Thursday, August 05, 2004

a fragment of badiou

came across tis quote from Badiou on another blog:
'The duty of philosophy is clear: to rationally reconstitute the reserve of the affirmative infinity that every liberating project requires.'

surely, more than enough now has been written that places rationality as one (trans)human modality? it gets endlessly privileged as the heirarchies of abstraction and reason march on...
but then one must remember, this is from within philosophy, and philosophy has major overcoding problems around this zone.
the world is full of other zones that rationality sits alongside (or transects) that equally have their appropriate space-time for utilisation.
utilisation, not as much as within a project of afirmitive infinity (no bad thing in itself), but just in marshalling forces required to get some spaces into the organism.

becomings are fundamentally non-rational, they are in fact a short-circuit catalyst for reason / rationality / other foundation constructs for subjectivity. ()
rationally re-constituting something will get you realisations, but then clarity is only one part of the story )(
this kind of move denies the body, not only the body w/o organs, but even the possibilities and experiences of the body as hyper-rhythm /motion fields that are intrinsically involved in the perception that must be altered (haptic vision) to get out to the beyond of human strata)...

if rationality is swamped by the world 'gone mad' in the subject, then one could say that inherent in that might be a freedom from rationality... but of course, only if one thinks of rationality as an ally of control would this ever be a question (hmm, haven't thought greatly about that one, its just come up)... however, I don't think it is for nothing that Cronenburg / Burroughs intersection in the naked lunch film (mostly disappointing I know) brought as almost one of its first lines of dialogue:
'exterminate all rational thought'

after all if the miserly-misery of every day reality is partly constituted by rationality, then I for one, would be eager to find out what void is created by its absence.


Blogger it said...

you found that on my blog, no?

Anyway, will respond just as soon as I'm back from the beach (non-beach, Southampton).

I would briefly say that the 'misey-misery' of everyday reality has nothing to do with rationality (contra the Adorno/Horkheimer/Deleuze axis here). I'll explain why in a bit!

August 7, 2004 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger glueboot said...

Have made a off topic response at . Didn't want to clog up your comments with needless length.

August 8, 2004 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Bruce said...

Very exciting blog R_A! On the subject of 'rationality' (and whether or not opposing it necessarily aligns you with 'irrationality'), I thought you'd be interested in this article (and no doubt other stuff on this site): particular, the section entitled MYTH THREE....the human mind is half rational, half irrational - the upshot of which for me is that a lot more needs to be said about what is meant by rationality/irrationality, if we're not just perpetuating a silly dualism waving a flag for one side or the other.

Insofar Badiou can be expected to be arguing his case in language; without reliance on mysticism (debatable, sure); in a consistent and coherent manner (likewise); his use of "rationally" in that quote is redundant, and to my mind in no way aligns him from the off with stratic forces of control and subjugation... it is simply a signpost that he's operating within a particular genre.

At least that's what my lucky astrology mood watch tells me

August 14, 2004 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger Bruce said...

From the above article (by John McCrone):

"It hardly needs to be said that the rational-irrational division of the mind is, of course, quite wrong. Or rather, being irrational in the romantic sense is as much a pose - a socially-evolved and socially-approved role - as being rational. They are both ways of thinking and behaving that exploit a common foundation of what, for want of a better term, might be called raw biological consciousness. The job for a dynamic approach has to be to explain the total package. Dynamics has to explain first the basic "animal-plan" brain and then show how language and cultural forms interact with these basic properties to produce something extra. And as argued, this should change our view of what it is to be a rational scientist as much as an irrationally-inspired artist or genius."

August 14, 2004 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger A.Radar said...

Not a dualism surely!? i.e. rational/irrational.
The point (which I may or may not have had success in making) is just that of all the fantastic possibilities opened to a species by R, I would consider the following...
that there are spaces (specifically of perception, but this may be a key term, as I suspect my view of this would lead to it having a far greater potentiality outside its normal and 'canonically' held realm) which the continued presence of R within a person's operating system may exlude them from.
This does not presuppose that being outside rationality in some spatio-temporal sense is the same as being irrational (that smacks of rationality's view of anything outside of itself to me)...
But that there may be other forms of assessment, knowledge, and connection-engineering perception...
( you can ask me to say what that is, but as I neither believe nor disbeleive the potential answer, it would be better for me to say that indiginous people's have posited other systems of understanding/ other glosses (to use the term uncovered within the Hyperstition posteed interview with Castaneda)that are as potential for humans. So, i suppose that can be easily dismissed?

but all, again, all I want to say to anyone who may read this is to bear in mind the following:
That reason may not contain the 'key' to states of utmost intensity, but that those states will in *at least some cases* actually only be possible with the absence of reason / rationality...

I have re-read the main post and it pretty much says everything I want to say. other than maybe to point out that for those who take Castandeda seriously, an identification is made of clarity as a potential 'enemy' of those seeking knowledge... what you define as clarity in this context is upto you...

(apologies for making synonynous Rationality and reason... this is typical of a lazy non-academic non-philosopher...)

August 18, 2004 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Bruce said...

Thanks for response RA!

Two related points (one nice and pithy, the other laborious and repetitive. Fortunately 1 pretty much sums up 2):

1. If you're prepared to try expanding the meaning of perception beyond its canonical usage, why not do the same with rationality?

2. What McCrone calls 'raw biological consciousness', but what we may prefer to call the zones of interaction between body and world, involve loads of different modes, some which deepen and widen connections and some which shut them down. Why should it be a foregone conclusion that R is invariably (or perhaps just often) aligned with the latter?

You seem to start from the position that rationality is part of the problem or at least something to be suspicious of, without first of all saying what you mean by it, but in the absence of an explanation of what you mean by rationality, one can only assume you are opposing it to the irrational (=good), i.e. you allow yourself to remain locked in other peoples' dualsim. To avoid this, wouldn't you have to give some indication of which aspects of 'rationality' tend to shut things down, under what circumstances? (It's almost as if someone merely using the word in an approving or even neutral way is enough to shut things down for you - why should this be?)

If on the other hand you start from saying that it is precisely rational to extend and deepen your connections with the world, to experiment, to open yourself up to the anomalous etc etc, then you keep open the possibility that intensification can occur through thought, language, reason and understanding as much as it can through all the other modes. (What would be a better example of 'shutting things down' than denying at least the possibility that this might be the case?)

In any case, how can you deny this last point without completely undermining any position you may try to put forward, in, like, words, for others to grasp, take up and work with (as I for one would certainly like to say that rationality is connected with learning from others' mistakes and breakthroughs)?

Let's reclaim and transform rationality and its manifold resources. Let's not demonise it (at least, not without defining it first).

August 21, 2004 at 5:56 AM  
Blogger Bruce said... go back to your original post, just why should rationality be allied with Control? For that matter, what's so bad about control (or which bits are bad and which bits good, and when)? If control is always bad, I suggest you avoid operating any heavy machinery! ;)

August 21, 2004 at 6:07 AM  

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