Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Desilet: Enter the Trace

I brought in some material from Gregory Desilet into our ongoing discussion of essence and identity.

See Desilet's "Physics and Language," which discusses physics including QM (starting on p. 348). For example:

"As both the one and the many, the continuum does not require, and in fact precludes, a thorough merging of opposites. Where there is a tendency to see unity as fundamental the continuum asserts that difference is equiprimordial with unity. Oddly enough...[this is] consistent with descriptions Derrida gives for the term differance" (349).

“Iterability….says that the word…is split: it both is and is not what it is…[it] contradicts the Aristotelian law of noncontradiction…. Iterability everywhere effects a decentering of what would pose as a center. Nevertheless interability…turns out to be a kind of center…[which] consists of the revelation that there can be no center. In…displacement a new way of thinking replaces the old while serving a similar, but not the same, function. Since it harbors duplicity this new ‘center’ does not so much provide a basis for knowledge as a means for understanding the limits of knowledge…. It becomes, like matter in quantum theory, a superposition. With respect to exactly what it is it is undecidable until it emerges in a specific contextualization…. Even then it does not present itself as a totality; like subatomic quanta it offers only a perspectival glimpse of itself and then recedes again into multiplicity until the next [measurement]…. The quasi-transcendental displaces the transcendental. Postmodern theory thereby ‘situates’ the…absolute and transcendental concepts” (350 – 51).

“Contexts are not absolute, [they] are in motion and continually changing within an infinite, changing net…. The reality that emerges though particular contexts is not objective reality in any traditional sense of the word. Reality as a superposition does not conform to the idea of objectness or thingness. This way of thinking places it in a conceptual category for which adequate metaphors are difficult to find—thereby necessitating terms such as ‘continuum’ or ‘differance,’ ‘superposition’ etc.

“Yet the contextualization that limits interpretation does not function with the closure of totalization; its boundary remains open. This lack of closure entrails, paradoxically, that reality both is and is not what it is interpreted to be. It is, at one level, what is interpreted to be but also always exceeds, at another level, what it is interpreted to be. This ‘exceeding’ means that at every point of capture reality escapes calculation and thereby admits construction” (352).

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