Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mereology without assholons, aka infinitive lemniscations

Here are some excerpts from pp. 7 – 8 of the ongoing IPS thread on object oriented ontology. We brought up Bryant's The Democracy of Objects as well as his article “The time of the object.”


I'm very much enjoying Bryant's article and learning a new twist (fold?) in my infinitive lemniscations. As one quick example, this comment on differance:

"Différance is a non-concept that both makes an argument...and performs and enacts the argument it is making" (6).

As usual I play with language, make up words or use them in a different way in an attempt, much like one of my mentors, to "both make an argument...and perform and enact the argument it is making."
Here is a dictionary definition of infinitive:
"A verb form found in many languages that functions as a noun or is used with auxiliary verbs, and that names the action or state without specifying the subject.... Origin: 1425–75; late Middle English Late Latin infīnītīvus indefinite, equivalent to in- in- + fīnītīvus definite; see finite, -ive"
I like the connotations of an action without specifying a subject, akin to the OOO sensibility and my own sense of the suobject. I also like its indefiniteness, also indicative of the withdrawn nature of objects and my sense of a way to speculate on the absolute.

As for lemniscations, the lemniscate is a symbol of the infinite so again I change the noun into a verb (to lemniscate) back into a noun to suggest the interplay of noun/verb/object as a way of ruminating (lemniscating) on infinity in a postmetaphysical way. In other words, 'integral postmetaphysical enaction' (not yet but someday trademarked).


I had mentioned earlier, Dial, that I would post a link to Esbjorn-Hargen's paper. Here it is. (Something to add to your looming, and leaning, (virtual) reading pile!).


In Sean's paper: "See Harman (2009) for a valuable presentation of Latour’s process metaphysics of enactment. Suffice it to say there is much in Latour’s work that is relevant to an integral post-metaphysics."

Latour is a key figure in SR and OOO, and Harman and others use Latour liberally. In The Speculative Turn there are at least 140 references to him. He also writes chapter 20 in TST. Perhaps Sean's use of Latour is one bridge between integral and SR?

Latour quoting Souriau in TST:

“Let us therefore reject any temptation to structure or hierarchize the [multiple] modes by explaining them dialectically. You will always fail to know existence in itself if you deprive it of the arbitrariness that is one of its absolutes” (316).

It seems it is here where we might find divergence with Sean's kennilingus pluralism?

Smore Latour:

“In the last section of the work, Souriau in fact applies himself to the problem of how the modes are enchained…. In order to avoid this continual exaggeration, to allow the modes to ‘keep their distance’, to mutually respect their different types of verification, we have to define yet another mode (one of the ‘second degree’ as he says) and which is defined this time by the movement and the variation or modulation of one mode into another: this is what he calls the plurimodal. Only they can make the superimposition of the ‘traces’ finally ‘compossible’, and give metaphysics the amplitude that it should have…. But now it is variation itself that has to be considered equivalent to true beings. Alterity alters yet another degree. Difference differs even more differently.

“Heidegger is a typical case of a melody played on just one note, but the danger would be no less if one moved too quickly to define the unity of the melody by some collectivity greater or higher than the modes. This is why Souriau devotes the whole of his last chapter to guarding against the danger of returning too quickly to unity…. In the same way that each mode has the same dignity as all the others, one can say that each composition has the same dignity as all the others, without harmony or totality being able to predominate” (330 – 32).

I've explored holons in a number of threads, that is, the relation of parts to wholes. The “real and false reason” and “TOE and TFA” are 2 such examples. Here are some similar, yet delightfully 'twisted,' lemniscations from Bryant on mereology that distinguish it from AQAL holonics and sounds more like Latour above. From section 5.2 of TDOO:

“What we encounter here is what I call the 'strange mereology' of onticology and object-oriented philosophy. Mereology is that branch of mathematics, ontology, and logic that studies the relationship between parts and wholes. The study of mereology is highly complex and formalized, however onticology and object-oriented philosophy are concerned with a particular mereological relation; namely, that relation between objects where one object is simultaneously a part of another object and an independent object in its own right. To understand why this mereology is such a strange mereology, we must recall that all objects are independent or autonomous from one another. Objects can enter into exo-relations with one another, but they are not constituted by their relations. Put differently, their being does not consist of their relations. Consequently, the strangeness of this mereology lies in the fact that the subsets of a set, the smaller objects composing larger objects, are simultaneously necessary conditions for that larger object while being independent of that object. Likewise, the larger object composed of these smaller objects is itself independent of these smaller objects.

“Another way of putting this would be to say that there is no harmony or identity of parts and wholes. Parts aren't parts for a whole and the whole isn't a whole for parts. Rather, what we have are relations of dependency where nonetheless parts and wholes are distinct and autonomous from one another. In this respect, we must reject the thesis of holism.”

Let's see how Sean 'unifies' the various methodologies. On p. 152 he quotes Law as saying that not only do the various methodologies differ from one another but also that they "overlap and interact with one another." There is yet something in common with various enactments and Sean sees this as the "in-betweeness of its multiplicity." His method for coordinating them is the kosmic addressing system. He does note this though in footnote 24:

Mark Edwards pointed out to me—and I completely agree—that it is important to keep in mind that an approach to Kosmic addresses is enacting those addresses in a particular way. Integral Theory needs to spend more time developing and justifying how it has arrived at its own Kosmic address mailing system and how this system establishes its own system of addresses.”

That is, kennilingus kosmic addresses are themselves not givens but enacted from a particular perspective, one which has much more to do with metaphysics* than with a given altitude. The concept of altitude itself is taken as a given, 'proven' by a certain mathematics of complexity inherent to nested sets, which again provides a perspective (address) inconsistent with the likes of Latour or Bryant above. It serves no purpose to 'address' or pigeonhole the latter as merely green or pluralist because they do not accept the 'unifying' kennillingus addressing system. That is, other than to curtail their invaluable insights. We see Sean at least trying to do so but to date he has not explored the inherent biases of nested 'holism' in the kennilingus kosmos.

* For example see the IPN thread in general and this post in particular, which sums up the metaphysical foundation of kosmic addressing.

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