…the “ancient wound” that, never healed, “lets . . . the stars / Into the animal-stinking ghost-ridden darkness”…
……– Robinson Jeffers
This morning I got a pleasant surprise. My friend Cengiz Erdem, of Senselogi©, a Cyprian who lives in Kyrenia and teaches social psychology, literature, philosophy and critical theory, who received his doctoral degree in Cultural and Critical Theory from The University of East Anglia in May 2009 with The Life Death Drives, his PhD thesis quoted me and provided a wonderful reflection and opening onto his own philosophical stance: Altering the Supposedly Predestined Future. Cengiz in a previous post outlined his basic philosophical stance this way, saying,
To begin at the beginning we shall say that philosophy is the dialectical process of truth in time, it is an infinite questioning of that which is known, a continuity in change of the unknown, a practice of situating eternity in time. Without a relation to the requirements of ones own time philosophy may still mean many things, but these do not amount to anything worthy of rigorous consideration much. This doesn’t mean that philosophy must have an absolute conception of good and constantly strive towards it. Quite the contrary, if anything, philosophy would much rather resist against the evil within this inconsistent multiplicty falsely named world. No, there is no one world against which philosophy can situate itself, but rather many multiplicities out of which philosophy infers meanings and values in accordance with a better future in mind. Not necessarily better than today, but less worse than it will have been if nothing is done to slow down worsening. So having an idea of a better future is not necessarily imposing a totality, an absolute conception of goodness upon the multiplicity of existents. What’s at stake might as well be that the resistance aganist evil in time is itself a creative act sustaining the less worse condition of future existence. It’s all bad and it can only get worse, the question is this: how can we decelarate this worsening condition of we humans, we animals and we the plants?
My interest in science in general and neuroscience in particular derives from this understanding of philosophical activity as a dialectical process in nature. For me science is not an object of philosophy but a condition of it. Presumably you can already hear Badiou’s voice herein, and rightly so I must say. Badiou had once said that “philosophy is the conceptual organisation of eternity in time.” What, then, is dialectic? Dialectic is simply “the unity of opposites,” as Fredric Jameson would have put it. Everything has within itself nothing and inversely. The self and the other are always already reconciled, but in order to actualise this unity philosophy splits the one in such a way as to sustain the process of its reconciliation within itself. The one is not, it all begins with two and continues ad infinitum. Of course a designation such as Hermetico-Promethean post-nihilism is paradoxical, but this being paradoxial is itself creative of the space out of which something not only new but also good, or less worse than that which is or could be, can emerge. That said, a positively altered future itself only ever emerges from a split introduced in-between the past and the present, the good and the bad…
Now, I see nothing bad in interrupting the process of negativity, but needless to say one cannot achieve this by affirming it. One still needs negativity to interrupt negativity. It is in this sense that nihilism turned against itself becomes a condition of progressive philosophy. If science is making a huge progress while the whole planet is rapidly dying, what’s the point of that progress in science? It becomes a meaningless activity for its own sake. Without a future there can be no science either, but it is only by way of putting science into good uses that we can have a future. And when I say we I mean we humans, we animals and we the plants. Paradoxical though as it may sound, robots are of no concern to me, but enhancement technologies such as neuroplasticity softwares are…
I noticed in your comment that you are trying to situate me into this or that camp. No, I take whatever rings true to me in accordance with my intention. Intending something is not necessarilly willing without consciousness. One may be driven to anything at all, including willing nothingness as Nietzsche has thaught us, adding that “man would much rather will nothingness than not will.” Although Nietzsche’s proclamation may be valid for some, it is not necessarily valid for all. As I said two comments ago so I say again now, I’m still up for consciously desiring good life. That said, I reckon it’s not even worth mentioning that will, drive and desire are not the same thing. As for the difference between consciousness and self-consciousness, we must return to Hegel as always. There are indeed many illusions in this life, some for life yet some others not, some necessary while some irrelevant. Not that I am one, and yet it’s not for nothing that Hegel had once said, “the great man of his time is he who expresses the will and the meaning of that time, and then brings it to completion; he acts according to the inner spirit and essence of his time, which he realizes.” This, I think, is still true and ever will be, if we are to have a future worthy of the name, that is…
Altering the Supposedly Predestined Future
In his post he quotes me from a previous post (here) where I say:
We live on the cusp of things, an age when the human Anthroposcene is giving way to the inhuman. Nature no longer exists. We’re all artificial now. The engine of inhumanism is eating reality alive so that nothing human will as Land once said “get out alive”. We’re seeing the human vanish before our eyes, the last remnants of the humanist traditions are imploding, the worlds of metaphysical bric-a-brac are giving way to the triumph of sciences which are far stranger than philosophy which is actually quite conservative and conserving. I know I talk of Zizek, Badiou, Land, et. al… but in truth I’m a post-nihilist who has already crossed the post-human divide, the zone of no return where whatever we’re doing is part of some hyperstitional collective madness of constructing the future out of the ruins of a failed and failing world of humans into the inhuman worlds which seem to be imploding toward us out of the future.
He provides a gentle riposte, a commentary or redress to my critical comments, too which I – like the dancer in Yeats’s delightful poem A Dialogue of Self and Soul succumb not to some internal monologist dramatic allegory, but rather to the charm of Cengiz’s Humanist stance to my Inhumanist militance:
Cengiz The Humanist:
Unfortunately the future has changed, it’s not the same good old brighter future anymore… Earth is rapidly going down the drain and we cannot even slow down the process… One only needs to look at science-fiction movies to see this: Most of them used to imagine a better future on Earth, but today this is reversed; the utopian imagination has turned against itself and most of these movies have become dystopias imagining a darker future and rather grim days to come… Of course many humans are aware of this fact, but they cannot help being driven towards a hell on Earth nevertheless… Acceptance of reality as it is doesn’t mean affirming it, one has to negate the current state of affairs in order to alter reality and create at least a less bad future for all of us, we humans, we animals and we the plants…
S.C. The Inhumanist:
Has it? Has the future changed, or just our fantasies? Instead of the old Sages and Prophets of yesteryear, those Nabi’s of the desert who in sackcloth and ashes bewailed the fate of Israel and it dire offenses against God, we have our Scientists, Analysts, Climatologists with their Computational algorithmic Models of the statistical futures constructed from sparse data and mathemes, who portray proofs not truths of tendencies in what they takes as the Order of Things. Even you succumb to that tendency to wander among images caught in the flashing movement of fantasies that harbor visions of fear and trepidation, those dystopic infernal paradises of some imagined future as if like Kant’s Thing-in-itself it were already describable and known, rather than a speculative surmise with ideological intent and fantastic portrayals of sophistic charm and display to affect the masses and sway them to accept a future imploding toward us with its endless catastrophes and fatal infetations. And like those Cynics portrayed by Sloterdijk who as Zizek will say “know very well the truth but choose to ignore it” you admonish us that an acceptance of reality ‘as it is’ (as if being were set in stone once and for all) – as something we ought not affirm, but should instead negate in favor of altering and thereby opening up a survivable future where both human and non-human entities might continue.
Is reality some passive thing, some static object we can contemplate, something that exists in a state of changlessness that we can either affirm or deny; or, is it rather a dynamic Real that is neither given nor thinkable, but is rather a – as many anti-realists might say, a constructed thing wherein we begin to see both our desires and fears, a utopic or dystopic realm from which we as humans are exiled, as if we were the exception rather than the rule, as if we transcended this stuff and had some special distance from its very real effects to abstract from its direct and indirect influence a – as Nick Land would say, a “Human Security System,” an apotropaic charm against its terrors and nightmares, its inhuman violence and death-drives?
Or is it as Zizek suggests the realm of the Real, wherein reality is pure ideology, a realm of lack, gap, crack that we fill with our ideologies (world-views) and fantasies; and, between it and us – as if in some repetition of those old duelists and gunslingers, or those dualists Plato and Descartes, we construct our barriers, our foundations, our horizons, our ground/figures: our fantasies of thought: theory and practice, in which all our errors can finally be placed, our false knowledge, and ignorance on display; for, if the truth be told we are ourselves constructed things, that in truth have no direct access to either reality our own inner experience, but rather are given only what the natural in us, the inhuman core of our being gives us – and, as many neuroscientists attest most of what we think we know is itself a function of those necessitous processes of our brain which we are not privy too, and most assuredly are blind, too. All our knowledge is built of unknowing rather than knowing, a blind man’s bluff assortment of folk psychology and inherited mythologies of the mind we’ve come to reorganize under the modern myth of enlightened Reason. Between the old Platonic realists and the postmodern nominalists we move like shadows and copies of a metaphysical void we no longer know or see because we’ve come to believe it is impossible. Cut off in an artificial bubble of ignorance we profess knowledge and science as if we truly grasped reality by the horns, when in fact we exist in an enclosed world of “thought become being” that leads in circles of ignorance and error rather than truth. We come upon truth only in the moment our thoughts fail us. The Real opens up in its wondrous incompleteness only as we discover the antagonisms and contradictions, the excesses and remainders that cannot be reduced to our human sign systems, our Symbolic Order.
Cengiz The Humanist:
Hegel, probably the greatest philosopher of all time, had defined dialectic as the unity of opposites… We can interpret this as the being-one-in-essence of the apparently opposite entities… Hence becoming is the coming out of that which is within… The self and the other are always already juxtaposed, or intertwined, but their roles are reversed over time… Just like life turns into death over time, an idea turns into its opposite as well, eventually becoming one with that which it is not… Now we find ourselves in a situation wherein a victim is victimized twice in the name of “politically correct” values of Europe… Democracy and freedom turn against themselves to actualize themselves… The paradox of the human-condition at present is beyond measure, there is an inherent contradiction within the status-quo itself… In our world today the aggressors are protected and the victims are condemned in the name of justice… The problem is that this conception of justice itself signifies a massive injustice… These are dangerous waters, but we shouldn’t be afraid of tarrying with the negative…
S.C. The Inhumanist:
Hegel once told us: “There is no such thing as a superior language or benchmark idiom. Every language is an instance of the speculative. Philosophy’s role is to show how, in each language, the essential is said and exhibited through the idiom’s accidents.” Is this not also the truth of the human-condition as well? What you are describing is that there is no universal external system of normative or ethical Law that can arbitrate the inhuman acts of the inhuman animal we’ve all fictionalized and fantasized as “humanity” for far too long. The Real breaks through in those moments when our fantasies, our constructed systems of belief and intent fail us, break down, fall apart and reveal the truth that we have been living in an artificial world of values all along, that underneath all these illusion of the Human Security System the Real has always been there, but that over millennia we build with such poetry and rhetoric, such sophistical charm and eloquence our human worlds of belief, our religions and dogmas against the truth of the Real. In our time as in previous times our apotropaic charms are failing us as we realize there is no monocultural and universal creed of reality accepted by all on this planet, but rather we have discovered the truth that the planetary civilization we would Universalize under the illusion of Global Capitalism is not Whole and Total, but is an anarchy of tenuous worlds of nationalist, ethnic, religious, political, and socio-cultural antagonisms and contradictions, full of beings – each of whom believes his/her world-view and system of the world is the correct one. We are at war among ourselves over the fantasies of millennia, battling over the lack in which we find ourselves clueless.
As Zizek, speaking of Freud, says:
Freud is a thinker of conflict, struggle, of “self-contradiction” and inherent antagonisms; but, in clear contrast to Hegel, in Freud, a conflict is not resolved by a self-contradiction being taken to an extreme and, with its self-cancellation, a new dimension emerging. On the contrary, the conflict is not resolved at all, the “contradiction” is not brought to its climax, but is rather stalled, brought to a temporary halt in the guise of a compromise-formation. This compromise is not the “unity of opposites” in the Hegelian sense of the “negation of negation,” but a ridiculously failed negation, a negation which is hindered, derailed, distorted, twisted, sidetracked, a kind of clinamen of the negation (to use the neat formulation proposed by Mladen Dolar). In other words, what eludes Hegel (or what he would have dismissed as trifling or accidental) is overdetermination: in the Hegelian dialectical process, negativity is always radical or radicalized, and consistent— Hegel never considers the option of a negation that fails, so that something is just half-negated and continues to lead a subterranean existence (or, rather, insistence).1
It’s just here that we should follow Freud/Lacan and not Hegel, that we should not try to resolve the conflict, institute some closure of this open would and antagonism between all the various worlds at war on our planet, but instigate this compromise-formation, this “ridiculously failed negation” that in Hegel is overdetermined. Instead of trying to overcome these oppositional forces we should reenter the political:
At this precise point, politics enters: the space of politics is opened up by the distance of the “economy” from itself, by the gap that separates the economy as the absent Cause from the economy in its “oppositional determination,” as one of the elements of the social totality. The economy is thus here doubly inscribed in the precise sense which defines the Lacanian Real: it is simultaneously the hard core (what the struggle ultimately is about) “expressed” in other struggles through displacements and other forms of distortion, and the very structuring principle of these distortions. Politics which occurs in this in-between space is non-All: its formula is not “everything is political,” but “there is nothing which is not political,” which means that “not-all is political.” The field of the political cannot be totalized, “there is no class relationship,” there is no meta-language in which we can “objectively” describe the whole political field, every such description is already partial (for example, Left and Right are not simply two options within a field, but two different visions of the entire field, and there is no neutral way to describe how the field “really is,” the difference that constitutes it is the impossible/ real of an antagonism). In this sense, Lenin was right to claim that, although the economy determines in the last instance, everything is decided in the political struggle. (Zizek)
Yes, just that “everything is decided in the political struggle”. But in our time we have seen the Global Capitalists cut asunder or desuture politics from economics, allowing economics to become the Universal Law. The EU is a prime example wherein the Economy is outside or above the national interests of individual countries and their politics. Even here in the States the Economy is leveraged outside governmental control and regulation, except under the guise of those entities (Banks) “too Big to Fail”. We live in a world where politics has failed us and become a handmaid to the Oligarchs and minions of Global Capitalism. A realm where the masses are given the show of political change under a mediatainment system of ideological fantasies that broadcast the latest pollster effects of some new hyperstitional model that must be accepted as ‘truth’ or else all hell will break loose. The Left has been persuaded by its own media fictions to believe there is no other path forward, that the good old days of Communism are a thing of the past, that socialism is dead and should be buried. So many on the Left bury their heads and weep. Yet, others keep on keeping on and look for signs and portents, cracks in the fabric of media bullshit and the ideological façade that might release those strange anomalies, those happy accidents and events or acts of intervention wherein where political struggle once again might ring out across the earth and bring not some ‘unity of opposites’ but rather the force of an antagonistic accident, a happy failure that keeps on repeating itself till it is no longer an accident but the new Law. A Law constructed out of the inner truth of the accident of our fatal endeavors, our political struggles; not some voluntarist emergence from elsewhere, but rather the truth of those conditions of time itself.
Cengiz The Humanist:
The countries keep falling into a crisis created by the very system in which they lose themselves… The crisis doesn’t exist before the governments create it… That’s how capitalism works, a crisis is created and then coped with… The failure of the states to cope with the problems piling up increases by the minute as the future rapidly disappears in an orgy of indifferent multiplicities governed by fools of all kinds… Unfortunately ignoring the problems doesn’t make them go away and that is precisely what our governments are doing… Making the same mistakes and expecting different results over and over again… Everything keeps getting worse all the while… The system is totally bankrupt…
S.C. The Inhumanist:
As you say these crisis are manufactured, produced rather than natural occurrence, they are the artificial limits, the stop gaps, that allow Capital to move forward even as it appears to be failing; the inner-logic of a system as Deleuze/Guattari knew “…it is not machines that have created capitalism, but capitalism that creates machines, and that is constantly introducing breaks and cleavages through which it revolutionizes its technical modes of production (p. 233).2 D & G turn cynical and satirical to the point of observing just how mad this whole system of capital has become in its endless breaching of barriers and reintegration’s, its decoding and re-codings, all leading to an amoral system in which the worker and the industrialist are both locked into a self-policing system of idiocy in which “money and the market” have become the “true police” (p. 239). Which will lead them to ask:
…it is at a generalized theory of flows that one is able to reply to the question: how does one come to desire strength while also desiring one’s own impotence? How was such a social field able to be invested by desire? And how far does desire go beyond so-called objective interests, when it is a question of flows to set in motion and to break? (p. 239)
Cengiz The Humanist:
The rise of fascism ongoing with full force all over the planet… An eye for an eye keeps turning the whole world blind as usual… The whole world is becoming one big gas chamber… The states and governments keep organising themselves against their own people all around the Earth… That’s the way Militarist Capitalism works, it’s not even neo-liberalism anymore (that woud be too optimistic a term)… They create crisis in order to violently cope with it so that the people are left with no alternative and submit to the order of the day… They don’t allow people even to imagine a different world, hence the nihilistic despair drowning us in the capitalist ideology itself, which feeds on nothing but inequality and injustice as well as ethnic-religious conflict all over the planet…
S.C. The Inhumanist:
So what is fascism? Should we not look back on Nietzsche who in his mad musings in the Will to Power (Fourth Book: Discipline and Breeding), says:
898. The strong of the future.—To what extent necessity on the one hand and accident on the other have attained to conditions from which a stronger species may be reared: this we are now able to understand and to bring about consciously; we can now create those conditions under which such an elevation is possible.
The leveling of the mankind of Europe is the great process which should not be arrested; it should even be accelerated. The necessity of cleaving gulfs, of distance, of the order of rank, is therefore imperative; but not the necessity of retarding the process above mentioned.
This leveled-down species requires justification as soon as it is attained: its justification is that it exists for the service of a higher and sovereign race which stands upon it and can only be elevated upon its shoulders to the task which it is destined to perform. Not only a ruling race whose task would be consummated in ruling alone: but a race with vital spheres of its own, with an overflow of energy for beauty, bravery, culture, and manners, even for the most abstract thought; a yea-saying race which would be able to allow itself every kind of great luxury—strong enough to be able to dispense with the tyranny of the imperatives of virtue, rich enough to be in no need of economy or pedantry; beyond good and evil; a forcing-house for rare and exceptional plants.3
Is it not just here where he speaks of the Great Leveling: “The leveling of the mankind of Europe is the great process which should not be arrested; it should even be accelerated. The necessity of cleaving gulfs, of distance, of the order of rank, is therefore imperative; but not the necessity of retarding the process…”. Isn’t it this sense that Progress has suddenly inverted itself and become an acceleration into pure death, when the death-drives rather than the Eros-Life take the high-road and rule over the planet and its human and non-human worlds through hierarchical distancing? This call for a new Aristoi, a posthuman species to replace the human or rule over their remnants? An almost Viconian ricorso to the Aristocratic Age of Axiomatic genesis, but this time with the transhuman or robotic artificial AI’s becoming the indifferent or impersonal Overseers? This transgressive dimension of Nietzshe’s hyperstitional reincorporation of the ancient model of Greece as a reinvigorated post-human vision? Is it not Nietzsche who foresaw the transition to a transhumanist, or posthuman future:
In 866 Nietzsche would unleash the Übermensch:
It is necessary to show that a counter-movement is inevitably associated with any increasingly economical consumption of men and mankind, and with an ever more closely involved “machinery” of interests and services. I call this counter-movement the separation of the luxurious surplus of mankind: by means of it a stronger kind, a higher type, must come to light, which has other conditions for its origin and for its maintenance than the average man. My concept, my metaphor for this type is, as you know, the word “Superman.” … To oppose this dwarfing and adaptation of man to a specialized kind of utility, a reverse movement is needed—the procreation of the synthetic man who embodies everything and justifies it; that man for whom the turning of mankind into a machine is a first condition of existence, for whom the rest of mankind is but soil on which he can devise his higher mode of existence.
He is in need of the opposition of the masses, of those who are “leveled down”; he requires that feeling of distance from them; he stands upon them, he lives on them. This higher form of aristocracy is the form of the future. … (p. 327)
Do we not see the elites and capitalists who through their own hyperstitional fantasies are constructing a future that enforces and creates a “synthetic man who embodies everything and justifies it; that man for whom the turning of mankind into a machine is a first condition of existence, for whom the rest of mankind is but soil on which he can devise his higher mode of existence”. Our so to speak technological singularity, our ‘more than human’ disconnection, out striving to become immortal and transcend the organic in some artificial form?
Isn’t this leveling down more of what we’ve come to know as the dumbing down of the masses as in the works of Henry A. Giroux:
Public schooling and higher education are also increasingly harnessed to the needs of corporations and the warfare state. One consequence is that many public schools, especially those occupied by poor minority youth, have become the equivalent of factories for dumbing down the curricula and turning teachers into what amounts to machine parts.
Too many young people today learn quickly that their fate is solely a matter of individual responsibility, legitimated through market-driven laws that embrace self-promotion, hypercompetitiveness, and surviving in a society that increasingly reduces social relations to social combat. Young people today are expected to inhabit a set of relations in which the only obligation is to live for oneself and to reduce the obligations of citizenship to the demands of a consumer culture.
Giroux, Henry A. (2014-02-17). Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education. Haymarket Books. Kindle Edition.
Cengiz The Humanist:
To be able to change the course of events leading to a mostly man-made catastrophic future, or an artificial apocalypse, to act in the way of preventing an early demise of the organic life forms on Earth as we know it, and perhaps even become capable of altering these course of events in the right direction, we have to understand how the system in which we find ourselves works first… Otherwise we mess things up and everything gets even worse than it already is… Change for the better requires the force of thought… And that is precisely why we preach becoming more human than human as we have come to know it…
S.C. The Inhumanist:
Yet, isn’t it just that which is happening already, are we or are we not moving ahead with the great technological overdetermination and transcension of the human into the inhuman other? Listen to such prognosticators and the Italian Philosopher of Information, Luciano Floridi:
The infosphere will not be a virtual environment supported by a genuinely ‘material’ world behind; rather, it will be the world itself that will be increasingly interpreted and understood informationally, as part of the infosphere. At the end of this shift, the infosphere will have moved from being a way to refer to the space of information to being synonymous with Being itself.4
He much like Negarestani, except without all the normative give or asking of reasons, believes Philosophers and Scientists are becoming ‘conceptual designers’:
By ‘conceptual design’ I mean to refer to a constructionist (not a constructivist) philosophy that can explain (better: account for) our semantic artefacts and design or re-purpose those needed by our new infosphere. … I much prefer speaking of conceptual design, especially in view of the fact that design is neither discovery nor invention, nor a mere matter of tinkering, fixing, or improving, but indeed the art of implementing requirements and exploiting constraining affordances intelligently and teleologically, in order to build artefacts in view of a specific goal. Philosophy as conceptual design is therefore a realistic philosophy, which treats semantic artefacts as mind- and reality-co-dependent, in the same way as a house is not a representation but the outcome of a specific architectural design both constrained and afforded by the building materials. (Floridi, p. 2)
As he suggests the NBIC technologies are at the top of the economic investment list:
Unsurprisingly, the US Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation have identified Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science (NBIC) as research areas of national priority. (Floridi, p. 5)
As he remarks the Information and Communications technologies across our planet are in process of re-ontologizing our supposedly natural environment into one that is artificial:
ICTs are re-ontologizing the very nature of (and hence what we mean by) the infosphere, and here lies the source of some of the most profound transformations and challenging problems that we will experience in the close future, as far as technology is concerned. (Floridi, pp. 6-7)
And, again, he forsees an age when most of humanity exists in tomorrow’s informational slums, excluded from the virtual/actual systems of our more and more artificial world:
Unless we manage to solve it, the digital divide will become a chasm, generating new forms of discrimination between those who can be denizens of the infosphere and those who cannot, between insiders and outsiders, between information rich and information poor. It will redesign the map of worldwide society, generating or widening generational, geographic, socio-economic, and cultural divides. Yet the gap will not be reducible to the distance between rich and poor countries, since it will cut across societies. Pre-historical cultures have virtually disappeared, with the exception of some small tribes in remote corners of the world. The new divide will be between historical and hyperhistorical ones. We might be preparing the ground for tomorrow’s informational slums. (Floridi, p. 9)
As we’ve seen with all the influx of the new Immaterialistic discourses our world is being remodified and revised from the older metaphysical notions of substance and form:
We are modifying our everyday perspective on the ultimate nature of reality, from a materialist one, in which physical objects and processes play a key role, to an informational one. (Floridi, p. 10)
Already we are living – at least in the fantasy worlds of the Global Capitalist Elite in these artificial worlds:
We begin to act and conceptualize ourselves as mass-produced, anonymous entities among other anonymous entities, exposed to billions of other similar informational organisms online. We conceive ourselves as bundles of types, from gender to religion, from family role to working position, from education to social class. So we construct, self-brand, and re-appropriate ourselves in the infosphere by using blogs and Facebook entries, homepages, YouTube videos, and Flickr albums, fashionable clothes, and choices of places we visit, types of holidays we take, and cars we drive… (Floridi, p. 13)
We have begun to see ourselves as inforgs (informational organisms) not through some transformations in our bodies but, more seriously and realistically, through the reontologization of our environment and of ourselves. It is our world and our metaphysical interpretation of it that is changing. (Floridi, p. 15) As digital immigrants like us are replaced by digital natives like our children, the latter will come to appreciate that there is no ontological difference between infosphere and physical world, only a difference in levels of abstraction (see Chapter 3). When the migration is complete, we shall increasingly feel deprived, excluded, handicapped, or impoverished to the point of paralysis and psychological trauma whenever we are disconnected from the infosphere, like fish out of water. One day, being an inforg will be so natural that any disruption in our normal flow of information will make us sick. (Floridi, pp. 16-17)
Cengiz The Humanist:
Humans don’t learn, they only remember the truth… What we call truth is actually the forgetting of the ignorance of the past known as knowledge… A truth emerges only as the realisation of the falsity of history, it is a process, not a state… It’s not for nothing that we keep saying it can only get worse for all of us… The reason is that we humans have abolished rational thought itself together with the fidelity to the unknown truths of our time…
S.C. The Inhumanist:
Isn’t this once again the return to Plato’s Meno? Meno, where he puts forth the doctrine of anamnesis, which holds that all learning is recollection, that everything we will ever learn is already in us before we are taught. According to this view, perception and inquiry remind us of what is innate in us. In the dialogue, Socrates supports this view by showing that by simply asking an uneducated slave the right questions, the slave can ‘discover for himself’ a version of the Pythagorean theorem. Socrates does not elaborate the anamnesis claim as much as we would like. Among other things, it is not clear what counts as knowledge in this context, what exactly is innate, or how the innate interacts with perception and/or inquiry to give rise to knowledge. Still, Nativists have treated the slave-episode in the Meno as a touchstone for their view (‘Platonism’ has at different times referred to the innateness doctrine). Apart from the interpretive problems just noted, the Meno has never been treated as a significant defense of Nativism, because it is too easy to doubt Socrates’ claim that the slave has not been told the solution. Skeptics see Socrates’ ‘questioning’ as really implicitly feeding the slave the right answers. The upshot is that the demonstration has remained famous as a pedagogical tour de force, but not as a compelling defense for the doctrine of recollection. (see here)
Again this notion of eternity in time, Idea (eternal) incarnated in time (the human mind recollecting the eternal Idea)? Wasn’t this the issue of Locke and other Nativists who saw our god-given faculty of Reason as capable of discovering the most important truths about our world and our lives—i.e., the existence of God and the nature of our moral duties? Such mythologizing of Reason and Truth belies the fact that truth emerges not out of some past time or eternity of Ideas, but through the very real apparatuses and processes of thinking and being in our open and incomplete, unknown and unknowing realm of being and becoming rather than the Soul’s recollection of its fantastic voyage from the realms below, above, or beyond Being?
As Zizek will comment in another context speaking of this Platonic or even Hegelian notion of anamnesis:
That is, the Idea can afford even this extreme self-externalization since it is merely playing a game with itself, knowing full well that, at the end, it will safely return to itself, reappropriating its otherness— and this, precisely, is why the amnesia is feigned. But does this (standard) objection hold? To clarify this point, let us take a look at the very end of the Hegelian system, the entry of the (in) famous figure of Absolute Knowing. Comay is right to discern at this point an even more radical overlapping of recollection and forgetting: “The truth of absolute knowing as recollection is thus the fiction of an absolute forgetting.” (AR: p. 23))
But what have we forgotten, absolutely? Is it the break? The revolutionary event that divides us from the past, that which has been erased, forgotten?
What is a dialectical analysis of, say, a past event, of a revolutionary break? Does it really amount to identifying the underlying necessity that regulated the apparent confusion of prior events? What if the opposite is true, and the dialectical analysis reinserts possibility back into the necessary past? There is something of an unpredictable miraculous emergence in every turn from “negation” to “negation of negation,” in every rise of a new Order out of the chaos of disintegration— which is why dialectical analysis is for Hegel always the analysis of past events. No deduction will bring us from chaos to order, and locating this moment of the magic turn, this unpredictable reversal of chaos into Order, is the true aim of dialectical analysis. (AR: pp. 234-235)
To be consistently Hegelian, however, we must take a crucial step further and insist that historical Necessity does not pre-exist the contingent process of its actualization, that is, that the historical process is also in itself “open,” undecided— this confused mixture “generates sense insofar as it unravels itself”:
It is people, and they only, who make history, while Spirit explicates itself through this making … The point is not, as in a naïve theodicy, to find a justification for every event. In actual time, no heavenly harmony resonates in the sound and fury. It is only once this tumult recollects itself in the past, once what took place is conceived, that we can say, to put it briefly, that the “course of History” is a little bit better outlined. History runs forward only for those who look at it backwards; it is linear progression only in retrospect … Hegelian “providential necessity” has so little authority that it seems as if it learns from the run of things in the world which were its goals. (Zizek: LTN: kl 5077) *My Italics
Cengiz The Humanist:
The arrival of Anthropocene means nothing but the death of the human as we come to know it… It signifies a stage of human-condition in which everyone suffers from the damage caused on the planet… Our existence as humans has direct negative effects on other beings such as plants and animals with which we share this habitat… The Anthropocene must become conscious of its responsibility and take it upon itself to radically change its ways and means…
S.C. The Inhumanist:
True. The Anthropocene, another of those terms invented to historicize and philosophize about the impact of that Anthropos and anthropomorphic animal that loves to take exception to its non-human neighbors as if in appealing to this great construct of the ‘human-condition’ we could once again formulate a critique and negative undermining of our illusions, our terrible history and record as the accident of time and contingency that has brought so much death and violence. And you allegorize the Anthropocene as if it could become conscious and take on normative ‘responsibility’ for its actions as if it could create or invent rules to enforce and dictate to itself a new legal system or Law to hold up to itself like a new testament of Commandments. But who is the Universal Judge who will write down these 10 Commandements of the Earth, seal us against our past, and force us to become radically changed? Does this not portend totalitarianism in itself? Isn’t the notion that the Anthropocene is some Universalist History or Grand Narrative of our impact on the planet just another form of historicism, a way of spoofing ourselves with new tropes of religious, moral, and human, all too human laws and policings, judgements and banishments. Would this not lead to a Climate Dictatorship of the Green? One more utopian gesture that would set up a Master-Signifier (Lacan/Zizek) to rule over us, a big Other to charm the beast, and keep at bay the evil truth of this animal called Man?
Cengiz The Humanist:
A massive amount of dying takes place in the womb for the transformation of the fetus into a human… Many of our cells die before we are born, we die so that we can be born… Our birth as humans requires our death as fetuses… Life is driven by death and inversely… The spaces between your fingers are the presences of non-being in being… The interactive process between your being and non-being is your becoming, your life is your death, a process, not a state… In this sense it is analogous to truth which is the process of situating eternity in time in accordance with a less bad future for all of us, we humans, we animals and the plants…
S.C. The Inhumanist:
Yes, the Platonic gesture “situating eternity in time” the Idea incarnated from elsewhere come to save us from ourselves. Is this not once again a great and beautiful lie, a gesture against the unknown and unknowable future, another grand myth and dogma to shut down the open and uncontrollable truth at the inhuman core of humanity. A way of locking down the beast at the heart of time, enclose it once again in the chains of Law and Myth? Even under the guise of the Sciences? Something like Bruno Latour’s Gaian modes of existence? Don’t we hear that in that philosopher of capitalist information theory, Luciano Floridi:
The task is to formulate an ethical framework that can treat the infosphere as a new environment worth the moral attention and care of the human inforgs inhabiting it. Such an ethical framework must be able to address and solve the unprecedented challenges arising in the new environment. It must be an environmental ethics for the whole infosphere. This sort of synthetic (both in the sense of holistic or inclusive, and in the sense of artificial) environmentalism will require a change in how we perceive ourselves and our roles with respect to reality, what we consider worth our respect and care, and how we might negotiate a new alliance between the natural and the artificial. It will require a serious reflection on the human project. These are the topics of the rest of the book. Unfortunately, I suspect it will take some time and a whole new kind of education and sensitivity to realize that the infosphere is a common space, which needs to be preserved to the advantage of all. (Floridi, p. 18)
Or, Reza Negarestani: A View of Man from the Space of Reasons – The Abstract for his Lecture:
Is humanism – understood as an elaborated commitment to humanity – about human? Once humanism is accessed via the front door of the Enlightenment, a minimal definition of human can be secured. Human is defined by its capacity to enter the space of reasons as a special domain of practices.
Is this what we expect of humanism? Some new normative inclusion of a deontological ethics of duty and logic (science) perform their give and asking of reasons in some endless dialectic of that crisis between the neurological import and a commitment to the activation of the autonomous space of reasons. Reza will build on “Ray Brassier’s identification of reflective critique as ‘inherently conservative’ and recently Deneb Kozikoski’s examination of the deep isomorphy between the critique of modernity and the logic of capitalism”, arguing that the “view of human from the space of reasons forestalls the conservation of a definition or portrait of man as the basis of and a justification for a preservationist mode of conduct”. All this to lead us into an “interventionist ethics”: This is ethics as a continuous labor or a project accustomed to the general catastrophe of reason, a design of conduct that does not resort to conservation in order to embark on construction.
Thanks to xlrt.org! (http://xlrt.org/abstracts.html) A symposium on tendencies in capitalism: held on 14 December 2013
Zizek in his discussion of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit reminds us that “reason as lawgiver; reason as testing laws; the acceptance of law simply because it is the law” (AR: Zizek, p. 338.5 He goes on to clarify:
Reason first directly posits laws qua universal ethical precepts (“ Everyone ought to speak the truth,” etc.); once it gains an insight into the contingent content and possible conflictual nature of these laws (different ethical norms may impose on us mutually exclusive forms of behavior), it assumes a kind of reflective distance and limits itself to testing laws, assessing how far they meet formal standards of universality and consistency; finally, Reason becomes aware of the empty, purely formal character of this procedure, of its incapacity to procure actual spiritual substance filled out with concrete, positive content. Reason is thus compelled to reconcile itself to the fact that it can neither posit nor reflect upon laws without presupposing our inveterate involvement in some concrete, determinate ethical substance, in a law which is in force simply because it is law, i.e., because it is accepted as a constitutive part of our community’s historical tradition. … This resigned acceptance of the immediate character of the totality-of-mediation itself is what Hegel has in mind with “determinate reflection”: the reflective totality is “held together” by a contingent, non-reflected remainder which is “simply there.” (AR: p. 338)
Isn’t it this remainder, the excess that cannot be locked down, brought into the Symbolic Order, the world of Law, against that which is the Real? The force of time and necessity, contingency and chaos that however we try to narrativize, philosophize, normativize escapes all our supposed human traps and exposes the underlying truth at the core of our inhuman being, both outside/inside? If Ontology = Mathematics in Badiou, isn’t it just here that Godel and Badiou admit defeat: “For mathematics, which represents non-contradictory thought par excellence, it is precisely non-contradiction that cannot be named: we know that it is indeed impossible to prove, from within a mathematical system, the non-contradiction of that system” (Badiou, p. 86).6 In fact Badiou would admit that Evil is exactly our desire, our want to “at all costs and under condition of a truth, to force the naming of the unnameable. Such, exactly, is the principle of disaster” (Badiou. p. 86). So to see in this object, the Anthropocene, our Evil against which we can forge a truth-process is in itself to actualize the very evil we would judge making it in truth the obscene dictator of our false Law and Ethics. Thereby, in the name of the Good, we would enact the principle of disaster and bring down on ourselves the very thing we seek to escape: the Climate Catastrophe.
Jean-François Lyotard developed a theory of the Inhuman that objects to humanism on the grounds that it depends upon a definition of the human which is exclusionary of difference. He asks why, if humanism is correct that there is a human nature, we are not born human but rather have to go through a terroristic education in order to become acceptably human. The term “Inhuman” has two meanings for Lyotard. Firstly, it refers to the dehumanising effects of science and technology in society. Secondly, it refers to those potentially positive forces that the idea of the human tries to repress or exclude, but which inevitably return with disruptive effects. Lyotard tries to show the limit of the humanistic ideal by imagining a science-fiction-like scenario in which, in 4.5 billion years time when our sun explodes, the human race will have developed the ability to survive without the Earth. In one sense this survival is the humanist dream (since survival is essential for the central importance of the human race in the universe), but in another sense it might constitute the end of the human, since the changes required to survive in space would be so radical as to erase anything we currently recognise as human. On the one hand Lyotard criticises the dehumanising effects of the progress of science and technology that are themselves bound up with the idea of human progress, and on the other he affirms the dehumanising forces that open up our thinking to more than a simple definition of the human. (see here)
Robinson Jeffries once saw the inhumanism of fate as the truth of our impersonal universe, without any form of personalism just the impersonal purposelessness of things under the entropic push and pull of Time:
The huge bulk of necessity, the force
Impersonal, including all persons,
And coursing with the stars, and treading the earth:
Fate, the unwearied, the universal, whose power
Was to my Father’s, even to God’s, as God’s
In his vast prime and noonday to the least
And feeblest of mankind.—There is neither good
Nor evil in Fate’s inhuman omnipotence,
Nor love nor will:—here all things evil and good
Included, undersap each other, and blank
Their opposites, and being themselves devoured
Can bear no witness beyond the to-and-fro
That never finds an end; the lift and fall,
And purposeless eternity of power. (AC 184)
Fate is here identified almost wholly with a natural process defined as mere persistence, “power.” Nothing lurks behind it; it has nothing to accomplish; therefore it appears, to human purposes, as vacuity.7 It is not the world that has proved unworthy of man, but precisely the opposite. The speaker of “Fire on the Hills” struggles to accept the terms of life. “Orca’s” speaker has no right to life, and, ontologically speaking, he effaces himself. “Inhumanism” was the name Jeffers gave to this effort. (Zaller, p. 121) Or, in Jeffries own words:
…to present a certain philosophical attitude, which might be called Inhumanism, a shifting of emphasis and significance from man to not-man; the rejection of human solipsism and recognition of the transhuman magnificence. It seems time that our race began to think as an adult does, rather than like an egocentric baby or insane person. This manner of thought and feeling is neither misanthropic nor pessimist, though two or three people have said so and may again. It involves no falsehoods, and is a means of maintaining sanity in slippery times… It offers a reasonable detachment as rule of conduct, instead of love, hate and envy. It neutralizes fanaticism and wild hopes; but it provides magnificence for the religious instinct, and satisfies our need to admire greatness and rejoice in beauty. (Z, p. 329)
David Roden in his excellent Posthuman Life: Philosophy at the Edge of the Human offers us a view onto our inhuman future:
We imagine posthumans as humans made superhumanly intelligent or resilient by future advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science. Many argue that these enhanced people might live better lives; others fear that tinkering with our nature will undermine our sense of our own humanity. Whoever is right, it is assumed that our technological successor will be an upgraded or degraded version of us: Human 2.0. Posthuman Life argues that the enhancement debate projects a human face onto an empty screen. We do not know what will happen and, not being posthuman, cannot anticipate how posthumans will assess the world. If a posthuman future will not necessarily be informed by our kind of subjectivity or morality, the limits of our current knowledge must inform any ethical or political assessment of that future. Posthuman Life develops a critical metaphysics of posthuman succession and argues that only a truly speculative posthumanism can support an ethics that meets the challenge of the transformative potential of technology.8
The future is not a text we can read, nor is it some palimpsest puzzle scratched over and filled in with our desires, our utopian hopes, or our dystopian fears; but, rather it is that undiscovered territory where our tendencies between intellect and desire begin to turn speculative, science fictional, and constructive of the possible impossibilities of worlds we extrapolate out of our retroactive appraisals of a past transformed by present need. Our technological, economic, cross-cultural, and social expectations and goals are shaped by, and yield themselves to power rather than duty or ethics to both our glory and our ultimate fate or doom. At this juncture in the human drama our forward looking thinking seen in the screen of our best Science Fiction, along with our economic investment and goals for technology seem to portend a movement toward a successor species. Will this come to pass? Some say we are headed into extinction, apocalypse, and annihilation; others that we are enabling a transformation and metamorphosis, a disconnection from our organic debt to a species bound by restrictive knowledge and limits. As the world teeters on the edge of economic collapse, war, famine, and a multitude of prospective catastrophes we all feel apprehensive about this thing we name the future. No one can be for sure, but as one studies the current trends in robotics, AI, life-enhancement, biogenetics, nanotechnology, etc. one sees certain traces of this Inhuman world rising up all around us. Even as we fill in the gaps with fantasies of posthuman philosophy and sciences we know one thing for sure: we do not know enough to make any ultimate judgement, nor impose any order on this unknown future; or, second guess ourselves and our illusive dreams of Reason.
Shifting between tyranny and anarchy, collapse or breakthrough, we seem like the unexpected guests at a banquet no one was invited too, waiting at our empty tables for the host to arrive, impatient to get on with it, unsure of who the other guests are, what they are thinking, why they are there, or why we, too, were called to this festival of extinction or redemption. All we know is we are here, now, and that it is up to us to do something, act, intervene wherever we and whoever we are, because the place of power is empty and the leader, our host, who was supposed to show up and save us died long ago and will not return. So it is up to us to decide, to choose… and, yet, there is no longer any external guide, no authority whose priority is great enough to put down the skeptical doubts in the crowd, so we begin to reason together like orphans who have been left out in the cold, taking tentative steps here and there, assuring ourselves that we will discover a truth before the banquet is over and the last guest has left. A truth that will spell our demise or our ultimate triumph. None of us knows the outcome. Yet, we all have the right to struggle: this is the political truth of our time – we, alone, must stand up an struggle with those who are the friends for life, for the weak and excluded, the lost and lonely, the poverty stricken, the hungry, the lame, the disease, the ones who are imprisoned unjustly, for all those who for one reason or another have come to naught under the system of death we know as Global Capitalism.
What else is there? Would you willingly choose death, instead? If you sit there in silence and do nothing then you allow those few who lord it over the many to choose for us, to choose to follow their own foolish prerogatives, follow their death-drives into extinction and apocalypse, war and defeat, all for the mere pleasure of riches, narcissism and solipsistic vanity. Is this our final hour? Or our time to break out and away, to exit this sordid history of defeat and despair? Shall we who once called ourselves ‘humans’ end in silence, or shall we rise up, emerge from the chrysalis of our organic heritage and overcome the stain of this corruption? There is no sin, no God, no Law to bind you to the past, there is only the truth of your being-in-this-world, one among a multiplicity. Badiou at the end of Logic of Worlds tells us that he is sometimes told that he sees in “philosophy only a means to reestablish, against the contemporary apologia of the futile and the everyday, the rights of heroism” (p. 514).9 He admonishes us that this life of heroism as compared to the ancients who assumed self-sacrifice the measure of the heroic, that we instead must that heroism that “creates life, point by point” (p. 514). Ultimately as he states it we must place or heroic efforts on the side of “discipline, the only weapon both of the True and of peoples, against power and wealth, against the insignificance and dissipation of the mind” (p. 514).
Zizek for his part will ask: “What the inexistence of the big Other signals is that every ethical and/ or moral edifice has to be grounded in an abyssal act which is, in the most radical sense imaginable, political” (LTN, KL 21453). He’ll continue, saying,
Politics is the very space in which, without any external guarantee, ethical decisions are made and negotiated. The idea that one can ground politics in ethics, or that politics is ultimately a strategic effort to realize prior ethical positions, is a version of the illusion of the “big Other.”
We cannot reduce the Real to some ideological or fantasy, we cannot fill the gap or empty place left vacant by external authority of whatever stripe: God, King, or …? No. We must all admit that there will never be any reconciliation of opposites: “The parallax gap is, on the contrary, the very form of the “reconciliation” of opposites: one simply has to recognize the gap (Zizek).” Much as Norman O. Brown or Ernest Becker back in the 50’s and 60’s tried to fuse Marx and Freud, Zizek ends on this note:
The intersection between reason and drive is best signaled by the fact that Freud uses the same formulation for both: the voice of reason or of the drive is often silent, slow, but it persists forever. This intersection is our only hope. (LTN,KL 22517)
Rereading Ernst Becker’s Escape From Evil is always for me enlightening, for the simple reason that over and over the insights he gleaned from Marx and Freud and the traditions of anthropology of his day still speak to me, reminding me that humans have always sought by strange methods, rituals, and magical or arcane and obscure practices to stay the hand of the greatest enemy Time or change: and, Death – mortality. The Symbolic Order for him was constructed as an engine and Human Security System (Land) to enact religious, economic, and political rituals against the Time and Death’s dark power. He would see our concepts of evil, our need to ‘fetishize evil,’ to locate the threat of life in specific places of power where the darkness of time and death could be placated and controlled; as well as the internalization of this into all those symbolic and normative systems of tropes and rhetoric that we’ve inherited from the ancient shamans, priests, and poets. Yet, as Becker discovered it is this very heroic endeavor to escape the clutches of Time and Death that have in fact been the source and cause of all our woes, brought us war and chaos, dominion and slavery. In fact he would discover that our very Enlightenment heritage in freedom and democracy have not brought us what we thought they would, but that instead the very ethic of individual heroics and the purity of community has enacted the very evil it was meant to abolish.
Even as our leaders promise protection and security against the forces of supposed terror and chaos, what they are actually doing is constructing and ideology to get our allegiance to their socio-cultural causa sui project because it will, they say, protect us against vulnerability. “The polis, the state, god – all these are symbols of infallibility in which the masses willingly embed their fearful freedoms.”
So where does this leave us? Breckman tells us Zizek opts for the Subject, saying,
Subject is the name for the negativity, the void, the leftover that cannot be integrated into the symbolic universe. A true act, Žižek emphasizes, involves withdrawal beyond any support in the symbolic into the negativity of the real. This is for Žižek the ultimate definition of death drive and the consummate expression of subjective destitution insofar as it affects the fundamental fantasy. (Breckman) 10
An exit, a subtraction from the Symbolic Order, a singular and multiple movement into the negativity of the Real. Exposing ourselves to the death-drive and ‘traversing the fantasy’ beyond the strictures of prison house of the symbolic order of ideology. As Warren Breckman says in his Adventures of the Symbolic: Postmarxism and Democratic Theory, Zizek contrasts his notion of the ‘act’ against both Badiou and Laclau, whom he claims see the act as a positive gesture that fills in the void. Yet for Žižek the “negative gesture of suspension-withdrawal-contraction” stands at only a “minimal distance” from the “positive gesture” of filling the void. The negativity of the act is thus the necessary condition for creativity, although Žižek understands this creativity not as the action of bringing forth the new, but of retroactively embracing what has emerged as a “Truth-Event.” Here Žižek leans heavily on Badiou’s terminology, but again he insists on the role of negativity. In an extended discussion that couples Saint Paul and Badiou at the same time as it collapses psychoanalysis and Christianity into one and the same discussion, Žižek emphasizes that subjective destitution does not directly create a “New Beginning”: “it does not already posit a ‘new harmony,’ a new Truth-Event; it—as it were—merely wipes the slate clean for one.” Yet negativity is not truly empty, it turns out; for Žižek immediately cautions that the word merely conceals the fact that in this negative gesture “something (a void) is confronted which is already ‘sutured’ with the arrival of a new Truth-Event. For Lacan, negativity, a negative gesture of withdrawal, precedes any positive gesture of enthusiastic identification with a Cause: negativity functions as the condition of (im)possibility of enthusiastic identification.” The negative moment, death, is pregnant with resurrection: wiping the slate clean “opens up the domain of the symbolic New Beginning, of the emergence of the ‘New Harmony’ sustained by a newly emerged Master-Signifier.” (pp. 254-255)
So what does all this mean? Are we entering a time of forgetting, an moment of transition from one state to another, an event that closes one Symbolic Order only to open another, a new beginning? And does this entail a new leader, ethic, power will fill the empty place in the gap: a temporary solution, there being no other, because reality and the Real are always open, incomplete, ever-changing? So there can be no final order, no final reconciliation, only the temporary peace between wars of reality?
Maybe, in the end, Robinson Jefferies should have the last word, a repetition that repeats the wound of beginnings and endings, and new beginnings: …the “ancient wound” that, never healed, “lets . . . the stars / Into the animal-stinking ghost-ridden darkness”.
- Zizek, Slavoj (2012-04-30). Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism (Kindle Locations 11187-11195). Norton. Kindle Edition.
- Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Penguin, 2009)
- Nietzsche, Friedrich (2010-06-24). The Will to Power (Volumes I and II): 1-2 (pp. 337-338). Neeland Media LLC. Kindle Edition.
- Floridi, Luciano (2013-10-10). The Ethics of Information (p. 10). Oxford University Press, USA. Kindle Edition.
- Zizek, Slavoj (2014-10-07). Absolute Recoil: Towards A New Foundation Of Dialectical Materialism (p. 338). Verso Books. Kindle Edition.
- Badiou, Alain. Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil. (Verso, 2012)
- Zaller, Robert (2012-01-25). Robinson Jeffers and the American Sublime. Stanford University Press. Kindle Edition.
- Roden, David (2014-10-10). Posthuman Life: Philosophy at the Edge of the Human (p. i). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.
- Badiou, Alain. The Logic of Worlds. (Continuum, 2009)
- Breckman, Warren (2013-05-28). Adventures of the Symbolic: Postmarxism and Democratic Theory (p. 10). Columbia University Press. Kindle Edition.