Saturday, September 7, 2013
From a recent Bryant blog post:
"This is the point behind the borromean critical theory I’ve been talking about. The knot of borromean critical theory (not to be confused with Lacan’s knot), is meant to emphasize that the three orders simultaneously overlap and interpenetrate and are autonomous. It is a logic of the both/and, not the either/or. What it tries to reject is any of the three orders as being treated as foundational to the others. The order of the symbolic (S) is the order of signs, signifiers, language, meaning. [...] The order of the imaginary (I) is the order of phenomenological lived experience. The order of the real (R) is the order of the physical, natural, or material investigated by biology, physics, chemistry, and neurology."
In another post it seems he places the referent in the Real and not with the Symbolic. And that the Real seems limited to the material or corporeal*, unlike the incorporeal Symbolic. In this post there can be signifers/signifieds with no referent, like 'god.'
* "With the Symbolic we get the 'semiotic reduction' which attends to how discourse, narrative, language, signs, and the signifier structure the world. Here we bracket the referent (the Real) and the lived (the Imaginary), and instead just attend to the diacritics of language in parsing the world."
A few quick points on my last post above. Bryant's Borromean diagram with interlocking domains visually depicts both overlap and interpenetration as well as autonomy, expressive of his strange mereology. It demonstrates that a domain or paradigm has its own validity criteria and yet given the interpenetration there is some crossover between them. In this way they can balance each other's reductionist claims. And when all three are taken together as a unit or holon their integration is itself an emergent property. In this way it is both akin to and different from the AQAL diagram in that the quadrants or zones, while autonomous, are nonetheless not interpenetrated like the Borro. The latter is more consistent with the open/closed nature of dynamic systems and their boundaries.
Also the diagram has a space in the center which ties all 3 domains together. I’ve speculated that it is the withdrawn but I’ve yet to see Bryant directly address this. Nonetheless it provides for this excess in all domains, not just the Real. There is no place for this interpenetrating key in the AQAL diagram and perhaps even why there doesn’t seem to be any concept related to it. Except for maybe the Causal, but it is interpreted in a traditional, metaphysical sense instead of the postmetaphysical sense seen in the likes of Bryant or Derrida.
There’s more to say later about the referent being in a different domain than the other semiotic elements. And on the notion that the Real is corporeal while other domains not so much, or at least not entirely, as well as some signifier/signifieds having no referents. More later.