Monday, August 24, 2020

Meta-Preface on the Hegel Phenom


 

Here’s an attempt to give some prefatory remarks about this preface that Hegel was squeamish about writing. 

Jay Bernstein says (paraphrasing) the preface assumes knowledge of the whole [and there is a hugely important emphasis on whole/part for H]. The preface expresses anxiety b/c we cannot begin. There is no beginning. We are already in the middle.

So while it would be nice to write an adequate meta-preface here, for Mr Hegel, an adequate preface is not possible to write.  

For H, it is impossible to present the “whole,” which can only be inferred – via the story of the unfolding of the self-moving-thing-IN-itself — towards becoming the self-moving-thing-FOR-itself. (29: “being in itself needs to be converted to being for itself”). In vs For here I think goes to ‘purposiveness’ – or that which gets actualized – sort of the drive for self-actualization via the labor of the negative.

It’s almost like the subject-predicate grammar is inadequate to his grand schema. And i say grand b/c H is ushering in a new era of Philosophy (literally love of knowledge). It is no longer love of K but a "science of knowledge" that H is trying to push forth. The original title (in English) was something like System of Science: 1st Part, The P of S.

I think most teachers don’t want to start with the preface b/c it infers the whole philosophy, which isn’t intuitive at all. 

So, I’m already out of sequence. It is very hard to maintain the continuity of this becoming of Geist. I’ve read that Hyppolite says that PS is like a Bildungsroman - or coming of age story for the heroic protagonist Geist (who should be smoking unfiltered Spirits etc). Actually this is a brilliant metaphor - i do think it works.

(J Bernstein presents a one line distillation that sounds a bit like a Hollywood elevator pitch without a punchline: God becomes man; man becomes Holy Spirit; and Holy Spirit is Geist)

H is “completing” (or maybe better, abolishing) Kant in this book. In other words, he is rectifying the history of philosophy (which is one of the problems for me - i distrust rectification - it feels like the endless succession of avant-gardisms).  

H wants to invert much of Kant. Instead of Universal/Particulars (or the debate between Rationalists and Empiricists), H emphasizes Whole/Part relations.  

He wants to abolish singularities ("if you start with universals they swallow particulars; if you start with particulars you get nominalism/skepticism/relativism").  

H wants to overcome empiricism. Anti-epistemological. Interested not so much in knowledge (subj k in itself) as in recognition or self-consciousness. That self-moving-subjectivity.  

Kant’s transcendental unit of apperception is replaced with Spirit (which unfolds in time or that which includes history). Hegel is arguing for Absolute/Infinite Idealism (unity of thought & being) over Kant’s formal/subjective/finite idealism.

You could say modern Philosophy starts with Descartes, and H corrects Descartes too - not “I think” but “we think.” Subjectivity discovers self-relation. And this mediation is negation – or maybe the process/labor of the negative. This movement of the negative, aka opposition, is the driving force of the self moving subject.

For Hegel — one might be the loneliest number — but also two is a lonely number.  You need at least two to have self consciousness. But H wants an I that is a we and a We that is an I. [There’s a joke about three dog night here but it’s not a good one.] 

Everything is mediated. H is against unmediated intuition dominant in Kant and other philosophy. He is also against Realism precisely b/c it is unmediated and suggests things (sic?) exist independent of conceptual schemes.

Of course for H, the “we that is an I” is conditioned by history - again the continuity of becoming (or of historical movement) is important. 

Ps/on this “continuity of becoming” - as a theory of temporality i think it is wrong. It is in line with Bergson - and maybe just an inadequate way of thinking about history. The Whiteheadian inversion makes a lot more sense to me: humans construct continuity and presume that there is a continuity. So i think it might be more usefully thought of as a “becoming of continuity.” The real is more discontinuous...which probably makes it more difficult to propose revolutionary theorems, but more optimistic about inevitability coming discontinuities.

 


Saturday, July 18, 2020

Prior art

We captured

opposing threads

How antecedents get up

on the downbeat

 

How the coffee mill killed

Groove, the crosshatch

Origin unknown

Diagram insufficient

 

Was it enough that we sold out

Vertical axis‎

The pronoun’s fatal lean-in

inconsistent

 

Thumbdown song‎s

trapped in the corridor

of thought

Syncope of words

 

Which brings me back

to what the White Wing wants

Montegreens up past the snowline

The rebel splice‎

 

Killed by contrail

No mirror phase no cordial view

‎Queered by clouds

Embraced by tears


Monday, July 13, 2020

Ghost of a lion

-after Charles Ray


Skinnier here

at the back of the neck

unswallowed

I couldn’t eat my way out

 

Caught tying shoe

dreaming without pants

‎I wore all my clothes

imagining some other future

 

All mocktails & shebrews

onions and crust

delectable transit

smooth in the rough

 

all the children

Lucian & Lucy

the smallest punch for whatever purpose

My gut said this is my field

 

the Rock said this is my relation to field

No orchestration

no hang time no banished theatre

no inner resolve for outer cruelty


No artifice and body

no broken vertebrae

just Jiminy & Cricket

old names in the hour of death



Friday, July 3, 2020

St Ann M’ass

       (after AH in spirit of RG)

 

To control gas

Burn the bottle

Ban it!

 

Let us liberate

Fingers, sentient noun

Whirligig mount & dismount

 

Sutures that thrive

& cut to the quick

Hold expansion slot & turn

 

Litany of names

How much per head

How much per likeness

 

Dear Calvin & Hobbes

Whose Rabbit Ears

Have lost the image

 

Monuments to monuments

Lochness monsters

Till it hurts

 

Image of music

Blue acetate thread

Below Crow sky

 

Let's haul flesh

Bell curves

to spin and contrive

 

Clothes to gather what

Command singed

Bred in smoke

 

& dressed in ranch

A little pepper yes

Table racked

 

For bifocal vision

Landless aperture

Embraced

 

Red & black

Unanimous swing vote

Mailed the pigeons home

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Direct Action Donut (or Latent Construct for Decoy)


            “Creative compatibility is undervalued, creative dissent is overvalued.” – J.K.

Drawn so that lines
Cavalry from green recruits 
Slim Pickins' body English
James Caan as the con
Answering the call to play
(which might be funnier if I knew the movie better.  The Glory Boys based on the novel The Dice of God.  Sam Peckinpah’s Little Big Horn.)

The recipe says
Too much tomfoolery
So that the donut vibrating next to us
testifies to its family of gulls
of Gullivers

‎Each pulled thread
Flight lines to contradict
Synonyms I subscribe to
To incinerate deep freeze

Splayed on countertops
My emulating machine‎
Which is an ear
Regulated registered regimented
Pedagogy's birthmark
Scratched in concrete
Skin particles & parchment
Sticks and stones
Did I say intersectional bliss
Latent construct for decoy
Blacked out
Resonating boxcars
Going all 666

 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Junkyard hammer


  “if all property is theft then all intellectual property is detournement” –M Wark

Sworn to silence
I have become the unfriendly ghost
gone to swim with the fishes
to protect the capsized dream
Ballast inverted
to write down the terrific
facts which appear thrice
first as tragedy (where are we?)
then as farce & finally 
behind our backs 
as intellectual property
What we value is self-abolition 
camouflaged & crossed out
when we danced against ourselves
learning to move elsewhere
against weaponized clouds
against the abrogation of treaties
Geneva 1977, Seattle 1865
against mud on the Ho Chi Minh Trail
we danced to impede the flow of bodies
against the sign that said
be the algorithm you want to be
This mission should you choose to accept it
Salt dropped from sky
to counter intelligent fog
transparent yet sworn to silence


Monday, November 18, 2019

Ghosting


How to circle wagons
how to signify what looks like a nest
If thinking > feeling
does recognition exploit comic mode
or unfold as motion picture
In our comic strip we met for coffee
anxiety baked in time & place
In Beckett’s Film fingers trace the walls
& refuse to answer
Buster Keaton holes up shushing his pets
turning us one at a time
to face the wall before opening
the envelope of inner images

His action is subtraction
a wave that owns poets
whose feelings precede calculus
whose pictures double what is not I
Proofs of accumulate matter
Scourge of clouds after math
after terminal degree as if speaking to you
of the many ways to maintain scars
Just past the cluster of soothsayer signals
the trashcan curve rattling fastball
time to just intuit and swing

I now work for the outer agency
originally a translation
of what history thinks it teaches
lulled to sleep by a set of config commands
silent switches to suppress
blades thrust in chassis
Let’s just say another world is possible
network of disappearances
Spitting image of what
loved to be loved