S O L L I C I T A T I O N

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.”

Controversy over the Possibility of a Science of Philosophy

. . . 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

De rien: Silesius, Eckhart, and the Desire of Nothing

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?