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Hegel and Deleuze: Immanence and Otherness by Christopher Groves A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy University of.
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- Chapter 4 – Is It Still Possible to be a Hegelian Today? (Part 2)
- Tag: Gilles Deleuze
- Hegel on Buddhism | Romantic Circles
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Hegel and Deleuze : Immanence and Otherness. Christopher Groves - - Dissertation,. Simon Duffy - - Angelaki 9 3 — Consciousness always takes up after these instants of interruption and reconnects itself as a homogeneous flow. Thus the good beyond being is not radically separated from existence in Consequently and to repeat, this affair is a human one. Any philosophical translation of concrete embodied life must therefore approach the human subject as it emerges through its relations with others, even though the intersubjective situation entails both my particularization through election and a loss of egoic mastery.
It could thus never be alone and must be approached existentially mp-PP: As we have seen, Levinas envisages being as constant, neutral presence and, at times, like a Hobbesian state of nature. That is why, in its natural expression, being takes on almost a mechanistic quality in Levinas. In social and institutional senses, being is conceived as the encompassing of individuals and communities by the State.
Chapter 4 – Is It Still Possible to be a Hegelian Today? (Part 2)
On the latter depend security and property, life and death. To be sure, Levinas was skeptical about deriving an ethics from ontology. Against Heidegger, Levinas understands this framing as tantamount to a hermeneutic universe in which the idea of our authentic possibility concerns only death and underestimates the significance of the encounter with the other person. Only through a different hermeneutics, which reveals human existence as embodied and interpersonal , can we conceptualize the opening to responsibility that the encounter with the other creates.
However, unlike Taylor, Levinas does not endorse a plurality of strong values, because the encounter with the other is the primary condition for him. Despite this, and in light of Totality and Infinity , she comes close to Trigano when she argues that Levinas tends to ignore important political questions, including that of the Jewish State, which has dire consequences for his thought, because.
Batnitzky — Hence, in Totality and Infinity , the transition from the micro-sociality of the face-to-face encounter to social existence more broadly occurs through language as teaching and dialogue TI: —; — Despite this second path, the question remains how it is that, through the eyes of the other, the whole of humanity looks at me TI: Gillian Rose first criticized this limited universalization of responsibility as lacking important socio-political mediations By focusing on temporal mediations rather than social or spatial ones , Levinas does provide a partial universalization of responsibility by way of the aforementioned phenomenon of the family.
Introducing this discussion, Levinas admits:. The acuity of the problem [of universalization] lies in the necessity of maintaining the I in the transcendence [of the face-to-face] with which it hitherto seemed incompatible [given its self-interests]. That is, thanks to the time of generations, an ego surpasses itself through its children TI: Both Rose and Derrida have pointed toward the difficulty of introducing ethics into questions of justice and politics in this way Derrida [ , —].
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Part of the difficulty here lies in the tension between universalization understood as the ethical cultivation of humanity, versus universalization understood as providing an ethical inflection to politics broadly conceived. For Levinas, the passage of responsibility into politics is invariably fragile, because ethical language is frequently absorbed or imitated by political rhetoric.
Yet, in , the question of how responsibility and election experienced in the family passes—without tribalism—into a vaster history and public space remains under-thematized; notably, as it concerns demands for social justice and equality. He argues,. The very status of the human implies fraternity and the idea of the human race.
Fraternity is radically opposed to the conception of a humanity united by resemblance, a multiplicity of diverse families arisen from the stones cast behind by Deucalion, and which, across the struggle of egoisms, results in a human city. This unification in difference is created only when monotheism results in a law that equalizes those obliged by it.
And for many commentators, interpersonal responsibility remains the exception not the rule. Two dilemmas thus arise in Totality and Infinity. It is an open question whether they are laid to rest in Otherwise than Being.
They concern first the dichotomy between what was traditionally called free will versus nature, and second the socio-cultural mediations between families and States. In the first case, it may be surprising that Levinas characterizes human existence in terms resembling those of physiological determinism, that is, in terms of drives and the interests attaching to them. For him, the problem of reconciling freedom and nature would above all be one of interrupting the activity of the drives, which is the bodily substrate of consciousness and contributes to its dynamic temporal unity.
Understanding the will, then, does not begin with freedom so much as with something closer to conatus essendi or even to a will to power i. Levinas proves close to Kant here. Kant urged that Achtung be considered in its negative and positive aspects: negatively, as attention or freedom from sensuous distraction. In its positive sense, Achtung corresponds to reverentia , respect, understood as the freedom to grasp the law as something eminently worthy of adherence, despite its constraining quality.
Kant [ 45]; Nancy [ ]; Basterra 91— As the focus of attention and motivation, Achtung is unique in that it is what Kant calls an intellectual affect Kant [ 66]. It has no direct relationship to our bodily make up, which, as we know from Levinas, is indissociably tied up with drives and instincts. When thus motivated, practical reason determines itself to act out of respect for a law indemonstrable by theoretical reason, thereby discovering freedom in the performance of its moral act.
It is only then, post facto , that freedom is found to have reality, through obedience. Whereas for both, the will follows its natural course desires and emotions , something outside it may compel it toward ethical behavior or responsibility. Let us now turn toward the second dilemma: the fraught relationship between ethics and politics.
In , Levinas characterizes politics and drives as unfolding in a parallel fashion. Both are sites for the manifestation of the will to persist in being. However, he remarks that justice can be addressed as a demand posed to some States, notably liberal ones. This does not solve the problem of mediations, yet suggests that it may be misguided. After all, what do the mediations ultimately serve, if not the finality of the State as overarching protector and regulator? In , in his first published article on the State of Israel, he did not hesitate to forestall accusations of idolatry even against a Jewish State.
He thereupon added the more existential claim that. DF: Clearly, this is not an exhaustive solution to the problem of mediations between family or ethnicity and the State or politics. It bears noting that by Levinas will be more generous toward European liberal States, and more willing to trace the genealogy of liberalism back to a Biblical conception of responsibility.
Europe is not a simple confluence of two cultural currents. It is the concreteness where theoretical and biblical wisdom do better than converge. The relation with the other … that is, with peace[,] comes a reason that thematizes, synchronizes, and synthesizes, that thinks a world and reflects on being, concepts necessary for the peace of humanity. The work is not about inner-outer dichotomies, much less cognitive operations, or object-memories of events or things.
It has little to do with what we discover phenomenologically through reflection. Perhaps unlike Husserl, these tones require recourse to discursive figures that Levinas now borrows from psychology, poetics, hermeneutics, even theology and dogmatics e. Responsibility will be focused and discussed as the condition of possibility of all verbal signification OBBE: 43— But the themes of conversation and teaching recede into the background.
He now makes a more strategic use of the body as flesh, that is, as a locus with simultaneously an inside and an outside, as in Merleau-Ponty. For him, that means that subjectivity always entails pre-cognitive dimensions that are from the outset intersubjectively conditioned. The other has become other-in-the-same, as indicated. But the other-in-the-same is not objectively different from the factical other who faces me, because neither are objects and both are expressions or modes of alterity.
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In light of this return, we should not approach interiority and exteriority as opposed terms, but as dimensions of intersubjectivity and the inhabitation of a self by alterity. He will argue that the lapse of time between lived immediacy and its reflective representation is never fully gathered by the logos. Together, the lapse and this new conception of transcendence do ultimately pass through language as words addressed. I will come back to this. For now, suffice it to say that it is the inhabitation of a self by alterity that forms the sensuous conditions of possibility of speech.
Thus it is not being that addresses us through language, it is a quite different alterity. As Levinas writes:. The self-accusation of remorse gnaws away at the closed and firm core of consciousness … fissioning it. Consequently, vulnerability and sensitivity to trauma not only provoke retreat into self but heighten our awareness, however tenuous, of our connection with the other s , and they motivate our bearing witness.
Thus the affective in-habitation of my self by others precedes speech-acts and speech-communities. If the reverse were the case; that is, if a de facto community were posited as prior to the event of words addressed, then this would presuppose what it was meant to show: the genesis of speech-acts OBBE: It is both precursive to words uttered in the form of address i. This is in keeping with the dedication of the book, written in Hebrew and in French, which announces that it will be a work of mourning.
If what-is results from the self-giving of things to the focus of phenomenological attention, and if together they invariably find a place in the formal flow of time-consciousness, then even for Husserl what-is, i. For Heidegger, being temporalized through Da-sein , which was out-ahead-of-itself or oriented toward its future. Yet if, in both their cases, being unfolds temporally, then for Levinas, our sensibility shows a different temporal character, because the sensibility called the other-in-the-same returns and repeats rather than flows.
Like trauma and mourning, responsibility in its new somber tones recurs without definitively halting the flow of time-consciousness. This is why Levinas referred to the cluster of concepts around substitution as adverbial : they pass through being understood as verbal or processual and its time, and they modify it. The final half of chapter five recurs to the performative register of language to convey the tension of a consciousness striving to consolidate itself in the wake of alterity as affective investiture, by which its passivity slowly becomes active witnessing.
Thus, Levinas adds,. OBBE: [ 31 ]. Thus pure reason erroneously supposes that my ethical gesture came from me Basterra Again, it does not come from us. Levinas finds illustrations of such witnessing in many places, from the justice imperative of the prophets to the concern of Latin American clerics over the events unfolding in Chile in OGCM 81— As in his discussion of need and nausea, Otherwise than Being argues that lived sensibility often overflows representation. Indeed, interwoven layers of affectivity are unfolded in Otherwise than Being.
Unlike Existence and Existents , wherein light overcame the distinction between subjects and objects, allowing the subject to make the object intelligible within its horizon of appearing EE: 41 , Otherwise than Being approaches transcendence in sensuous and temporal terms, arguing inter alia for the insistence of a past that eludes thematization OBBE: — In that sense, transcendence for an embodied being is always transcendence-in-immanence. There is good reason for this.
Responsibility denoted an event that repeats, and even increases as it is assumed already TI: — This is because the status of a memory of sensuous events, which affect us before we represent them, is elusive. For the phenomenologist, it might correspond to an apperception or horizon, in the sense of something not directly perceived.
Thus Levinas also insists that, unlike the apperceptions Husserl was able to explore thanks to the reduction he set on memory, [ 33 ] this affective past continues to elude thematization because it was never an intentional object at all, and because memories of our lived flesh precede the consolidation of our ego OBBE: — Theodore de Boer approaches it as an echo of both Rosenzweig and Jewish prophetism 87— Of course, Levinas is aware that such a temporality is open to skeptical critique.
He even reminds us that skepticism itself obeys an ethical imperative to deconstruct philosophy and with it, all totalizing discourses, whether they are logical or political OBBE: — Levinas does not propose a solution to the conundrum of how non-objective memories can be translated into objects for philosophical reflection. This was the paradox of sensation in relation to intentionality that Husserl identified in Appendix 12 of his lectures on internal time consciousness Hua — To be explicitly experienced, sensation thus had to intentionalize. Yet much of its prior, bodily existence eludes our consciousness.
Otherwise than Being involves an innovative discussion of signification.
reminder.regexbyte.com/libraries/calhoun/ That is, both make meaning possible as the realization of our world. His discussion of the Saying correlates with his treatment of sincerity, introduced already in Existence and Existents. Otherwise than Being radicalizes his notion of sincerity, insisting that the structure of sensibility is always as if punctuated by sensuous lapses.
It is thanks to such time lapses that we are open and able to communicate because, as we have seen, proximity is an affective mode that motivates dialogue. While all sensuous lapses are not necessarily openings to intersubjective communication, proximity and vulnerability are the loci of transcendence-in-immanence and the birth of signification whether words are actually uttered or not. This is clear the moment we understand signification originally as an affective proto-intentionality and not as some thought, already formulated, that the I thereupon chooses to communicate to another OBBE: Levinas thus conceives language as more than denotation and description.
Already verbs escape the coupling of words with things that we find in the case of the noun. Nevertheless, a verb can be converted into a noun, thereby losing its processual quality. OBBE: This passivity is enigmatic because the se is not a verb and cannot really be made into a noun. It is in its enigmatic structure that the vulnerability that arises in proximity as if grounds signification, and words said, to another.
By investigating the depths of consciousness, by comparing its passivity to the process of ageing, Levinas investigates a. Because this hermeneutics differs from that of Christian theology by giving significantly less weight to philosophical justifications of faith , it is worth our turning briefly to it. However, in , at the first meeting of the colloquium, he merely participated in the debates.
Salomon Malka reminds us of one of his profoundly hermeneutic observations:. The Jews introduced into history the idea of hope and that of a future …. Moreover, Jews have the sentiment that their obligations toward the other person come before their obligations in regard to God. Malka 42, my trans. This remark already shows us two important things.
Second, that our obligations to the other person somehow come before duties toward God from rituals to norms , and occasionally also abrogate these duties, already opens a secular, or better, a human-oriented dimension within Judaism. Ouaknin [ —]. The Star of Redemption is a complex work analyzing the respective tasks of Jewish and Christian wisdom and ritual.
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Peter Eli Gordon argues that Rosenzweig is. Temporal hermeneutics thus replaces the transcendental search for essence. Gordon The same could be said of Levinas. Since he conceives temporality in human terms as opposed to eternity or stasis , meaning itself can only be approached in light of time.
Levinas took up the question of meaning and temporality in a way somewhat different from both Rosenzweig and Heidegger. In , as we have seen, his phenomenology of hospitality proceeded on the present-time of love of life and the encounter called the face-to-face. The argument would be this: before eros is sublimated in civil society, eros and sometimes the family bring to light our concern with others in their particularity and difference, independently of their biological or social roles.
Broch Despite the apparent heterosexism of his formulations, Levinas introduces abiding concern for singularity and uniqueness by defining the figure of paternity as the possibility of electing each son in his specificity, even as the latter may serve and clash with his brothers. Consistent with a model, the family is both figure and reality. That is, it unfolds in a darkness overlooked by phenomenologies that rely on light and the universal evidence that light enables TI: And that requires hermeneutics.
It would thus be the specific architecture of the book that conditions its reception. Moreover, the parallelisms that we have seen—between the Saying and the Said and between temporal diachrony and synchrony—are also found at the literary level in Biblical and Talmudic texts, with their openness to ongoing interpretation. Here we see the structural analogy between the call of the other and my response that begins as Saying, as opening to words addressed.
Levinas adds,. BTV: — Hermeneutic truth here becomes the responsibility of an open community, as much as an invitation to participation extended to each possible listener. That is why Levinas could urge that Scripture be understood as a call to respond as readily as could proximity, substitution, and responsibility, all of which similarly express the ethical investiture that results in words offered.
Although commentators like Batnitzky find in Levinas a project for a modern politics, and thus for universality, others are skeptical about her claim. The universal is, in effect, a dangerous game that can lead to totality and to the negation of the other person. To decide in favor of the singular is to avoid such a development. In short, the original hermeneutic turn that Levinas gives to Husserlian and Heideggerian phenomenologies has left commentators with questions about the relationship between an immanent hermeneutics and one concerned with politics as the sphere of the universal.
These questions imply discussions about politics in our time from which Levinas would have refrained in his time, in the wake of the Shoah, when politics seemed less important than questions of the survival and future of Jewish communities. Yet this apparent absence of politics explains why Michel Haar asked of Levinas whether his ethics could really unfold outside any site, outside any positive reciprocity, and outside all objectivation cited by Trigano , note Indeed, Trigano criticizes Levinas, urging that the dialectical relationship between singular experience and universal meaning and institutions implies that philosophy should have a minimal relationship to politics,.
Trigano On this question turns the important matter of what it means to develop a Jewish philosophy. And it is fair to say that. If we accept this claim, then any comparison between Levinas and a pre-Shoah Jewish thinker goes only part way toward addressing the problem of Jewish hermeneutic philosophy today.
As noted, being in Levinas thus entails both dynamic forces and a conception of natural processes and causality. And, because hospitality is elicited by the other—and is non-reciprocal—it does not presuppose an original social exchange, much less moral sentiments or innate emotive capacities for empathy or compassion. If it did, there would be no question of escaping a so-called natural order of existence. He explains,. OBBE: 68, emph. In order to clarify this, Levinas had to develop further concepts.
He defines illeity as. OBBE: 12; also 13—16, — We can see here how our responsibility to the other person thus almost stands in the place of our responsibility to God, which, as we have seen, is an important hermeneutic dimension of Judaism. The question remains, as it did already in Totality and Infinity : How do responsibility and transcendence thereupon enter into the ongoing flow of time and the totality of being?
And how does an investiture of this affective intensity pass into rationality? On this point, Levinas accords Husserl his argument that affects are always on the verge of becoming intentional Hua Appendix The responsibility and fraternity, which are now formulated as the unfathomable other-in-the-same, still leave a trace in social relations. And, faithful to his project, the trace is not framed as metaphysical.
It is found, rather, in our concern for restorative justice, even for modest equity. This concern for justice does not erase the Hobbesian or Machiavellian nature of human drives. In , however, the difficulty of holding together the passive temporality which Levinas likens to ageing, [OBBE: 54] with the flowing time of intentional consciousness and social rationality, has become more obvious.
Undecidable, this is a question for us as well:. The third party introduces a contradiction in the saying whose signification before the other until then went in one direction [toward the singular other]. It is of itself the limit of responsibility and the birth of the question: What do I have to do with justice? A question of consciousness.
With the return to a philosophy of consciousness and representation, the indispensable figure of the trace that Levinas has introduced becomes attenuated. As we have seen, to confront eventual skepticism about the trace, he enacts his witness in a literary here and now.
His figural performance points not toward another world or to a being different from that discussed by Heidegger, so much as to the intensities and vulnerability of pre-conscious affectivity. Nevertheless, since he also demands that we reflect on intersubjectivity from a standpoint outside the face-to-face encounter, his work gives us a double task: conceptualization and the as-if of an enacted here-and-now.
Such a situation is that of objective consciousness. Levinas thus simply marks this standpoint, which is for him a conundrum, saying,. OBBE: , emph. The word stems from the Greek. Technikon means that which belongs to techne. We must observe two things with respect to the meaning of this word. One is that techne is the name not only for the activities and skills of the craftsman, but also for the arts of the mind and the fine arts.
Where the world becomes picture, what is, in its entirety, is juxtaposed as that for which man is prepared and which, correspondingly, he therefore intends to bring before himself and have before himself, and consequently intends in a decisive sense to set in place before himself. Hence world picture, when understood essentially, does not mean a picture of the world but the world conceived and grasped as picture.
What is, in its entirety, is now taken in such a way that it first is in being and only is in being to the extent that it is set up by man, who represents and sets forth. However, everywhere that whatever is, is not interpreted in this way, the world also cannot enter into a picture; there can be no world picture. The fact that whatever is comes into being in and through representedness transforms the age in which this occurs into a new age in contrast with the preceding one.
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The world picture does not change from an earlier medieval one into a modern one, but rather the fact that the world becomes picture at all is what distinguishes the essence of the modern age. But in that man puts himself into the picture in this way, he puts himself into the scene, i.
In this sense, Aesthetics overtook Economics in the grounding of our contemporary modes of production. Deleuze and Guattari presented a solution to this last problem. Everything, from power to poetics, from colour to shade, could and would be recast and called forth via the sonorous movements of rhythm, beat, improv, pacing.
A child in the dark, gripped with fear, comforts himself by singing under his breath…The song is like a rough sketch of a calming and stabilising, calm and stable, centre in the heart of chaos. Now we are at home. But home does not pre-exist: it was necessary to draw a circle around that uncertain and fragile centre, to organise a limited space… This involves an activity of selection, elimination and extraction…Sonorous or vocal components are very important: a wall of sound, or at least a wall with some sonic bricks in it… A mistake in speed, rhythm, or harmony would be catastrophic because it would bring back the forces of chaos, destroying both creator and creation.
Finally, one opens the circle a crack, opens it all the way, lets someone in, calls someone, or else goes out oneself, launches forth. This time, it is in order to join with the forces of the future, cosmic forces. One launches forth, hazards an improvisation. These are not here successive moments in an evolution. They are three aspects of a single thing, the Refrain ritournelle. The role of the refrain … is territorial, a territorial assemblage.
The role of the Refrain then, is both territorial and improvisational. It denotes, not to mention, occupies, a critical spatiality whilst simultaneous dissipating into air. It names the segment, not statically, but in the beat, beat, beatings, pace, speeds of the launching forth. Can you hear what is being written? Burchell and H. Tomlinson, London: Verso, , p. Massumi, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. The Yellow Brick Road eventually comes to a four directional impasse and Dorothy, along with her new friend The Scarecrow and her sacred buddy, Toto, decide to go North — for no other reason than that they do so decide.
Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit , translated by A. Miller, Oxford: Oxford Univ Press, Consciousness: I. But see in particular K. Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlook: B. The Illusion of the Epoch, Sections I. Preconditions of the Real Liberation of Man. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. But the goal is as necessarily fixed for knowledge as the serial progression; it is the point where knowledge no longer needs to go beyond itself, where knowledge finds itself, where the Notion corresponds to object and object to Notion.
Hence the process towards this goal is also unhalting and, short of it [attaining this goal] no satisfaction is to be found at any of the stations on the way. As strange as this may seem, and despite valiant attempts to the contrary, most current political militants, a strong handful of contemporary philosophers including continental, structuralist and postmodern , quite a few sociologists and most cultural theorists and artists have yet to break from these intractable Hegelian roots.