In a conversation in 1994 Derrida made a retrospectively explanatory statement that for all posterity will re-mark his entire oeuvre, a statement as unveiling, as programmatic, as it was confessing: food for foes, but largely unnoticed by friends. For foes it revealed how ‘dangerous’ or ‘confused’ Derrida really was—obscurantisme terroriste, as Michel Foucault once had himself utter; for friends, in the degree to which it was given notice at all, it would risk marginalizing hundreds of interpretations already sanctioned and canonized by the proper archeions. Still it has not attracted the interest it deserves. I cite:
Husserl putting empirical existence in parentheses to access the real, the evident, phenomenal essentiality; eidetic and transcendental reductions, peeling off layer after layer of obscurities, echoes, and demiurges, to get to the kernel. What is truth really? Compared to obscurities, echoes and deceptions, demiurges? Are not the two sides in secret complicity? What would truth … Continue reading
Being is a small, odd, rare thing, probably the smallest, the rarest—“next to nothing”; if not the Nothing itself, then the infinitesimal stylus, Lucretius’ clinamen, writing and creating traces on simulated sheets projectable upon or before or in front of, as a problema, the very Nothing, not unlike, perhaps, what modern physics is doing, still, … Continue reading
To cite: to disseminatively and indefinitely machinate mirror effects of difference and repetition. To cite is citare, to shake and make tremble, and it affects it all, sollus: to sollicitate. It is the mirror of the citation that sollicitates, fissuring along all planes of the mirror-cite making the text imperceptible. The mirroring effect of disseminatively machinated differences and repetitions en abyme, however, is not that of a mimesis; there is no hidden and accessible proper and unique meaning, therefore, beneath some layer sub-ject to archaeological de-sedimentation. The text “implique que quelque part l’être d’un êtant soit imité.” Text is never comparable to an absolutely faithful imitation of a truth always already reproducible and repeatable by the text. “Il n’y a pas de hors-texte.”
Never yielding to the oppositional game of metaphysics itself, and reminding us that effects of sollicitation also happens automatically and as if auto-affected, Derrida rather tries to make us aware of the necessity of fissuring the entire edifice of totalitarian and reductionist oppositional and hierarchical terms and series. Derrida’s sollicitation is a necessary counter-violence. Every totality can be shown to be founded upon that which it excludes, that is, that which would become excessive for the reductive analysis of becomings into formulas. As for instance is the case with the old philosopheme arkhē that cartels the senses of founding, origin, principle, commencement [phusis] and that of commandment, government, sovereignty [thesis, tekhnē, nomos], principle and prince, hence the etymological link between archeology and monarchy. Sollicitation would demonstrate the differential excess secretly constituting the very conditions of possibility of arkhē. Thus, also implying its conditions of impossibility. Arkhē commenced as meaning in the nomological sense: to the arkhē as commandment, coming from the Greek arkheion, “initially a house, a domicile, and address, the residence of the superior magistrates, the archons, those who commanded.”
Husserl will contend that the mathematical object—or the matheme as already defined elsewhere—is ideal, ideal through and through, having no share in matter and sensibility, to wit, the so-called ‘real world.’ No share with material bindings and its irreducibly reciprocal meshwork of ever differential implications, it is thoroughly transparent, lifted away from the Real, exhausted by its properly own phenomenality. Linguistics, e.g., partakes of bounded idealities; the matheme is the one non-thing that partakes of free idealities. The matheme is thus freed from any particular subjectivity, empiricity, and is simply what it appears, or phenomenalizes, to be. It is always already reduced to its own phenomenal appearing as such, neither more nor less. If it appears at all, it appears for a certain something, and this certain something can only be a pure and transcendental consciousness. If one wants a Husserlian phenomenology to be coherent, it is necessary that there are such free, purely ideal, entities. Which is why Husserl often stress that the matheme is irreal.
Prior to coming-into existence there is nothing, nil. Solely a there-being, thus dependent upon the enigmatic passage from the Nothing to Being, can ever attest that things are, that there is an existence and that dead and living things perdure. Upon vanishing from existence there is again the Nothing.
From the side of what we call Death there is really nothing; it is Life that posits itself as a Something. Could we not thus be posited as such Schrödinger cats?
What is the nature of the ideal objectivity of mathematical symbols? Are mathematical symbols universal and beyond the problem of translation, leaving behind the Babel of ordinary languages? Is a Platonic philosophy of mathematics thus viable? Or is it, contrary to popular belief, possible to rigorously deconstruct mathematics? There is a sense in which Derrida seems to grant mathematics immunity from the work of deconstruction, often alluding to the formality of mathematical symbolization as a means to transgress the untenable metaphysics that springs from logocentric discourses bound to phonocentrism.
. . . La Decision Philosophique No. 5, April 1988, pp62-76. (Translated by Robin Mackay (http://blog.urbanomic.com/dread/). Work in progress. 22 February 2005.) This debate followed a conference on “The Community of Researchers”, held under the auspices of the Forum of the College International de Philosophie. Jacques Derrida had agreed to open the discussion. For which … Continue reading
Silesius’ dictum: “To become Nothing is to become God.”
Meister Eckhart had already had written: “Who are they who are thus equal? Those who are equal to nothing, they alone are equal to God. The divine being is equal to nothing.”
And as for John of the Cross? What was his “path of Mount Carmel”? It consisted of 7 steps: “Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, and even on the Mount nothing.”
Mechthild von Magdeburg wrote: “You must love the nothing [das niht] and flee the something [das iht].”
We should, such befalls us, explore the relation between mysticism, especially in the form of negative theology, and modern science, in the trace left by Elisabeth Weber’s eminent “Elijahs Futures.” What is the desire of mysticism, and of science, if not to become the desire of nothing?