Thursday, July 28, 2011

The experience of the impossible

I will provide some more quotes from John Caputo that began with this prior post, specifically related to what he calls experience. It can in some ways be correlated to what those in the transpersonal movement call consciousness, but without the metaphysical accoutrement usually associated with the latter term. Here are some excerpts from the IPS thread referenced in my prior post on Caputo's article and again Caputo is not kind to Meillassoux:

Recall how I showed the difference between différance and Kennilingam's consciousness per se in this thread. Which might indeed be the difference between deconstrucive experience (awareness in Tom's sense?) and absolute consciousness.
“Once again, I hasten to add, contra Meillassoux, that the theory of constitution is the theory of the constitution of experience, not of the creation of the world or the origin of being in the metaphysical sense. It is an account of experience (Erfahrung) not of our own subjective Erlebnisse; it is an account of our experience of the world not of some subjective buzz. Husserl, Heidegger, and Derrida all claimed that experience is temporal all the way down, and that experience is experience of the world. Experience is not 'merely subjective' even as the trace is not the Demiurge or a creating God” (63).

“The merit of Hägglund‘s account is to show that différance is not an immaterial being or a transcendental form and that its effects are always spatio-temporal effects.... The effects of its (quasi-)formality are found, as it were, only in the materiality of space-time. But for Derrida différance of itself cannot be situated as an object in its own field. Différance is not a spatial or a temporal thing (res). It is not the infinite flow of time or the spread of space. In the language of the tradition, it is, not a quod or a quid est but a quo. Différance neither is nor is not, is neither ideal nor real, is neither a form nor a material substrate, is 'not more sensible than intelligible,' is not a matter of matter or materialism, of form or formalism or of idea or idealism, just because it supplies the quasi-condition, 'before all determination of the content,' under which all such differences are constituted” (65).

Here's more on experience according to Caputo, which might not fall prey to kela's critique of mystical empiricism, since it's not a purely subjective consciousness in the metaphysical sense. Interestingly Caputo even argues that phenomenology's aim, long associated with such a subjective state, is "not the high ground of being itself" but rather to "undo the phenomonal/noumenal binarity." (I have bolded text for my emphasis. Italics and quotes are in the original.)

"Deconstruction is an experience of the impossible, which means that différance is an 'absolutely general condition' of experience. The 'unpredictability' or 'unforeseeability' upon which Hägglund lays all his emphasis is a feature of experience, an experiential structure all the way down. It requires an agency of seeing or predicting whose horizon of predictability or foreseeability is upset. The universe itself, being in general, coming to be and passing away, has no vision of its future and is never surprised by what happens. While Hägglund lays claim to the high ground of being itself, all his arguments take place on the plane of the unpredictability of human experience. Différance is not an absolute but a point of view whose fruitfulness Derrida invites us to consider and explore. It is not an intellectual intuition but a framework or condition of experience. That does not reduce it to a theory of mere appearances as opposed to a noumenal being outside time and space, which is Hägglund‘s constant fear, since the point of departure of phenomenology, no less than deconstruction, is to undo the phenomonal/noumenal binarity. It is an account of experience which is above all experience of the real, of the tout autre which is real (Paper Machine, 96). Hence none of the nonsense served up by Meillassoux.

“Deconstruction is not a metaphysics of atheism or of being-as-becoming but a quasi- or ultra-transcendental phenomenology of the event. On Hägglund‘s account, deconstruction opposes the metaphysics of being as presence with a metaphysics of spatio-temporal becoming, which as Derrida and Heidegger both point out would be a simple reversal, inverted images of each other within the same framework, whereas différance is in the business of displacement, not reversal. No more metaphysics, please! Metaphysics, as Kant showed, spins off endless dialectical cobwebs and there is no end to it, which shows up in Meillassoux‘s ludicrous speculations about eternal recurrence” (116-17).

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