Alchemy of the Example

This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

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Leading By Example, or, the power of a good example

Brian Massumi suggests in the introduction to his 2002 book “Parables For The Virtual” that the most Bergsonian form of argumentation follows from an “exemplary method,” by which he means supporting an argument through an example. There are three major arguments, which, while not stated explicitly, forms the subterranean structure by which Massumi makes his case for the example: singularity, detail, and connectability.

Continue reading “Leading By Example, or, the power of a good example”

PhD Exam Reading List

Area 1: Non-linear Historical Materialism Continue reading “PhD Exam Reading List”

Tiqqun Apocrypha Repost

A kind NYC blogger did a quick-dirty translation of the Agamben/Hazan discussion on Tiqqun. It was later taken down. I can’t speak to the quality of the translation, some things are obviously wrong (for instance the translator remarks that FC is male when in fact she is female…). I also do not know why it was taken down.

A few quick notes – the re-publication of the Tiqqun texts by La Fabrique weren’t without controversy among those who formerly made up Tiqqun, we see some of these issues arise in the panel. Additionally, I’m not sure why or who it was in the audience who kept on pushing Agamben on perceived issues of ‘praxis’ (so much so that he got up and left). The second half of the video (the exchanges between people) seems to be missing now, too. I don’t know if it was taken down in order to make the debate no longer public (which is reasonable if the issues could be settled between friends) or other reasons.

So without any further ado:

Continue reading “Tiqqun Apocrypha Repost”

Reading notes of Secondary lit on Derrida on Schmitt

COP: friend/enemy
Movement essay by Agamben = ‘politicization’
-like chantal mouffe?  (use of arendt?)
-“people” = biopolitical existence
derrida = non-politicization?
///////
secondary lit on POF, on Schmitt
Adam Thurschwell — agamben against derrida (but spectrality of friend/enemy = friend could be enemy…)
John Caputo — (p193 of article)
woman is the partisan to schmitt’s theory (PF156-7)

Nomos in homo sacer

1.           on Page 19:

“… the validity of the juridical order possible. The “ordering of space” that is, according to Schmitt, constitutive of the sovereign nomos is therefore not only a “taking of land” (Landesnahme)-the determination of a juridical and a territorial ordering ( …”

2.          on Page 20:

“… The camp-and not the prison-is the space that corresponds to this originary structure of the nomos. This is shown, among other things, by the fact that while prison law only constitutes a particular sphere of penal …”

3.          on Page 26:

“… the will of a subject hierarchically superior to all others, but rather represents the inscription within the body of the nomos of the exteriority that animates it and gives it meaning. …”

4.          on Page 27:

“… sovereign decision traces and from time to time renews this threshold of indistinction between outside and inside, exclusion and inclusion, nomos and physic, in which life is originarily excepted in law. …” Continue reading “Nomos in homo sacer”

From Nemsis to Autonomy: Nomos in Schmitt and Deleuze & Guattari

E Laroche wrote a philological study of the family of terms nem- nom- in Greek thought.  This document serves as a common reference for studies of distribution, common law, politics, and economics (think NUMerals, NUMbers, ecoNOMy, NEMesis, autoNOMy…).  For example, Marc Shell’s book The Economy of Literature use of the study is then picked up by Matthew Gumpert’s study when discussing Helen a figure of the libidinal economy of desire in classicism.

D&G generally use the Homeric sense of nomos (there’s a great footnoted in D&R on ‘nomadic distribution’ and Laroche’s philological study – developed in depth by a few, most notably R Bogue), which is generally contrasted with physis.  The nomos/physis opposition is a common reference in secondary literature but is usually in a laundry list with other terms and is never given an in depth treatment.  In Logic of Sense in the first appendix on simulacrum in ancient philosophy, there’s some great stuff on law/nature that could easily hook in.  The result payoff would be “autonomy”.

Schmitt’s use of nomos is post-Homeric [though he says it’s homeric in Nomos of the Earth – I’d like to be able to settle this without reading the laroche] and therefore deals with enclosure and property.  It’s meant to create a distribution of forces that results in the existential opposition of friend/enemy.  Some of Derrida’s work in “Politics of Friendship” deals with Schmitt and I could probably lean on it.  Additionally, there seems to be a JL Nancy connection that comes out the other end.

I’ve found one potentially useful direction to take the Schmitt that I haven’t read up on yet (the best article on the topic wasn’t available, so I had to ILL it).  J Herder, father of modern nationalism wrote an article in the 1780s on “Nemesis.”  I found a copy of Heder’s political letters that use the term nemesis, but only a scant 3 times.

In the middle of both D&G/Schmitt is a strange reading done by Agamben that I’ve had a hard time working through.  It’s mostly in Homo Sacer but is also in State of Exception.  From what I gather, it’s a veiled rejoinder to JLN’s “Cosmos Basileus” in Being Singular Plural.  Thanos Zartaloudis’ article “Without Negative Origins and Aboslute Ends: A Jurisprudence of the Singularity” looks like it will fruitfully bear on the topic.

In the end, I could probably link this all back up to Tiqqun’s notion of “civil war”.  I’m not sure about the tension between Schmitt’s notion of depoliticization and Deleuzian vitalism/capture, however.  One hint might be the argument I heard last weekend, which was that ‘attack is necessary to bring about an opening for communisation’.  This bears extended consideration.  I think the heart of the question is the connection between nemesis and autonomy (hence the working title of the paper).