Interesting discussion here: McKenzie Wark – “… philosophy on the whole is in a posture that is…
Have only briefly scanned it, but this resulted:
For me, the notion of ‘Reality’ has always been an ‘idealisation’, & it has never only been singular, except as the consensual mirage of unity that various thinkings celebrate, through various monistic apprehensions. But notice, a ‘mirage’ is nevertheless an event, a constrained ‘effect’, a necessary structural moment. One can reduce it to various forms of supervenience, using empirical, theoretical, aesthetic vocabularies; but these differential positionings, too, are supervenient ‘metaphysical’ operations, always issuing from some cave of conceptual enclosure, as it were; the slums of imagined ‘sureness’ constituting ‘Knowledge’ with a big ‘K’; which invariably turn out to be yet another consensual coercion, another do-be-us invitation to inhabit the same set of theoretical limitations; limitations constituting yet another mechanism, another production line, of dogma production; of fetishised conceptual circulations forever in search of (an) ultimate expediency.
“Perhaps, after all, modern capitalism is a great factory for the production of angels.” Sol Yurick, “Metatron”:1985
Sol Yurick certainly seems in in favour of ‘idealistic interpretations’ of capitalism: so does Weber: so does Bataille.
You’re not going to get away from the iniquities of capitalism by sheltering in the locales of a ‘produced immanence’.
Deflating 19th century characterisations of the ‘ideal’ in no way dissolves the forces that produced those characterisations.
‘Reality’ is a bad word. The notion of ‘reality’ has had its day. It no longer deserves the tiresome preeminence that is given to it.
In raw metaphysics, if the ‘real’ is positioned as subjectless ‘objectivity’; the subject is then a negative condition, a limit, for this subjectless ‘objectivity’. But is not such an ‘objectivity’ supposed to be subjectless?
Let’s say it is: but then you have an ‘objectivity’ that has no connection with the ‘subject’.
If an eliminativist, materialist, etc., derives ‘subjectivity’ from some scientific-consensual imaging of the ‘objective’; some constant structure of regularity, with respect to which all ‘subjectivity’ is vacillating variation; this in no way obviates the metaphysical difficulty. It merely buys in to the traditional metaphysical gesture of monistic ordering that is at the root of Philosophy, not that such is ‘wrong’, but it is an operation, that seems to go from one ‘perspective’, to another. Both ‘perspectives’ are assumed, though, & it is at this stage that the traditions fragment into one dogma or another, whether backwardly privileging the ‘isms’ of prior positions leading up to the metaphysical difficulty, or arbitrarily celebrating the results, as a ‘perspectivism’ that can be harnessed for whatever conception of pressing expediency takes the eliminativist’s or materialist’s fancy, though, of course they do have to be ‘consensual’ & ‘scientific’ about it. Incidentally, this is precisely the same stalling of metaphysical consideration that religious dogmatism chooses to indulge, though with seemingly different backward privilegings.
If the consensually accepted, empirical limits of conventional ‘subjectivity’ are inflated to a metaphysical level, a space opens wherein all empirical variation is potentially ‘metaphysical’; & all ‘idealistic’ metaphysics is potentially ’empirical’.
This happens because the ’empirical’ & the ‘metaphysical’, are mutual derivations. You can’t get round that possibility, if you follow the logic of the initial conceptions. Conventionalised attributions of ‘immanence’; ‘transcendence’; ’empirical’; ‘metaphysical’; etc., are all very much contingent & fluid; dependent on whatever discursive norms are held to prevail during consideration.
Nevertheless, whether scientific-consensual, or religio-consensual, imaging is involved, there is always a movementation of clo(sure), with one or another metaphysical plant chosen to ‘philosophically’ buzz around.
Anyhow, if we accept these metaphysical tribalisms, it can be observed that with each one, all that was formerly rejected or devalued, returns, albeit according to hierarchical appropriations of the chosen monistic ordering. But each ‘monistic ordering’, each ‘consensual imaging’, is merely that, an ‘ordered image’, the delivery of philosophical pizzas, for a ‘subjective’ feast of banal ‘objective’ insights. Therein resides the secret of not only “modern capitalism”, but of the ‘subject’ & ‘object’ as well. The reciprocal & inflationary fetishisation of two ill-conceived & half-baked notions. It is not the fetishisation in itself that is necessarily the problem. It is the fact that dogmatisms choose to reside within it, incessantly reiterating its banal mantras as bad cultural habits that should be taken seriously, when sustained consideration easily shows that what underlies such dogmatism, is more often than not, a confusion of metaphysical registers; the unawareness of systematic derivation of assumptions that are treated as ‘givens’; a desire to articulate the ‘real’ which always involve paradoxical assertions of simultaneous inclusion & exclusion, done in the same cliched & unknowing ways.
There are a lot of people; academics, too; who, to paraphrase Hume, go into a billiard parlour & proceed to complain about not being able to play croquet. When such complaint gets institutionalised, turned into accepted dogma, one can only say, with Adorno, not only that “Philosophy does live on”, but that it has indeed realised itself, in an era where it is not only ‘Science’ that “does not think” (Heidegger), but Philosophy, too, has reached an apex of unthinking tedium, though it is an apex bereft of any ‘Zen realisation’.
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