Archive for July, 2012

Beyond ontological realism as a perennial philosophy are good reasons that speak in favor of some kind of grounding or principles in order to understand how interlocutors can have any foundation for understanding one another in their actions: Metaphysics as the ‘understanding of understanding‘ and with the ‘principle of principle‘ and the conclusion that they are related in the ‘governance of governance‘ This is found in ‘Arché, archein, archeology’ as a Foucauldian notion of The principled governance of Self and Other(s). The principle of principle has a classic and Aristotelian formulation in the concept of arché and the verb-form archein. Klaus Lichtblau1 does remind us, determining a classical quasi-zero-point or locus classicus, can aid in any effort of an arche-ology2of the rational and semantic iso-topia that aregoverningthe existing global epistemic community, or, alternatively, in determining its precisely an-archic nature, which Lichtblau identifies as the Deleuzean project: Arché identifies as ‘principle’, yes, but it also means ‘beginning’, ‘foundation’ or ‘ground’, which Deleuze finds in the history of German philosophy since Leibniz on both sides of the archic and the an-archic: Der Grund3. As both a conceptual principle of the real and of cognition4, arché candenote simultaneously a principle of a matters cause and of its becoming. It is non-surprising that in its verb-form archein, it comprehends (Lichtblau) ‘being/becoming first’ as a polymorph or multiplicty, referring to ‘leading’, ‘ruling’, ‘dominating, ‘governing’, as much as to the expected meanings such as ‘begins’ ‘being fundamental’ ‘being the ground of’ or ‘reason for’.

Given that it has been frequently remarked by critical commentators and interpretants that Michel Foucault’s seminal ‘archeology’-concept supposedly is not sufficiently internally ‘connected’ to his genealogical nor his ethical project5, or that in his last years he supposedly ‘re-discovered’ the subject or ethics, etc. therefore proving the ‘disruptive’ or ‘de-legitimazing’ disconnect in the the epistemological, anthropological, historical and ethico-political levels6 of his work, we should not this with interest and, more importantly, in the light of Kant’s concept of archeology, which Foucault was privy to from the start, given his life-long relationship with Kant’s writings on anthropology and politics beginning with his comment on Kant’s Anthropology in a Pragmatic View and ending with his final lectures and essays on government, enlightenment and the self-other relation. Kant’s archeology is the philosophical archeology of reason as a derivate of the history of nature in the form of a ‘philosophical archeology of philosophy7. Given the comprehensive etymology of ‘arché-ology’ – which both Foucault and Deleuze most certainly have been aware of, in lieu with Kant’s anthropology and ‘philosophical archeology of philosophy‘ on the ‘nature of human reason’ (Kant), can their enterprise not also rightfully be called political? Are they not busy with a search for the “grounds and principles of the governance of reason and nature” found(ed) in language as the space of historic ontology (Foucault) and the intensive ontologies of temporality (Deleuze)? If we can accept this, it follows that Laura Hengehold’s project of a negative anthropology8, based in Kant, Foucault and, to some degree, Deleuze, is a metaphysical project that accounts for these grounds in the concept of political imagination as the point of convergence between the body and the State, wherein each can equally be subject to ‘re-imagination’ through the other, is a project that is a consequent continuation of Kant-Foucault/Delezue conflation of philosophy, anthropology and political ethics. Therein, given that the key concept of our times of mass-democracy and mass-media is information, we now “only” need to re-conceptualize what this conflation means today. Where others like Habermas or Lichtblau do not fully enter into the issue why the ancient Greeks in the actual construction of policy conceptually preferred the Platonian kratylos over archein, for our times, Foucault and Deleuze at least argue why in the same discursive field we should not trust a mere propaedeutic pedagogics to accomplish this re-conceptualization but why we need a a concept of psychagogy (Foucault) or a pedagogy of concepts (Deleuze), instead: Foucault’s lecture project from the 1980s can be seen as an argument against Derrida (March 2, 1983)9, arguing that Plato’s rejection of writing did not occur due to a defense of a pure logos, but “a silent work of self on self which disqualifies all logos, written or oral.”. The issue, with reference to Derrida, is not between written or oral. Instead Foucault saw the difference between a “logographic mode of being of rhetorical discourse and an auto-ascetic mode if being of philosophical discourse”. Thus, philosophy for Foucault’s Greek philosopher is in relation to parrhesia a kind of psychagogy, unlike rhetoric, which is tasked to influence and persuade, philosophy (or theory) is an operation with

will enable souls to distinguish properly between true and false, and which, through philosophical paideia, will provide the instruments to carry out this distinction.“

Paideia means a rich concept of enculturation through education and exercise of practice. In relation to Plato’s Phaedrus , it is also striking that Foucault discusses this matter on the example of medicine, Hippocrates, therapeutic regimes and the body, culminating in the strong statement that echos our criticism of current Western medicine and its focus on Neo-Kraepilinanism, (bio-)medicalization and pharmacologicalization:

[I]t was Hippocrates who thus substituted or completed medical art, or enabled it to be not just the application of a recipe, but well and truly an art of curing through knowledge of the body.”10

It is also in this context one must see Deleuze in the discourse of the Foucauldian project in its entirety from Foucault’s earliest works on Binswanger and Rene Char as well as his reflections on Cassirer and analysis of Kant’s anthropology, toward his writings on the heterotopic relation between language and space, to his final musings on Enlightenment: An anthropology without anthropos. For Foucault was asking the Kantian question „What is man?“ not as an encyclopedic nor analytic enterprise: Foucauly and Deleuze do not understand the question to mean that we must take (hu)man, the anthropos, as degre zero or zero-point. They do not accept the anthropos as the subject or object at face value. Foucault and Deleuze are asking for a concept of the human sciences, that goesbeyond and also ‘to the ground’ of whatNorbert Elias’s calls the Menschenwissenschaften. A concept that enables a critical anthropology that would ask for the conditions of possibility of ‘humanity and the concept of human’, including the political dimensions; in other words for the conditions of possibility of anthropos that was, however, at the same time neither explicitly nor, more importantly, implicilty including the question for the anthropos. Such a type of question would have made it anthropos into a telos, teleologically (humanities) of teleonomically (social sciences – this is the problem of the idea of the ‘social’ as explanatory, which Latour warns about), or would have implicitly and, that is the more dangerous and in the natural sciences too often occurring route of inquest, merely reified the concept without its actual appearance, however in effect thereby negating it in ts technological advances: The veiled idea of ‘human’ in the natural sciences will, eventually, destroy humanity, in eroding qua technology the necessary conditions for the existence of the human beings and for the peaceful and cooperative means to cooperate (polis) that constitute humanity.

1Lichtblau, Klaus. Die Zeitalter der Entzweiung. Berlin: PHILO, (1999): 38ff.

2Even if we assume that the only arché-ology possible were a media-archeology. See: Parrika, Jussi “Operative Media Archeology”, Culture, Theory&Society, 28 (2011): 58 – 74

Parrika, Jussi, Erki Huhtamo, eds. Media-Archeology. Berkeley: Californa UP (2011)

3Deleuze, The Fold, London/New York: Continuum, (2006)

4Lichtblau, Zeitalter (1999), 40/41

5Han, Beatrice Foucault’s Critical Project. Stanford UP, (2002)

6Habermas, Juergen Der philosophische Diskrus der Moderne. Frankfurt aM: Suhrkamp (1985)

7McQuillan, Colin. “Philosophical archeology in Kant, Foucault, and Agamben” in: Parrhesia, 10 (2010): 39 – 49;

Djaballah, Marc. Kant, Foucault, and the Forms of Experience, New York: Routledge, (2008)

8Henegehold, Laura, The Body Problematic, 2007

9Foucault, Michel. The Government of Self and Others. Lectures at the College de France 1982/83. New York, NY: Picador (2010)

10Foucault, Government, 384


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The notion quantum entanglement refers to concepts or theories, in so far as I agree with Elisabeth Grosz (Becoming Undone. DurhamDuke UP [2011]) that concepts can be conceived of as strategies that are forrmed in relationships among themselves that can be described as conflictual because they are equipped with forces and effects that make a difference. Their significance, as Grosz recent work shows, is transgressive in the fact that it goes beyond themselves. For Foucault, this significance in transgression was made explicit through the work of Kant and Bataille (Michel Foucault, “A Preface to Transgression,” in Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews,  Ithaca: Cornel University Press, [1977]). The influence that Bataille had on the generation of Foucault and Deleuze cannot be overstated, see for example the discussion by Eleanor Kaufman (The Delirium of Praise: Bataille, Blanchot, Deleuze, Foucault, Klossowski. By. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press [2001]) Bataille alerted this generation, for example through his acclaimed The Accursed Share (La Part Maudite, Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit [1949]), to the notion of expenditure as a notion that could conceptualize both the economies of society and the sign under the asupice of execess , which in the work of Deleuze/Guattari as well as Foucault obtained the poltical dimension of the siginificance that goes beyoned itself. As strategies, concepts become the techniques by which we address the Real (Grosz), they the forces that surround and suffuse texts by giving them shape in space (Foucault) through language and time (Deleuze) through attractors. It is time and space that makes texts possible and allows them to refer through spatial and temporal becoming ‘more than themselves’.

In picking this up from their predecessors like Kant or Bataille, writers like Whitehead Foucault and Deleuze are entangled in discourse through concepts that they seem to share but their use of the concept as quantum is both diffracted by their respective site that they occupy and yet it is also entangled. They are enabling the expression of different things and yet they are systematically linked and the effect on one has an effect on the other because they share a universe/systematicity. This is best understood in the German word for concept Begriff. An interesting notion is that the word begriffen, which cannot be adequately translated in generalmeans ‘understood’ in the the same ambiguity as the word ‘grasp’, thus including a tactile and a cognitive semantic link, leading to the problem that the Begriff in German means ‘concept’ as in ‘term’ but the –griff means it is also something that is now intelligible as in ‘it can be grasped’, thus it entails the notion of a kind of practice as Hans Lipps argued and Wilhelm Schapp’s idea of ‘narrative entangelment’ expresses. Subsequently, one need not have a language made of words, respectively, to make something explicit. Language, understood to mean a set of practices, is made from Begriffe as concepts not words; as explicit-making practices, these –griffe should, therefore not be considered ‘concepts’ but be called ‘grasps’. To become a set they must have a systematicity to them that connects them. In the (empirical) study of practice (or of groups of individual practitioners), we call this meaning, in theory we call it semantic. We do not call it ‘sense’ (Sinn), because we reserve ‘sense’ for structural and systemic logic (such as in organizations or theoretical systems as a describtive or normative unit), not for action or practice which is connected through ‘meaning’ (Bedeutung). A language is a systemacity, a set of practices that has systematicity. A systemacity is not a system. Systematicity is a necessary condition for both, but it is not a sufficient one on its own to be turned into a discourse. It needs to be performed and the entangelment becomes an event. This is why the events Foucualt and Deleuze happened, often seperate but still entagled through their concepts. 


[It is noteworthy that the conceptual quantum entanglement is the opposite of the \stand alone complex\.]

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