choices and responsibility

Filed under: philosophy, category, difference, the political — sdv @ 11:30:37 am

Thinking of the act of voting and the responsibility and accountability that this implies. Initially I wondered if Lukacs and reification might supply an understanding but finally reverted to thinking that Cohen’s logic as borrowed below and only marginally amended seems more appropriate.

It would seem to be mistaken to say that humans beings are not responsible for their choices because they participate and accept social practices, however awful the practice might actually be.

It seems to be a mistake because we understand that people do make choices that produce and reproduce social practices and critically human beings can choose to not do so, choosing against the predominant lines of ideology and discourse, against the social assemblages they exist within.

However it is not being suggested that that if they do not choose against the predominant social practices that they are choosing badly since that would be unbalanced and probably unfair, because even though there maybe personal choice, it is made within an extremely complex and detailed level of social conditioning that is behind and supports every choice that may be made.

If we care about social justice surely then we need to consider a minimum of four things, the coercive structures (repressive and ideological), other structures, the social ethos and the choices of individuals. In addition any judgment on the choices made should be considered with an awareness of the power of others.


Rabelais Trunk...

Filed under: culture, philosophy, difference, text, fiction — sdv @ 02:54:02 pm

This list is as close as I’ll ever get to producing a listing of a portable library, loosely inspired an essay i read last year which contained a reference to “Rabelais’s Trunk” which he evidently carried around europe with him. I have been thinking of producing such a list ever since. Sadly it’s a little more Eurocentric than I imagined it would be and much less diverse than I imagined, the size of the trunk turned out to be much smaller than I imagined and I had insufficient room for Macneice’s Zoo, Bessie Head, Groscz, Hauser, but it is after all merely a trunk… sorry for the binary numbering by the way.

1 Capitalism and Schizophrenia - Deleuze & Guattari
10 Five Senses - Michel Serres
11 The Sailor From Gibraltor – M. Duras
100 Pilgrimage – D. Richardson
101 The Final Circle of Paradise – Strugatski Brothers
110 Zoo or letters not about love – V. Shklovski
111 The Natural Contract – Michel Serres
1000 Black Sun – J. Kristeva
1001 Speculum – Luce Irigaray
1010 Philosophy of the Encounter – L Althussar
1011 Destroy she said – M Duras
1100 The Alexandria Quartet – L Durrell
1101 The Mangle of Practice – Andrew Pickering
1110 Erewhon – Samuel Butler
1111 The Archaeology of Knowledge – M. Foucault
10000 Marxism and the Philosophy of Language – Volshinov
10001 Language – J. Kristeva
10010 The Differend – J.F. Lyotard
10011 The inhuman – J.F. Lyotard
10100 The Destiny of the Warrior – Georges Dumezil
10101 armed with madness – Mary Butts
10110 The Spiral Ascent – Edward Upward
10111 The Inoperative Community – Jean Luc Nancy
11000 The Cyberiad – S. Lem
11001 Weymouth Sands – Powys
11010 The Philosophical Imaginary – Michelle le Doeuff
11011 Hopscotch – Julio Cortazar
11100 The spirit of utopia – Ernest Bloch
11101 An essay on liberation – H. Marcuse
11110 Gross Cross – Helen Ferguson
11111 Julia and the bazooka – Anna Kavan
10000 Genes, peoples and languages – Cavelli-Sforza
10001 The normal and the pathological – Georges Canguilhem
10010 Memoirs of a spacewoman – Naomi Mitchinson
10011 The society of the spectacle – Guy Debord
10100 Essays – Alice Meynell
10101 My year in the no mans bay – Peter Handke
10111 Marx beyond Marx – Antonio Negri
11000 Texts – H. Heisenbuttel
11001 Studies in a dying culture – C. Caudwell
11010 Mad Love – Andre Breton
11011 Paris peasant - Louis Aragon
11100 Ubik – P.K.Dick
11101 Hipparchia’s Choice - Michelle le Doeuff
11110 The birth of physics – Michel Serres
11111 Writing and other essays – H. Cixous
100001 A spectre in haunting Texas – Fritz Leiber
100010 Scraps – M. Leiris
100011 How the laws of physics lie – Nancy Cartwright
100100 The structure of scientific inference – Mary Hesse
100101 From the desert to the book – E. Jabes
100111 The call of the cosmos – K. Tsiolkovsky
101000 Dialectic of Nihilism – Gillian Rose
101001 The Biosphere – Vernadski
101010 Difference and Subjectivity – F. Jacques
101011 Grundisse – Karl Marx
101110 Extinction – Thomas Bernhard
101111 The Gold rimmed spectacles – G. Bassini
110000 Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino
110001 The intellectual life of the British working classes – Rose
110010 Nietzsche and Metaphor - Sarah Kofman
110011 Destiny of the king - Georges Dumezil
110100 A man called destiny - Lan Wright
110101 Freudianism - Volshinov
110111 Tales from the calender - Brecht
111000 Dialogues - Deleuze and Parnet
111001 Critique of ecomic reason - Andre Gorz
111010 Elizabeth and her german garden - ElizabethVon Arnim
111011 Conquered City - Victor Serge
111100 A history of the modern Fact - Mary Poovey
111110 Death of Felicity Taverner - Mary Butts
111111 Facing the extreme - T Todorov


Quotes from Hegel

Filed under: culture, philosophy, difference — sdv @ 06:47:39 pm

“The truth of Being and Nothing is accordingly the unity of the two: and this unity is becoming. …. Being and Nothing are exhibit the fundamental contrast in all its immediacy that is without the one term being invested with any attribute which would involve its connection with the other …It is as correct however to say that Being and Nothing are altogether different, as to assert their unity. The one is not what the other is. But since the distinction has not at this point assumed definite shape (Being and Nothing are still the immediate), it is, in the way they have it something unutterable, which we merely mean….” (§88 p129)

“ They are just as much in a unity, as this unity which appears as the middle term over against the independent extremes[perpetual diremption of itself into just these extremes which exist only through this process…”(Hegel 1977 §136)

“This spurious infinity is in itself the same thing as the perennial ought; it is the negation of the finite it is true, but it cannot in truth free itself therefrom. The finite appears in the infinite itself as its other, because it is only in its connection with its other, the finitie, thate the infinite is. The progress to infinity is, consequently, only the perpetual repetition of one and the same content, one and the same tedious alternation of this finite and infinite…” (Hegel 142 1969).

Freedom reconciles liberty and determination in the form of concrete autonomy or self-determination (Hegel 1967 5-7).

“…in pressing forward to its true existence, consciousness will arrive at a point where appearance becomes identical with what is only for it, and some sort of other, at a point at which it gets rid of its semblance of being burdened with something alien, with what is only for it, and some sort of other, at a point where appearance becomes identical with essences, that its exposition will coincide at just this point with the authentic Science of Spirit. And finally, when consciousness itself grasps this its own essence, it will signify the nature of absolute knowledge itself…” (Hegel 1978 §89)

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