Monday, May 27, 2013

Latour's modes, prepositions and unformatted space

Here's a recent Latour article on how he came to write his new book. Like kennilingus each mode has its own truth claims and procedures. Also within each mode there is a constant process of reworking, a development.

I also appreciated his differentiating between the complicated and the complex (11), reminiscent of this post. On 12-13 it seems his early notions in Irreductions are now recognized as but one of the modes, not a unifying principle. And this comment thereon:

"Like all modes it tends toward hegemony and tends to misunderstand the others."

Perhaps most interesting, in the beginning and end he sees his current project as a P2P endeavor, asking us--yes, each of us--to participate in creating this new knowledge. What a revolution in thinking from the "I created that line of investigation and it is my intellectual property, so pay up or get lost."

Still no hint yet though on the 2 supposed integrating modes to tie the others together.

A clue may be found in the Gifford lectures. At 44 he notes that we need a concept regarding the modes, "what in which they expand."  It is the non-formatted space, what James called the multiverse. That is, the multiverse is anterior to when actants are contextualized within a mode. And this speculation is of import: "The multiverse itself might be discontinuous" (52.) Which of course takes us back to the initial thread post on Latour, where "variation itself that has to be considered equivalent to true beings. Alterity alters yet another degree. Difference differs even more differently." And how this non-formated multiverse nonetheless, again using James (and Souriau), can be understood with prepositions which are "neither an ontological domain, nor a region, territory, sphere, or material." They are that which "prepares the what follows." Remember how I compared image schema here, which are embodied and pre-linguistic, and upon which various linguistic and philosophic modes build. And my suggestion to Balder that indeed prepositions as extensions of image schema might indeed be not just another mode (or part of speech) but what 'integrates' them in a sense.

Granted they are not completely unformatted, as the body is indeed a format. In that sense there are no completely unformatted spaces, that notion itself a holdover from the strict dichotomies of representationalism and perhaps an unconscious one even within the 'new' philosophies of OOO etc. Still, they are unformatted in terms of the epistemic knowledge fields or modes, even the ontologic modes of 'existence.' Hence we get in OOO, and even Latour, this notion that there is no assholon Nature or Environment, or Everything, with which I agree as far as it goes. But even this is not grounded in our neurological image schema, and how these ISs are themselves distributed outside us in larger hyperobject assemblages. See the OOO thread for this line of inquiry and how differance itself, as the unformatted space, is indeed an endo-structural pre-position for our multiverse.

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