Monday, July 30, 2012
Philosophy as virtuous excrescence
In this post on Stengers I asked how what she wrote on situating methodologies compares to Bryant's and Wilber's notions of methodological pluralism. In my research this morning I came up the following, from Gabriel Catren's chapter in The Speculative Turn, "Outland Empire":
"Philosophy therefore depends on what Badiou calls it systematicity, i.e., its capacity of globally compossibilizing the different local procedures--such as science, art or politics--in the horizon of a general economy. Local thought procedures are by definition...partial and unilateral.... Philosophy can be defined as a non-local procedure whose aim is to unfold a concrete and polychromatic experience of the real. If each mode of thought forces the mediation of a certain dimension of doxa and labors inside a given prismatic projection of the real, philosophy is endowed with a systematic or global degree of variation.... A philosophical experience depends upon a stereoscopic co-deployment of the complimentary intentional goals defined by the diverse local procedures....[which] exceed[s] that of which the local modes of thought are capable.
"Far from being an abstract survey, an 'empty transcendence,' an encyclopedic classification...the philosophical system opens up a polyphonic horizon of labor toward the effective production of diagonal or non-local forms of enacting and expanding experience.... In other words, each concrete mediator...is 'nothing more than a part alongside other parts, which it neither unifies or totalizes'.... Analogously, the idea of producing a total work of art capable of synthesizing all the existing arts brings forth nothing but a new artistic form among others, an 'operatic' whole which co-exists with the local arts and is 'contiguous to them,' a virtuous excrescence through which the set of artistic forms productively avoids its impossible totalization.... In other words, the philosophical system is a delocalized concrete machine capable of connecting and articulating the various local abstract machines...in a non-hierarchical way so as to set in place a generalized constructivism, a general musaic of thought" (345-6).
It seems that musaic is a neologism combing music and mosaic, quite nice, as in a musical composition that weaves various local themes and motifs, but is itself not an assholon composition of everything. I also like its characterization as a "virtuous excrescence."