 2005), p. 88. But please read the whole wonderful chapter “As If It Were Possible, “Within Such Limits”.” (And I refer you also to The Post Card and Given Time.)

[8] Edmund Husserl, XXX , p. 240

[9] Jacques Derrida & Maurizio Ferraris, A Taste for the Secret , trans. by Giacomo Donis, ed. by Giacomo Donis and David Webb (Polity Press, 2001), pp. 35-6. (First published as Il Gusto del Segret, Gius. Laterza and Figli Spa, Roma-Bari, 1997.)

[10] Speech and Phenomena; freely transposed from p. 36.

[11] Ibid., freely transposed from p. 39.

[12] Ibid., freely transposed from p. 40.

[13] Edmund Husserl, Vorlesungen Sommersemester, 1925, Husserliana IX, p. 324]

[14] P. 40-2.

[15] P. 343.

[16] Levinas, op.cit. p. 178.

[17] I refer to my own paper ‘A Philosophy of Nothing—Transcendental phenomenology, Simulation, Prosthesia’. This was delivered in December 2005, as final exam paper in the course Techne, Cyber Space, Magical Realism.

[18] The word ‘demiurge’ means ‘skilled or public worker.’


[1] Ibid., p. 109.

[1] Ibid., p. 240.

[1] Op.cit., p. 237-8.

[1] Jules Michelet, L’oiseau, p. 291.

[1] Ibid., pp. 236-7.

[1] Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans. Maria Jolas (Beacon Press, 1994), p. 236.

[2] Agamben, The Coming Community : ‘ease’ is the proper name of unrepresentable space. The term designates, according to its etymology, the adjacent space—ad-jacens, adjacentia. This is the space were each can move freely. P. 24.

[1] Quote: “Ibid.”

To be continued:

[1] Ibid., pp. 107-8.

[2] Ibid., p. 108.

[1] Ibid.

[1] Agamben, The Man Without Content, trans. by Georgia Albert (Stanford University Press, 1999), in the chapter “The Melancholy Angel,” p. 104.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[1] See Agamben, op.cit., in the chapter “Maneries,” pp. 26-8. Using Uguccione de Pisa’s words, Agamben tells us that ‘manner’ is neither generic nor particular, but rather something like an exemplary singularity or a multiple singularity. Manner is an exemplar, a “whatever singularity.” Still, we have to qualify Agamben’s use or ethos here, since he then goes on to define manner in conformity with ‘manare,’ meaning ‘rising forth.’ The rising is too much on par with pastism. Futurity does not rise. A conception of a raising future is totalitarian.

[1] Ibid., p. 18.

[2] Ibid., p. 19.

[3] See Jacques Derrida, Speech and Phenomena.

[1] Ibid., p. 1.

[2] Ibid., p. 9.

[1] Ibid., pp. 52-3.

[2] Ibid., pp. 53-4.

[1] Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community, trans. Michael Hardt (University of Minnesota Press, 1998), p. 52.

[2] Ibid., p. 22.

[3] Ibid., p. 52. Walter Benjamin (who heard it from Gershom Scholem) recounted the story to Ernst Bloch.

[1] Federal Bureau of Investigation, internet address: http://foia.fbi.gov/ufo/ufo1.pdf, p. 57.

[2] Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, trans. Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Random House, 1967), pp. 7, 3.

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