Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Comments on Serres

Following up on the last post, here are my comments in the IPS Serres thread:

I've made reference to how prepositions have a symbiotic link to image schemas, and therefore might be more of a meta-paradigm than one of several paradigms focused on parts of speech. I.e., that prepositions, being linguistic developments from pre-linguistic image schemata, are what ties or integrates not only the other parts of speech but the other paradigms that grow from them. Hence their meta-paradigmatic function.

I'm fascinated with how Serres does not see strict divisions between domains. Or a metalanguage that contextualizes them all within a critique or model. Not only different domains but what one who uses metalanguages might interpret as past and lower levels that must be supplanted. It seems more like how Luhmann sees the various mutations of a human or society, as that of structural couplings. Or how Gebser does as well, how they all continue to exist simultaneously via such couplings. And yet there is not overarching 'integral' metalanguage (model, method) etc. As in Morton or Zizek, there is no Nature. I like this quote:

"'Critique' philosophers firmly install their metalanguage and in the center and slowly substitute their arguments to every single object of the periphery; organizing the critique is a tantamount to a careful, obstinate and deliberate empire-building" (90).

Serres emphasis on the infra-language of a given text reminds me of descriptions of deconstruction:

"Deconstruction is not a method and this means that it is not a neat set of rules that can be applied to any text in the same way. Deconstruction is therefore not neatly transcendental because it cannot be considered separate from the contingent empirical facticity of the particular texts that any deconstruction must carefully negotiate."

I like this from the review, points I've made in various places throughout the forum:

"The terminology used in this excerpt–folds, knots, paths—display Serres’ long term interest in developments in modern mathematics, and in particular topology. Since his earliest work (see Serres, 1982), Serres routinely opposes the logic of geometry and topology. Whilst the former rests upon clear notions of identity and distinction, topology, and the mathematics which underpins it, is concerned with transformation and connection. Geometric reason seeks the truth of things through specifying their relationship to ideal, abstract propositions which define a space of clear measurement. […] The problem is not inherent to mathematical reason itself, but rather with the metaphysical assumptions of a particular kind of scientific modernity–one which may be drawing to a close."

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