In Baudrillard’s ‘desert of the real’, what we see is a continuous and repetitive caravanserai of conventions, hosting discussions of imaginary universes; reality constructions; epistemology engineerings; the busy building sites of objective fabrication and purpose, based on assumptions of realitease proving ever elusive.
Universalism requires a universe; a universe is a conceptual construction, therefore, a worldview; therefore, a convention; therefore, in Nagarjuna’s language, a conventional truth.
Schopenhauer seems to understand this –
[Schopenhauer]: “On the contrary, we freely acknowledge that what remains after the complete abolition of the will is, for all who are still full of the will, assuredly nothing. But also conversely, to those in whom the will has turned and denied itself, this very real world of ours with all its suns and galaxies, is – nothing.
This “nothing,” however, “is also the Prajna¬Paramita of the Buddhists, the ‘beyond all knowledge,’ in other words, the point where subject and object no longer exist.” (WWR, pp 411¬12)
Schopenhauer renders the ‘universe’, conceptual complex of ‘real-world’, contingent on the principle of ‘will’. The principle of ‘will’, would essentially be a certain kind of motivic cartography of becoming; the application of theoretical grids, as extensions, based on the presupposition of observed and experienced interactions (‘stimulus-response’; ’cause-effect’; structural concordances of the preceding; et cetera).
The cartography of becoming is inherently based on assumptions of conventional objectification.
An assumption of conventional objectification requires an accounting of its limits; its nature; its properties, if any.
For a conventional objectification to be a ‘real’ object, the requirement is that ‘it’ be identical with ‘itself’; ‘self-existent’; not contingent on anything else.
If it is so contingent, then it is a contingent ‘effect’, with its ‘reality’ being deferred onto ‘it’s’ lines of allegedly constituting contingency.
Those lines of constituting contingency are then subject to searches for this deferred ‘reality’.
Those searches for deferred reality usually proceed according to objective assumptions of origin or origination; whether, temporal closures of precedence, the origin of ‘beginnings in time’; or, structural closures of completeness, the economics of totality, the lines of constituting contingency circling back on themselves in an ecstasy of self-emergence, a structural festival of self-identity.
All of these searches for a point of origin, however characterised, objectify that point of origin in different ways according to their respective modes of characterisation. Whether the point of origin is a temporal initiation or structural concordance of completion, objective closure is the imaginary at work.
But the very imagination of objective closure, the very delimitation that announces that closure in order to constitute the objective reality being sought, necessarily has to exceed in some way the delimitation it produces, for the objective reality produced, to actually be ‘objective’. But if the conditions of delimitation exceed the objective reality produced, that objective reality cannot be complete, because it is the production of structural conditions that it does not include. If it does include them, then it can no longer be ‘objective’, because there is nothing left to determine, delimit, or declare, its objectivity.
This is the fundamental aporia at the basis of the search for any ‘objective reality’.
Physical sciences are essentially searches for structural conditions of observable energy forms, according to economic models of completeness. It’s noticeable how traditional conceptions of the universe object as complete totality, get multiplied as ‘alternate universes’; ‘multiversal instances’; et cetera.
This multiplication occurs due to fluctuations of the epistemology of observability with regard to inadequate hypotheses of objective completeness.
Scientific notions of observable completeness, based on structures of reception delimited according to repeatability and structures of proof, are constrained to filter according to those factors, bringing into relief the very standards those factors presuppose, whilst necessarily excluding anomalous outliers that they don’t. This is a standardising filtration according to the dialectics of observable repetition.
Its epistemological range is determined by the notion of universal, consensual access. It is a kind of empirical and epistemological democracy, based on the principle of an observability equally accessible to all who engage in its procedures.
It is this epistemology of observability, as configured by scientific consensus, that produces fluctuating ‘worldviews’, both, when it encounters the epistemology of various other kinds of cultural convention, and in accord with its own fluctuation.
However, the epistemology of observable completeness is not necessarily the epistemology of objective completeness. It is the zone of discrepancy between those two forms of epistemology within which scientific and cultural activity circle. That circling consists of observational convenience forever searching for both objective reality and objective totality, or completeness. It is the desire of observational convenience to produce a representation identical or in complete concordance; not only with what it observes; not only with that which produces the observed; but with both as an apprehensible and manipulable objectification. This dream of perfect, objectifying representation, enabling total freedom*; both from the object represented and over that object; is the dream of perfect objectification, producing perfect, subjective control.
If achieved, however, the very perfection of representation is the very condition of identity with the represented, necessarily producing the very identity of subject and object and their resulting nonexistence as mentioned by Schopenhauer, because the ‘perfection’ has to be adequate to both conditions, of ‘the object represented’ and ‘subjective will or desire’. This is the necessary conclusion of the wilful narrative of objectivity and its productions.
*The freedom of ‘subjective will’.