from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects
- One camp announces that the mind conforms to objects rather than objects to mind, thereby declaring mind the ultimate principle of transcendental philosophy.
- Another camp declares that objects and minds conform to language rather than language to objects.
- Yet another camp declares that objects and minds conform to history rather than history to objects and minds.
- Yet another camp declares that objects conform to Dasein, or the body, or power, technology, writing, or language games.
Between all these rival camps we discover that the ultimate principle or ground to which objects must conform is undecidable. For each of these camps is able to declare that it has discovered the nearest of the near and that which must therefore function as the regulative ground for our access to all else.
Given the utter failure of Critical Philosophy as evinced by its endless and irresolvable disputes, let us see whether we do proceed further in the thorny and obscure domain of metaphysics by beginning with the ultimate transcendental principle upon which all of these other principles are necessarily dependent. [...]
- Thus you get the Kantians talking about the constitutive role that mind plays, such that any philosophy that does not take this role into account is dogmatic.
- The Gadamerians and Foucaultians respond by making history the constitutive condition, denouncing the Kantians as dogmatically ignoring our fundamental historicity.
- The Kantian retorts that history wouldn’t be possible without these constitutive structures of mind.
- The Marxist Critical Theorist intervenes by showing how the Kantian categories are actually generated from economics.
- Derrida leaps in showing how all these folks are wrong because the role that Arche-Writing plays has not been taken into account.
Every one of these positions is able to one-up and explain the other position in terms of what it has located as the transcendental, and every position being denounced as dogmatic is able, in its own turn, to respond by showing how the allegedly critique is in fact dogmatic by the lights of its own critical structure.
- For example, the Husserlian denounces the Marxist for failing to carry out the reduction and engage in a phenomenological analysis of intentionality,
- while the Marxist turns around and denounces the Husserlian for failing to carry out a historical and economic investigation into the origins of his very conception of the world (i.e., the Marxist denounces the Husserlian for bourgeois individualism).
Students shuffling out of the classroom after a discussion of Platonic realism and the possibility of transcendent, objective values independent of culture, history, and individual determination.
- STUDENT: “This class is impossible.”
- ME (Alarmed): “Why?”
- STUDENT: “We come in here thinking we understand the world and now we discover that everything we think might be mistaken.”
Husserl begins with an obvious thesis – “look at the things themselves!” – yet in executing this project he unsettles our assumptions about what it is to experience the world and objects, opening a vast domain that continues to challenge central assumptions in cognitive science, psychology, the social sciences, etc. 5:27 AM 2:25 PM