• Joshs
    565
    "How could one present “present”? When we write or say something about our current present, we must think of the time of the occurrence of our sentences, which is our present time. This present time cannot be grasped as such: it is not yet or no longer present. It is always too soon or too late to grasp the presentation itself and present it. Such is the specific and paradoxical constitution of the event."

    Heidegger does a good job of explaining this. Each of the steps you mention, bringing something into view as something new, having it present, presenting it, grasping it, identifying it, using and referring to it, these are all further articulations which do refer back to that which they articulate , but in articulating further they subtly change what they articulate , by bringing out something new about it. This isn't a problem for us because such steps are experienced as dealing with, examining, having, pointing to, positing something present. Each transforms what it deals with in its own way, as bringing it into view in THIS or THAT manner.

    I've begun reading Deleuze again. I assume that is who you are quoting along with Massumi.
    Deleuze starts his philsophy from structures, forms, schemes,states that are always already interacting with each other. There is always multiplicity from the start, and yet, inside of multiplicity are temporary states, forms, frames, enclosures.

    I write about this.

    Heidegger and Derrida on Structure and Form.


    Philosophers in the post Hegel era, from Kierkegaard to Nietzsche, have recognized that Being, if it is to overcome metaphysics, must take into account, imply, differentiate from, structural beings while not being a structure itself. As a subject constructs and organizes an object via a valuative account, the object is conditioned by this subjective activity. But if that were the end of it, we would not move past Kant’s conditions of possibility. The subject must in turn be reciprocally conditioned by the object. The object grounded by the subject and the subject grounded by the object is a non-grounded grounding, or more precisely, an activity of reciprocal transformation.
    . Heidegger was committed to forging a path of thinking integrating, without succumbing to, the dominant philosophical traditions of the 20th century(dialectical and Neo-Kantian subjectivism and positivist empiricism).
    Heidegger laid the groundwork for this path in Being and Time. Being distinguishes itself as the unity of the mutual carrying out and trans-formative nature of beings-being. BT's challenge was to formulate the Ontological-Ontic Difference in such a way as to avoid rendering Being as grounding condition of possibility for beings, as unconditioned master concept, a first principle. Via the ontological difference, "Being grounds beings, and beings, as what IS most of all, account for Being. One comes over the other, one arrives in the other. Overwhelming and arrival appear in each other" (Heidegger, Identity and Difference).
    With the era initiated by the Kehre, Heidegger further developed a way to think the overcoming of the self-contradiction of a grounding concept that seeks to overcome objectification. Ereignis performs the unity of the difference between Being and Beings as differentiating event.


    If Heideggerian Being takes into account, implies, differentiates from, structural beings while not being a structure itself, what does it mean for beings to ’have a structure’? Words like rote and mechanical depict the effects of structure as generator of process of repetition of a dominating theme. And this is what many scholars target in Heidegger’s critique of technology and Gestell. But what is a structure in and of itself, prior to and outside of its production-reproduction? What is the meaning of structure as momentary state, before it is thought as programmatic process, as conversion, formulaic self-unfolding?

    Writers endorsing a general account of meaning as non-recuperable or non-coincidental from one instantiation to the next may nonetheless treat the heterogeneous contacts between instants of experience as transformations of fleeting forms, states, logics, structures, outlines, surfaces, presences, organizations, patterns, procedures, frames, standpoints. When thought as pattern, the structural-transcendental moment of eventness upholds a certain logic of internal relation; the elements of the configuration mutually signify each other and the structure presents itself as a fleeting identity, a gathered field. The particularity of eventness is not allowed to split the presumed (temporary) identity of the internal configuration that defines the structure as structure. History would be the endless reframing of a frame, the infinite shifting from paradigm to paradigm.


    It is this presumed schematic internality of eventness, the power of abstractive multiplicity given to the sign, which causes experience to be treated as resistant to its dislocation, as a lingering or resistant form, pattern, configuration, infrastructure. Of the numerous philosophers since Hegel who have attempted to resuce the subject-object scheme-content relation from metaphysical domination(Kierkegaard, Gadmaer, Levinas, Nietzsche), Heidegger and Derrida are the first to question and dismantle the very possibility of structure-pattern-scheme as subject or object. How so?

    Let us examine the phenomenon of structure more closely. How is structure composed? What is the structurality of structure? Contemporary philosophical thinking outside of Heidegger and Derrida tends to think the spatial frame of structure as enclosure of co-present elements. It is an internality, full presence, a resting in itself and an auto-affection. Structure would be a pattern framing a finite array of elements . It would be a system of classification, a vector or center of organization. We can think pattern in abstract(the structure of democracy) or concrete( the structure of a house) terms. A structure has properties in the minimal sense that it is defined by its center, that which organizes and, determines it thematically as that which is the bearer of its attributes, that according to which its elements are aligned. Structure is plurality of the identical.

    If a structure is an organization of elements, those elements themselves are structures. The object is structure in that it is self-presence, its turning back to itself in order to be itself as presence, subsistence, auto-affection, the ‘this as itself’. Therefore structure would be irreducible. It would be the primordial basis of beings as objects (point of presence, fixed origin) as internality, space as frame, subsistence, pure auto-affection, representation , category, law, self-presence itself. Also value, will, norm. So much rides on where we begin from in thinking about beginnings.

    In various writings Derrida deconstructs the notion of structure. He argues that structure implies center, and at the center, transformation of elements is forbidden. But he says in fact there is no center, just the desire for center. If there is no center, there is no such singular thing as structure, only the decentering thinking of the structurality of structure.

    “Henceforth, it was necessary to begin thinking that there was no center, that the center could not be thought in the form of a present-being, that the center had no natural site, that it was not a fixed locus but a function, a sort of non-locus in which an infinite number of sign-substitutions came into play. This was the moment when language invaded the universal problematic, the moment when, in the absence of a center or origin, everything became discourse-provided we can agree on this word-that is to say, a system in which the central signified, the original or transcendental signified, is never absolutely present outside a system of differences.”(Sign, Structure and Play, Writing and Difference p352)


    “The iterability of an element divides its own identity a priori, even without taking into account that this identity can only determine or delimit itself through differential relations to other elements and hence that it bears the mark of this difference. It is because this iterability is differential, within each individual "element" as well as between "elements", because it splits each element while constituting it, because it marks it with an articulatory break, that the remainder, although indispensable, is never that of a full or fulfilling presence; it is a differential structure escaping the logic of presence..(Limited Inc p53)."


    In their essence, Beings don’t HAVE structure or constitution. There is no such THING as a form, a structure, a state. There is no trans-formation but rather a trans-differentiation, (transformation without form, articulation as dislocation) What is being transcended is not form but difference. Each of the elements in the array that define a structure are differences .They do not belong to a structure . They are their own differentiation. There is no gathering, cobbling , synthesis, relating together, only a repetition of differentiation such that what would have been called a form or structure is a being the same differently from one to the next. Not a simultaneity but a sequence. So one could not say that form of nature is the way in which nature transitions through and places itself into the forms and states that, from a schematic perspective, constitute the path of its movement, and nature turns into natural things, and vice versa. Nature would not transition through forms and states, Nature, as difference itself, transitions though differential transitions. Differences are not forms. Forms are enclosures of elements organized according to a rule. Forms give direction. Difference does not give direction, it only changes direction. What are commonly called forms are a temporally unfolding system of differences with no organizing rule, no temporary ‘it’. The transformation is from one differential to the next before one ever gets to a form.

    Schemes, conceptual, forms, intentions, willings have no actual status other than as empty ontic abstractions invoked by individuals who nevertheless, in their actual use of these terms, immediately and unknowingly transform the senses operating within (and defining) such abstractions in subtle but global ways concealed by but overrunning what ontically understood symbols, bits, assemblies, bodies, frames and other states are supposed to be , even if (and especially when) Ereignis as transformative event names the overturning of being as Ge-stell. The briefest identification of a so-called state is an unknowing experiencing of temporally unfolding multiplicity of differences. This is the ontological being of the ontic notion of structure, in the service of which Heidegger puts the old word to work as its deconstruction. In Heidegger’s fundamental ontological ‘forms’ one finds nothing like a structure in any commonly understood sense, only what would be difference as the hermeneutical ‘as’, heedful association, ‘being underway’, producing, project, existing, temporality, care, the 'is', disclosiveness.


    In BT, ‘What is a Thing’ and other writings, Heidegger describes a structure-thing as the bearer of properties and underlies qualities. A thing is a nucleus around which many changing qualities are grouped, or a bearer upon which the qualities rest, something that possesses something in itself. It has an internal organization. But Heidegger doesn’t settle for this present to hand account. In a gesture allied with Derrida, he thinks the structurality of structure as the Being of beings. But he doesn’t do this by conceiving Being via the transitioning through and placing itself into, the turning toward and away from, structures, forms, schemes. This would be to pre-suppose the metaphysical concept of structure as present to hand state, and thus leave it unquestioned. It would not only leave it unquestioned , but confuse ontological-ontic difference with ontic-ontic difference. What I see Heidegger doing is locating transformation within structure, as Derrida does in his own way. Heidegger’s discussion of propositional statements in BT sec 33 is key here. In this section he derives the apophantic ‘as’ structure of propositional logic from the hermeneutical ‘as’.

    As an "ontologically insufficient interpretation of the logos", what the mode of interpretation of propositional statement doesn't understand about itself is that thinking of itself as external 'relating' makes the propositional 'is' an inert synthesis, and conceals its ontological basis as attuned, relevant taking of 'something AS something'. In accordance with this affected-affecting care structure, something is understood WITH REGARD TO something else. This means that it is taken together with it, but not in the manner of a synthesizing relating. Heidegger instead describes the 'as' as a "confrontation that understands, interprets, and articulates, [and] at the same time takes apart what has been put together." Transcendence locates itself in this way within the very heart of the theoretical concept. Simply determining something AS something is a transforming-performing. It "understands, interprets, and articulates", and thereby "takes apart" and changes what it affirms by merely pointing at it, by merely having it happen to 'BE' itself.
    Heidegger’s hermeneutical ‘as’ functions as Derrida’s differential system of signs. Something is something only as differential . Articulation of the ‘is’ transforms in order to articulate. That is, articulation, hinge, IS the ‘in order to’. Thus, the problem of the primordial grounding of the ’is', and the analysis of the logos are the same problem.
    Heidegger writes:

    "...if the formal characteristics of "relation" and "binding" cannot contribute anything
    phenomenally to the factual structural analysis of the logos, the phenomenon intended with the term copula finally has nothing to do with bond and binding."(BT,p160)
    "The "is" here speaks transitively, in transition. Being here becomes present in the manner of a transition to beings. But Being does not leave its own place and go over to beings, as though beings were first without Being and could be approached by Being subsequently. Being transits (that), comes unconcealingly over (that) which arrives as something of itself unconcealed only by that coming-over." “That differentiation alone grants and holds apart the "between," in which the overwhelming and the arrival are held toward one another, are borne away from and toward each other."(Identity and Difference.p.64)

    This is the method of Heidegger’s decentering thinking of the structurality of structure.
    The thinking of structure as a singularity implies a multiplicity of supposed ‘parts’ captured in an instant of time. But the assumption that we think this parallel existence of differences at the ‘same time’, as the ‘same space’, organized and centered as a ‘THIS’, must unravel with the knowledge that each differential singular is born of and belongs irreducibly to, even as it is a transformation of, an immediately prior element . Two different elements cannot be presumed to exist at the same time because each single element is its own time(the hinged time of the pairing of a passed event with the presencing of a new event) as a change of place. Thus, whenever we think that we are theorizing two events at the same time, we are unknowingly engaging in a process of temporal enchainment and spatial re-contextualization. The assumption of a spatial frame depends on the ability to return to a previous element without the contaminating effect of time. How can we know that elements of meaning are of the same spatial frame unless each is assumed to refer back to the same ‘pre-existing’ structure?
    The same goes for the fixing of a point of presence as a singular object. This pointing to, and fixing of, an itself as itself is a thematic centering that brings with it all the metaphysical implications of the thinking of a structural center. Heidegger’s ‘as’(which is not a structure in itself but a differential) explains, derives and deconstructs form, structure, thing before it can ever establish itself as a ‘this’.

    The issue here centers on the understanding of Heideggerian temporality.
    Is there a notion of transformation, transcendence, differentiation, event , performance that
    doesn't 'take time' but also avoids being a state, concept, intention, presence, structure? Is it possible to think of such a notion without inadvertently lapsing into metaphysical totalization? To fail to deconstruct the concept of structure is to conceive the ‘both-together’ of past-present-future as a conjunction of separate, adjacent phases or aspects: the past which conditions the present entity or event, and the present object which supplements that past. It is not that these these phases are considered as unrelated, only that they each must are presumed to carve out their own temporary identities in order to arrive at a notion of stricture-pattern-scheme as an identity. The association between past and present would be a fracturing, the fracture between Self and Other, between immanence and transcendence, rather than Heidegger’s ecstatic unity. Ontological-Ontic difference is misread as difference between presences. As the overcoming-arriving difference of Heideggerian temporality, it is difference WITHIN presence.
    Temporality as a 'split' within will, intention, presence is misread if it is thought as smaller bits of presence. Penetrating the veil of the formal permeating our language of the things within us and around us is not a matter of discovering smaller, faster, dumber, more interactive ‘bits’ within the unities of current approaches, for that would simply displace the issues we’ve discussed onto a miniaturized scale. It is a matter of revealing perhaps an entirely different notion of the basis of entities than that of the freeze-frame state. Being is not an interiority or enclosure(or in between enclosure and overcoming as the event of their differentiation). On the contrary, it exposes and subverts the presumed interiority of conceptuality, representation, will from within its own resources, in the same moment.

    To read Being and Time starting from the 'is', not as conceptual binding but as the transit of
    'overwhelming and arrival', de-thrones logos, structure, concept and representation, relegating them to where and how we actually find them in BT, as special derived modifications of the hermeutical 'as'.

    How are we to do we understand Heidegger's admonitions concerning the
    dangers of Gestell? What does one make of those who have not read Heidegger, who have not grasped what he was aiming at, who battle against what they see as the dangerous 'anti-science' relativisms of postmodern thinking, who contribute to the universal objectification of being? As Heidegger points out in Identity and Difference, "the manner in which the matter of thinking-Being-comports itself, remains a unique state of affairs. The inauthentic modes of the ready-to-hand, the present-to-hand, average everydayness, authentic Being, Ereignis all mark different factical experiences. Yet what is common to all possible modes of Being is a certain radical mobility. This means that there is, every moment , within the thinking of each individual who participates in the most apparently rigidly schematic orientations, a radical mobility WITHIN the will to conceptual schematism that is easy to miss (and in fact has been missed for most of Western history , according to Heidegger). Even if the effect of this mobility is subtle enough that it appears for all intents and purposes as though the reign of the dominating objectivizing scheme were absolute, it is crucial to recognize that even in such situations that seem to exemplify the a priori neutralization of otherness, a more originary but radically self-dissimulating a priori, that of Being, is in play, always right now, this instant.

    Within and beyond states, forms and structures, lies a universe of barely self-exceeding accents, modulations, aspects, variations, ways of working. Not variations or modulations of STATES but modulations of modulations. The worlds generated from (but never overtaking) this intricate process may be clumsily described via the terminology of patterned interactions between states, but at the cost of missing the profound ongoing internal relatedness and immediacy of this underlying, overflowing movement.
    Heidegger reveals Being as an interface both more intrinsically self-transformative and implicatively self-consistent than current views allow for.
    The belief in temporary discrete states stifles the intimately interactive potential of their approaches by making the whole works dependent on irreducible units of formal resistance and polarization.
    Rather than originating in an invasive, displacing outside. of interactions between partially independent regions, the ‘isness’ of Being is already articulated as intersections of intersections, metaphors of metaphors(as metaphoricity itself), guaranteeing that the person as a whole always functions as an implicatory unity at the very edge of experience. Before there is self or world , there would be this single-split gesture, co-implicating continuity and qualitative transformation in such a way that existing maintains a unity which recognizes itself, at every moment, the ‘same differently’. Aspects hidden within so-called present forms and structures, unique to the implicative thrust of my own existing, belong to me in a fashion that exceeds my own calculative grasp even as it transcends strictly shared social normativity. On the contrary, the radically inseparable interaffecting between my history and new experience exposes me to the world in an immediate, constant and thoroughgoing manner, producing every moment a global reshaping of my sense of myself and others outpacing the transformative impetus realized via a narrative conception of socialization. I am not arguing that the meaning of social cues is simply person-specific rather than located intersubjectively as an impersonal expressive agency. Before there is a pre-reflective personal ‘I’ or interpersonal ‘we’, there is already within what would be considered THE person a fully social site of simultaneously subjective-objective process overtaking attempts to understand human action based on either within-person constancies or between-person conditionings. Events understood as interaffectings of interaffectings, working within and beyond relations among presumed temporary essences (conceptual, affective-bodily, interpersonal), do not achieve their gentle integrative continuity through any positive internal power. On the contrary, they simply lack the formidability of static identity necessary to impose the arbitrariness of conditioning, mapping, mirroring, grafting and cobbling, on the movement of experiential process.



    Most readings of Heidegger(Gadamer, Levinas) view the mutual carrying out and trans-formative nature of beings-being as implying, including, and carrying along with it rather than erasing the internal composition of a structure of a being-to-be-modified. Being for them is substance and movement . Being is nature itself as the transformative substance and movement that goes across and beyond formation. Being is the ‘in between’ the subjective conditioning of the object and the objective conditioning of the subject. So the array of elements that are organized and thought together, at once, thematically as this structure-form are carried into their trans-formation(we could also say trans-structuration).

    But I have argued here that the purpose of Heidegger's investigation of propositionality is not to identify theoretical objects as ontological givens for Being, but to establish propositional object, concept, representation, Gestell, as ontic existents in order to reveal them more rigorously as grounded ontologically (in the sense of fundamental ontology) in primordial unconcealment. Most readings of Heidegger(Gadamer, Levinas) do the reverse, attempting to ground fundamental ontology, and all of the modal analyses which spring from it, in what for Heidegger is the ontic plane of propositional representation.
    In other words, they reduce the ontological difference to a difference between two ontic determinations. Being conceived as the performative difference between schematism and existence is a difference between two ontic determinations and therefore is itself on the ontic plane of propositionality. It is a present to hand thinking masquerading as post-metaphysical.

    When one begins from the subjectivism of representationality, the way of out of Kantian a priorism must stand as the absolute other to representation, that is to say, it must arrive in the guise of the performance of the differentiation between Subjective structuring and Objective determination. Only in this way can the empirically conditioned and contingent beginning of thought avoid being mistaken for a Kantian unconditioned ground of possibility. Heidegger and Derrida give us a way to avoid grounding fundamental ontology in the performative difference between schematism and existence as its condition of possibility.
  • Number2018
    245

    367
    ↪Number2018 "How could one present “present”? When we write or say something about our current present, we must think of the time of the occurrence of our sentences, which is our present time. This present time cannot be grasped as such: it is not yet or no longer present. It is always too soon or too late to grasp the presentation itself and present it. Such is the specific and paradoxical constitution of the event."

    Heidegger does a good job of explaining this. Each of the steps you mention, bringing something into view as something new, having it present, presenting it, grasping it, identifying it, using and referring to it, these are all further articulations which do refer back to that which they articulate , but in articulating further they subtly change what they articulate , by bringing out something new about it. This isn't a problem for us because such steps are experienced as dealing with, examining, having, pointing to, positing something present. Each transforms what it deals with in its own way, as bringing it into view in THIS or THAT manner.
    Joshs
    I disagree. Our present time is composed of primarily cinematographic, telecommunicational duration.
    The problem is that in most cases we do not realize how we perceive as well how we are perceived while being part of this radical novelty of our temporality.

    “In the Time Image, “time is out of joint;” movement subordinates itself to time: time causes aberration or normalization in movement, the objects are not acting to cause change, but time inflicts change on them. The images are experienced as pure “opsigns” and “sonsigns,” images that are not going anywhere, but “empty, disconnected, abandoned spaces” that instead of inspiring the question “what is there to see in the next image,” make us ask, “what is there to see in the image?” These disconnected images link up (or “re-link”) with “recollection images” and “dream images” unlike the “action images” and “affection images” of the Movement Image. Again, Deleuze’s concepts for the new cinema resonate with those developed in new media. For Deleuze, these images are moving towards a more open whole: recollection images expand the present (through metonymy), dream images expand the whole or world (through metamorphosis or metaphor). These images embody both the actual and virtual, and make indiscernable the real from the imaginary, the outside and inside, the out of set/frame and in set. This shock or confusion inspires around our perceiving senory-motor schema (which Deleuze sees as the seat of ideology) to create new thought.
    When Deleuze speaks of bringing about a direct representation of time, he seems to be speaking about realization beyond the pro-filmic world, but a realization of time within the audience, an experience of stepping out of language and actually experiencing a duration. Deleuze describes the Time Image as something which may not exist in perfection (or even abundance) within cinema, but a limit that cinema can approach.”

    In other words, they reduce the ontological difference to a difference between two ontic determinations. Being conceived as the performative difference between schematism and existence is a difference between two ontic determinations and therefore is itself on the ontic plane of propositionality. It is a present to hand thinking masquerading as post-metaphysical.

    When one begins from the subjectivism of representationality, the way of out of Kantian a priorism must stand as the absolute other to representation, that is to say, it must arrive in the guise of the performance of the differentiation between Subjective structuring and Objective determination. Only in this way can the empirically conditioned and contingent beginning of thought avoid being mistaken for a Kantian unconditioned ground of possibility. Heidegger and Derrida give us a way to avoid grounding fundamental ontology in the performative difference between schematism and existence as its condition of possibility.
    Joshs

    I doubt that Heidegger and Derrida are able to give us a way out. Derrida’s differance is impossible without negative theology, which
    definitely belongs to “schematism.”
    As Adorno showed, Heidegger’s primary distinction between ontic
    and ontological is profoundly controversial and applies a variety of linguistic manipulations. Therefore, both gestures, however attractive they look, are not the absolute other to representation.

    How deeply rooted are the societal elements in
    Heidegger's analysis of authenticity is involuntarily
    revealed by his use of language. As is well known,
    Heidegger supplants the tradition al category of subjectivity
    by Dasein , whose essence is existence . Being,
    however, which "is an issue for this entity in its very
    Being, is in each case mine . " This is mean t to distinguish
    subjectivity from all other existent beings. It
    intends, furthermore, to prohibit existence from being
    "taken ontologically as an instance or special case of
    some genus of entities as things that are present-at-hand.”
    This construction, which is inspired by Kierkegaard's
    doctrine of the "transparency" of the self ,
    would like to make possible a starting out from some
    element of being. This latter is valued as the immediate
    givenness of the facts of consciousness in traditional
    epistemology; yet, at the same time, this element of
    being is supposed to be more than mere fact, in the
    same manner as the ego of speculative idealism once
    was. Behind the apersonal "is concerned," nothing
    more is hidden than the fact that Dasein is consciousness.
    The entrance of this formula is Heidegger's scene
    a faire . From an abstract concept Being turns into
    something absolute and primary, which is not merely
    posited. The reason for this lies in the fact that Heidegger
    reveals an element of Being and calls it Dasein,
    which would be not just some element of Being, but
    the pure condition of Being-all this without losing
    any of the characteristics of individuation, fullness,
    bodiliness . This is the scheme that the jargon follows ,
    intentionally or unintentionally, to the point of nausea.
    The jargon cures Dasein from the wound of meaninglessness
    and summons salvation from the world of
    ideas into Dasein. Heidegger lays this down once and
    for all in the title deed, which declares that the person
    owns himself. The fact that Dasein belongs to itself,
    that it is "in each case mine," is picked out from individuation
    as the only general definition that is left
    over after the dismantling of the transcendental subject
    and its metaphysics . The principium individuation’s
    stands as a principle over and against any particular
    individual element. At the same time it is that
    essence . In the case of the former element, the
    Hegelian dialectical unity of the general and the particular
    is turned into a relation of possession. Then it
    is given the rank and rights of the philosophical
    a priori. "Because Dasein has in each case mineness
    one must always use a personal pronoun when
    one addresses it." The distinction between authenticity
    and inauthenticity-the real Kierkegaardian one
    -depends on whether or not this element
    of being,
    Dasein, chooses itself, its mineness . Until further
    notice, authenticity and inauthenticity have as their
    criterion the decision in which the individual subject
    chooses itself as its own possession . The subject, the
    concept of which was once created in contrast to reification,
    thus becomes reified . Yet at the same time
    reification is s c offed at objectively in a form of language
    which simultaneously commits the same crime .
    The general concept o f mineness , in which this language
    institutes subjectivity as a possession of itself,
    sounds like a variant of meanness in Berlin slang .
    Whatever formerly went under the name o f existential
    and existentiell now insists on this new title deed of
    possession . By the fact that it is ontological , the alternative
    of authenticity and inauthenticity directs itself
    according to whether someone decides for himself or
    not. I t take s its directive, beyond real states of affairs,
    from the highly form al sense of belonging to oneself.
    Yet its consequences in reality are extremely grave.
    Once such an ontology of what is most on tic h a s been
    achieved, philosophy no longer has to bother about
    the societal and natural-historical origin of this title
    deed, which declares that the individual own s himself .
    Such a philosophy need no longer be concerned with
    how far society and psychology allow a man to b e himself
    or become himself, or whether in the concept of
    such selfness the old evil is concentrated one more
    time . The societal relation, which seals itself off in
    the identity of the subject, is de-societalized into an
    in-itself. The individual, who himself can no longer
    rely on any firm possession, holds on to himself in his
    extreme abstractness as the last, the supposedly unlosable
    possession. Metaphysics ends in a miserable
    Consolation : after all, one still remains what one is.
    Since men do not remain what they are b y any means,
    neither socially nor biologically, they gratify themselves
    with the stale remainder of self-identity as
    something which gives distinction, both in regard to
    being and meaning. This unlosable element, which
    has no substratum but its own concept, the tautological
    selfness of the self, is to provide the ground, as Heidegger
    calls it, which the authentic possess and the
    inauthentic lack. The essence of Dasein , i. e . , what is
    more than its mere existence is nothing but its selfness
    : it is itself. The quarrel with Heidegger's language
    is not the fact that it is permeated, like any
    philosophical language, with figures from an empirical
    reality which it would like to transcend, but that it
    transforms a bad empirical reality into transcendence."
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    I disagree. Our present time is composed of primarily cinematographic, telecommunicational duration.Number2018

    What is "cinematographic, telecommunicational duration"?
  • Joshs
    565
    You're going to quote Adorno against Heidegger? Oh dear.
    I'm afraid we'll have to take a few steps back from Heidegger then. I don't think we're quite ready for him.
    If you really endorse Adorno's reading of Heidegger you've got a got of a conflict on your hands. Because you cannot at the same time read Hedeigger this way, and think of Derrida's work as a 'negative theology"(where did you read this?), while approvingly quoting Deleuze without running the risk of misinterpreting Deleuze. Why do I say this?
    Let's look at the alignments.Deleuze never wrote about Heidegger, but we know Derrida is very close to Heidegger. We also know that Derrida wrote he didnt find anything objectionalble in deleuze's ideas. We also know that a community of post-structuralists including Foucault, Deleuze, Jean-Luc Nancy, Lyotard and Derrida were united in their reading of Nietzsche against
    existentialist interpretations of him. We also know that Nancy talked of his close proximity in thinking to both Derrida and Deleuze, and his debt to Heideger as another post-Nietzschean thinker. My assumption is that neither Foucault, Deleuze, Lyotard or Nancy would agree with Adorno's Kierkegaardian reading of Heidegger. Furthermore, the post-structuralists were united in rejecting Adorno's Hegelian emancipatory thinking, and none of them would likely refer to Derida's approach as negative theology.

    So maybe you've been reading Deleuze through Adorno.


    Let's talk about Adorno. . Have you found his writing to be particularly useful to you?
    What do you think about his orienting of living in an emancipatory direction? Do you see any imcompatability between his dialectical teleology and Deleuze's Nietzschean notion of becoming? From my reading, by the latter part of Deleuze's career he had finally succeeded in ridding his thinking of the vestiges of marxist and psychoanalytic doctrine.
    Concerning time as duration, may be you could talk a little about how you understand Deleuze's concept of duration. Do you see it as similar to Bergson's?
  • Number2018
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    I disagree. Our present time is composed of primarily cinematographic, telecommunicational duration.
    — Number2018

    What is "cinematographic, telecommunicational duration"?
    Terrapin Station

    When you come to the cinema, or when you watch the news or a show, or when you get
    exposed to a multiplicity of communicational, computerized factors at the office, you become an object of a tremendous number of forces and manipulating techniques. They are wrapped up, contracted, and operate instantaneously. Most of us experience these situations as entirely natural and adequate. Yet, it is known and well documented how shocking could be the first encounter with the cinema, a computer, or a cell phone.

    McLuhan:
    “This man—the sanitary
    inspector—made a moving picture, in very slow time, very slow technique,
    of what would be required of the ordinary household in a primitive African
    village in getting rid of standing water—draining pools, picking up all empty
    tins and putting them away, and so forth. We showed this film to an audience and asked them what they had seen, and they said they had seen a chicken, a fowl, and we didn't know that there was a fowl in it! So we very carefully scanned the frames one by one for this fowl, and, sure enough, for about a second, a fowl went over the corner of the frame.
    Someone had frightened the fowl and it had taken flight, through the right hand, bottom segment of the frame. This was all that had been seen. The other things he had hoped they would pick up from the film they had not picked up at all, and they had picked frame. This was all that had been seen. The other things he had hoped they would pick up from the film they had not picked up at all, and they had picked up something, which we didn't know was in the film until we inspected it
    minutely. Why? We developed all sorts of theories. Perhaps it was the sudden movement of the chicken. Everything else was done in slow technique - people going forward slowly picking up the tin, demonstrating and all the rest of it, and the bird was apparently the one bit of reality for them. For them there was another theory that the fowl had religious significance, which we rather dismissed.


    Our private senses are not closed systems but are endlessly
    translated into each other in that experience which we call consciousness.
    Our extended senses, tools, technologies, through the ages, have been closed systems incapable of interplay or collective awareness. Now, in the electric age, the very instantaneous nature of co-existence among our technological instruments has created a crisis quite new in human history. Our extended faculties and senses now constitute a single field of experience which demands faculties and senses now constitute a single field of experience which demands that they become collectively conscious. Our technologies, like our private senses, now demand an interplay and ratio that makes rational co-existence possible.”
  • Terrapin Station
    8.5k


    So, a cinematographic duration is?
  • Number2018
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    If you really endorse Adorno's reading of Heidegger you've got a got of a conflict on your hands.Joshs
    First, I do not endorse. Second, it was not just about Adorno’s reading of Heidegger. As far as I see it, this book reflected his existential position,his fight, and "Jurgon of Authenticity" is the least dialectical, and the most concrete Adorno's book. Later, Bordieu further developed
    Adorno's ideas, without any support of "Kierkegardian reading". I think that "Jargon" attempted
    to tie German existentializm (not just Heidegger)with the general spirit of that time. The book is not a "reading", it is not about interpretarion or hermeneutics.
    Let's look at the alignments.Deleuze never wrote about Heidegger, but we know Derrida is very close to Heidegger. We also know that Derrida wrote he didnt find anything objectionalble in deleuze's ideas. We also know that a community of post-structuralists including Foucault, Deleuze, Jean-Luc Nancy, Lyotard and Derrida were united in their reading of Nietzsche against
    existentialist interpretations of him. We also know that Nancy talked of his close proximity in thinking to both Derrida and Deleuze, and his debt to Heideger as another post-Nietzschean thinker. My assumption is that neither Foucault, Deleuze, Lyotard or Nancy would agree with Adorno's Kierkegaardian reading of Heidegger.
    Joshs

    As far as I know, Lyotard adopted Adorno's ideas from "Negative dialectic" in his book about Heidegger.
    I think that this kind of discussion is not constructive, since it is always possible to ground any
    favourable opinion. We can point out names, schools, opinions, and interpretations; yet we do not improve our understanding, and we do not solve problems that preoccupy us. But, I could point out that both Foucault and Deleuze developed their own “reading” of Nietzsche, utterly different from Heidegger’s. If Deleuze or Foucault did not mention him, that means that they did not find it useful and relevant.
    Lyotard (“Heidegger and Jews”), Bourdieu (“Political ontology of Martin Heidegger”), and Derrida (“Of Spirit: “Heidegger and Question”) took an active role in the discussion about Heidegger.
    I think that this topic can consume too much time .


    the post-structuralists were united in rejecting Adorno's Hegelian emancipatory thinking, and none of them would likely refer to Derrida's approach as negative theology.Joshs

    Ok, in principle, I don't mind Derrida or Heidegger, they simply do not help me right now.
    I feel that I cannot solve my problems applying their thought.
  • Number2018
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    Let's talk about Adorno. . Have you found his writing to be particularly useful to you?Joshs
    Yes, I want to talk about Adorno’s Aesthetics. This work is fundamental and encyclopedic.So, lt
    could be interesting to try to apply his aesthetics to contemporary art. (maybe performance art) I use his writing as a counterexample, as an experiment - why his great thought does not work anymore? I love "Dialectic of Enlightenment".

    Concerning time as duration, may be you could talk a little about how you understand Deleuze's concept of duration. Do you see it as similar to Bergson's?Joshs

    Instead,I would prefer to come back to your model of counscessness,
    and during this discussion I would lay out my understanding.

    "The mind functions as an inseparable interaction with environment and body. It is nothing but this interaction. There is no self-identical self in this model. Self is a bi-product of the constant constructive interactive activity of the organism-envirnmental interaction. Consciousness is not self-conscious in the sense of being able to turn back on itself and grasp itself identically. To reflect back on the self is to alter what one turns back to. The impression we get of consciousness as the commander of decision, as unfolding meaning as a linear causal sequence of nows (one damn thing after another), is the result of the way linguistic grammar is constructed , But rather than a single linear causal intentional vector, consciousness can more accurately de described as a site of competing streams offragmented perceptions and conceptualizations jostling for attention. Consciousness, far from being the self-knowing commander, is besieged from unconscious processes and bodily affects that interact with and shape consciousnessoutside of its awareness. So the notion of agent is a bit of an illusion, there is no ghost in the machine, it is more of a community.of interaffecting agents. Consciousness performs a momentary synthetic function, making it appear that this community is a single 'I'." When you write: “Consciousness performs a momentary synthetic function”, how do you understand this operation? What does it mean “Consciousness performs”? And -" a momentary synthetic function"? There are some approches trying to apply the notion of autopoiesis.
    I am afraid that you will again try to apply Heideggerian-Derrida’s temporalities. What about Merleu-Pontu? Or, anything different?
  • Josh Alfred
    104
    Thanks for sharing that it helps me understand what I couldn't put to words.
  • Joshs
    565
    I love "Dialectic of Enlightenment".
    "I would prefer to come back to your model of counscessness, and during this discussion I would lay out my understanding."

    We can discuss my model of consciousness. In order to frame that discussion, I would like to set up a dichotomy and see what you think of it. On the one side would be discourses which follow upon Hegel-Marx. These would include Adorno, Habermas, Badiou, Jameson, Althusser and Zizek. On the other would be post-structuralists such as Foucault, Deleuze, Lyotard and Nancy. I'm not saying that this dichotomy I want to set up is entirely faithful to all the differences within and between these groups. I just would like to know what you think of it.

    While there is a shared interest uniting the Marxist and poststructurlist thinkers regarding the need to subvert representational norms, ideologies, network of significations, what would unite the Marxist group is the use of a dialectics(negative for Marx and Adorno, affirmative for Badiou) that thinks history in terms of an emancipatory telos. That is to say , while they reject an enlightenment notion of progress, they maintain a certain messianism in their faith in radical progressive political becoming. This marks the modernist element in their thinking.

    The post-structuralists, in contrast, make the postmodern philosophical move of putting into question the justification of any notion of emancipation. They read Nietzsche as determining a trajectory of emancipation as originating in a Will to emancipation, which must be subordinate to Will to Power, which has no emancipatory or any other telos. The only trajectory of Will to Power is difference. For them , political history is not diaelctically emancipatory but incimmensurably geneological.

    Merleau-Ponty had been claimed by both the dialectical and the postmodern camps. I prefer to read him as postmodern. The philosophy of mind-cognitive sicence community that is elaborating enactive, embodied, embedded, extended affective auto-poeitic accounts includes both modernist and postmodernist writers. I prefer to read Gallagher as postmodern post-emancipatory.

    I think its important to recognize a distinction between what a writer like Deleuze is trying to do
    and what radical post-marxist emanciaptory thinkers like Zizek and Badiou are aiming at.
  • Number2018
    245

    I would like to set up a dichotomy and see what you think of it. On the one side would be discourses which follow upon Hegel-Marx. These would include Adorno, Habermas, Badiou, Jameson, Althusser and Zizek. On the other would be post-structuralists such as Foucault, Deleuze, Lyotard and Nancy.Joshs

    Definitely, in spite of enormous differences within each group, it is possible to set up this dichotomy. Maybe, one could add Baudrillard to the second group.

    While there is a shared interest uniting the Marxist and poststructurlist thinkers regarding the need to subvert representational norms, ideologies, network of significations, what would unite the Marxist group is the use of a dialectics(negative for Marx and Adorno, affirmative for Badiou) that thinks history in terms of an emancipatory telos. That is to say , while they reject an enlightenment notion of progress, they maintain a certain messianism in their faith in radical progressive political becoming. This marks the modernist element in their thinking.Joshs

    I agree.

    The post-structuralists, in contrast, make the postmodern philosophical move of putting into question the justification of any notion of emancipation. They read Nietzsche as determining a trajectory of emancipation as originating in a Will to emancipation, which must be subordinate to Will to Power, which has no emancipatory or any other telos. The only trajectory of Will to Power is difference. For them , political history is not diaelctically emancipatory but incimmensurably geneological.Joshs

    I am not sure that Nietzsche inspired Lyotard or Baudrillard, and I doubt that “The only trajectory of Will to Power is difference” is the essential principle for all “post-structuralists”. Yet, I agree with the general meaning of your formula. I would add to your account that for both Deleuze and Foucault it was essential to convert their thought into their becoming, to transform it into their own experimental de-individualized emancipation of a new kind. (even though both projects of becoming were entirely different)

    I think its important to recognize a distinction between what a writer like Deleuze is trying to do
    and what radical post-marxist emanciaptory thinkers like Zizek and Badiou are aiming at.
    Joshs

    I agree. I do not entirely understand what Zizek does. Sometimes it looks like he does not take his Marxism seriously; being eclectic and inconsistent, he makes an appearance of a kind of Nietzschean-Dionysian becoming. Or, is it just a simulation?
  • Number2018
    245

    We can discuss my model of consciousness.Joshs

    I’d like to get back to the first post of this thread. The financial trader in the trade room may represent a good case to check the appropriateness of different models of consciousness. She looks at diagrams, curves, and various types of data, surrounded by computer’s screens, assisted by numerous machines, makes decisions about price-setting in real time. It is possible to distinguish four separate heterogenic domains, playing a decisive role for her conscious processes and synthesis. First, there is the room itself. It is the part of the office, the working place. Yet, it is an existential, habitual territory – it has
    some personal belonging, reminding an ordinary human milieu. Second, there is the domain of the trader psychological processes: her desires, pre-personal affective mimetic perceptions, reactions, involvements, motivations, and individual
    cognitive acts. Third, there is the domain of conscientious universes: groups, lobbies,
    interested economic and political parties, schools of economic thought, working rules, and labor ethics express themselves through her mind. Fourth, there are intensive a-signified as well as signified sign flows: financial flows of “real economy ”, informational flows of forecasts about the economy, flows of share prices, and informational flows of expectations of these prices rising or falling. Each domain has its own and autonomous temporality: first, there are regular rhythms of human existential territory.
    Second, there is the time of an a-personal affective, mimetic emulation, of an extremely competitive trading environment. Thirdly, there is a highly elaborated field of discursive rationalities, presupposing sets of roles, ethical-political and social positions, and strong performative functions.
    Each speech act, said, written, or even reproduced in the trader’s mind is engaged in a variety of virtual professional, social, or scientific “communities.”
    The final domain is completely machinic - there is an endless automated process of generation and translation of various financial, economic, scientific and analytic information as well as a self-supported flow of various material transactions. This machinic phylum has a decisive role, maintaining the accelerating growth, an endless renovation, and interrelation of all other temporalities. The differentials, composed by the third and second domain, often affect the trader’s mind instantaneously, even without recognizing virtually existing real factors. Therefore, we need to reconsider the essence of time synthesis that can be used to explain the trader’s conscious as well as unconscious acts.
    Probably, your model -“consciousness can more accurately be described as a site of competing streams of fragmented perceptions and conceptualizations jostling for attention. Consciousness, far from being the self-knowing commander, is besieged from unconscious processes and bodily affects that interact with and shape consciousness outside of its awareness… it is more of a community.of interaffecting agents. Consciousness performs a momentary synthetic function, making it appear that this community is a single 'I.'”- should be regarded as an undoubtedly correct, but a limited and isolated phenomenological model. "Consciousness, far from being the self-knowing commander, is besieged from unconscious processes and bodily affects that interact with and shape consciousness outside of its awareness"- most of these
    unconscious processes are caused by direct involvement in a-signifying subjective agencies.
  • Joshs
    565
    First, a couple of questions. Who are the primary references for the vocabulary you are using here? Deleuze-Guartari? Does ‘mimetic emulation’ come from them or Rene Girard? Where does the term ‘conscientious universes’ come from?
    I’m going to assume that what you wrote is mainly from DG. What I want to do is compare their thinking with an amalgam of Shaun Gallagher, Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson and Merleau-Ponty that I will label the radicalized 4EA school of thought.
    In order to simplify things initially, I am hoping that John Protevi can be used as an acceptable surrogate for DG. The reason is that Protevi is not only a dedicated adherent to Deleuzian thinking but is well versed in cognitive science and in particular Gallagher and Varela.

    It seems that Protevi makes similar distinctions between 4EA and DG to your characterization of
    4ea models of consciousness as “a limited and isolated phenomenological model”.
    Your critique sounds harsher however. One reviewer of Protevi’s book ‘Life, War, Earth’ wrote: “As Protevi argues, a sophisticated approach to phenomenology does not see it as reducing experience to what appears to a subject but rather as proceeding from that appearance to an understanding of what must underlie it. Taken that way, Deleuze's transcendental empiricism, which seeks the conditions of real rather than possible experience, lies at not nearly as far a remove from say, Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of the lived body, as many have thought.”

    In Protevi’s own words:“I get to my notion of human nature as “body politic” by putting the “embodied mind” school of cognitive science together with the post-structuralist French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. What attracted me to the embodied mind school (e.g., Hubert Dreyfus, Evan Thompson, Alva Noë, and the late Francisco Varela) is the critique of the standard computer metaphor of cognition as information processing and its alternate vision of cognition as an organism directing itself in its environment. Such embodied cognition is inescapably affective; the old division of reason and emotion needs to be rethought as “affective cognition.”

    “What Deleuze brings to the table is a wide-ranging materialist ontology, so that we can use the same basic concepts of self-organizing systems in both natural and social registers. This enables me to couple the “politic” to the “body,” to connect the social and the somatic. Basically, Deleuze lets us go “above” and “below” the subject; “above” to politics, and “below” to biology. We live at the crossroads: singular subjects arise from a “crystallization” or “resolution” of a distributed network of natural processes and social practices.”

    I don’t know whether Protevi thinks more radically than Gallagher , Thompson and Merleau-Ponty. I just have a hunch that he is too reductionist in his thinking. While Protevi offers us a detailed comparison of DG vs 4ea, I’m aware of no similar treatment from the 4ea side toward DG-related ideas. All I can do is offers suggestions of how it might be possible for a 4ea-type thinking to answer to the critique Protevi levels against it of risking missing the ‘above’ and ‘below’ in its abstractive determination of subjectivity.

    I could begin with a warning. While it sounds impressive to throw in every conceivable source of input, information, flow, both signifying and a-signifying, as possible impingments upon and definers of subjectivity, we don’t end up with anything interesting or useful except as such impingements can be seen in the light of ordering structurations and patterns. Without minimal coherence and consistency there is only pure randomness. If we are to choose a DG account of affectivity and subjectivity over other philosophies and psychologies, it must be because it is more useful to us, more clarifying and , in some overall sense, more effectively ordered, not because it offers a laundry list of infinite sources of random impingement. That large list you gave me (room, psychology, signifying and a-signifying flows, etc, etc,) is less significant in and of itself than in how it is specifically understood in its orders of relationship. We know that all these impingements jostle, form and reform subjectivity, but how do we make sure that we don’t end up reifying them such that the subject is nothing but an endless sequence of random operant conditionings? I have no problem in embracing DG in this regard as preferable to Freudian, stimulus-response and first generation cognitive models of the subject, because while at a micro level DG abandons the ordered structures and processes that define these approaches, at a metalevel it is posits a less arbitrary and less polarized model of experiential change. All that stuff coming at subjectivty from above, below and within that dissolves, ovewhelms and displaces psychodynamic id, ego and superego has a more radically intricate kind of order or logic to it that persuades us that we understand persons better through it that via Freudianism.

    Protevi has spent that past few decades trying to convince us that his reading of DG gives him a method of analyzing notorious affective-socio-political situations such as Columbine that can supplement 4ea accounts. I think the details of his method give us a good opportunity to judge the usefulness of his ordering strategy, particularly with regard to affect and motivation.

    I have selected what I think are pertiment passages from Protevi's 'AFFECT, AGENCY AND
    RESPONSIBILITY:THE ACT OF KILLING IN THE AGE OF CYBORGS' to demonstrate how
    difference operates via assemblages for him:

    "The vast majority of soldiers cannot kill in cold blood and need to kill in a desubjectified state,
    e.g., in reflexes, rages and panics."

    "Zahavi (2005) and Gallagher (2005), among others, distinguish agency and ownership of bodily
    actions. Ownership is the sense that my body is doing the action, while agency is the sense that I
    am in control of the action, that the action is willed. Both are aspects of subjectivity, though they
    may well be a matter of pre-reflective self-awareness rather than full-fledged
    objectifying self-consciousness. But alongside subjectivity we need also to notice emergent
    assemblages that skip subjectivity and directly conjoin larger groups and the somatic. To follow
    this line of thought, let us accept that, in addition to non-subjective body control by reflexes, we
    can treat basic emotions as modular “affect programs” (Griffiths 1997) that run the body’s
    hardware in the absence of conscious control. As with reflexes, ownership and agency are only
    retrospectively felt, at least in severe cases of rage in which the person “wakes up” to see the
    results of the destruction committed while he or she was in the grips of the rage. In this way we
    see two elements we need to take into account besides the notion of subjective agency: (1) that
    there is another sense of “agent” as non-subjective controller of bodily action, either reflex or
    basic emotion, and (2) that in some cases the military unit and non-subjective reflexes and basic
    emotions are intertwined in such a way as to bypass the soldiers’ subjectivity qua controlled
    intentional action. In these cases the practical agent of the act of killing is not the individual
    person or subject, but the emergent assemblage of military unit and non-subjective reflex or
    equally non-subjective “affect program.”

    “A little more detail on the notion of a “rage agent” might be helpful at this point. Extreme cases
    of rage produce a modular agent or “affect program” that replaces the subject. Affect programs
    are emotional responses that are “complex, coordinated, and automated … unfold[ing] in this
    coordinated fashion without the need for conscious direction” (Griffiths 1997: 77). They are
    more than reflexes, but they are triggered well before any cortical processing can take place
    (though later cortical appraisals can dampen or accelerate the affect program). Griffiths makes
    the case that affect programs should be seen in light of Fodor’s notion of modularity, which calls
    for a module to be “mandatory … opaque [we are aware of outputs but not the processes
    producing them] … and informationally encapsulated [the information in a module cannot access
    that in other modules]” (93; my comments in brackets). Perhaps second only to the question of
    adaptationism for the amount of controversy it has evoked, the use of the concept of modularity
    in evolutionary psychology is bitterly contested. I feel relatively safe proposing a very-widely
    distributed rage module or rage agent, since its adaptive value is widely attested to by its
    presence in other mammals, and since Panksepp 1998 is able to cite studies of direct electrical
    stimulation of the brain (ESB) and neurochemical manipulation as identifying homologous rage
    circuits in humans and other mammalian species (190)."

    "In the berserker rage, the subject is overwhelmed by a chemical flood that triggers an
    evolutionarily primitive module which functions as an agent which runs the body’s hardware in its place.' Protevi here isnt integrating a rage module with situational intentionality, except as the 'reflex' rage is switched on by a cognitive trigger, after which it proceeds independently of intention. He says:

    "a sense of agency is absent during the rage-induced or reflex-controlled act of killing", but Protevi doesn’t seem to recognize that the lack of a conscious sense of agency does not mean that it isnt implicit.. He splits the former off from the latter. They may be loosely integrated within the
    larger ecology of thought, body , social realm, but nevertheless can be talked about in 'modular'
    terms. Conditioning( not Kantian but Skinnerian, or do these amount to the same thing?) is central to this relation between the cognitive trigger of a reflex rage assemblage
    and its appearance.

    "Soldiers are acculturated to dehumanize the enemy by a series of racial slurs.
    This acculturation is especially powerful when accomplished through rhythmic chanting while
    running, for such entrainment weakens personal identity to produce a group subject". This is
    another example of conditioning."Desensitization is merely an enabling factor for the role of
    classical and operant conditioning in modern training."

    Protevi's account is dripping with this arbitrary conditioning, both of affect and cognition:
    Protevi's favorite phrase seems to be 'more than reflex', but these impingements of world and
    physiology on person act barely more than reflexively.


    "In addition to the affective aspect of heightened desensitization, simulation training
    constitutes a new cognitive group subject. The instant decision of “shoot / no shoot” is solicited
    by the presence or absence of key traits in the gestalt of the situation. Such instant decisions are
    more than reflexes, but operate at the very edge of the conscious awareness of the soldiers and
    involve complex subpersonal processes of threat perception (Correll et al 2006). In addition to
    this attenuation of individual agency, cutting-edge communication technology now allows
    soldiers to network together in real time. With this networking we see an extended / distributed
    cognition culminating in “topsight” for a commander who often doesn’t “command” in the sense
    of micro-manage but who observes and intervenes at critical points (Arquilla and Rondfeldt
    2000: 22). In other words, contemporary team-building applications through real-time
    networking are a cybernetic application of video games that goes above the level of the subject
    (Fletcher 1999). In affective entrainment, instant decision-making, and cognitive “topsight” the
    soldiers produced by rhythmic chanting and intensive simulation training are nodes within a
    cybernetic organism, the fighting group, which maintains its functional integrity and tactical
    effectiveness by real-time communication technology. It’s the emergent group with the
    distributed decisions of the soldiers that is the cyborg here, operating at the thresholds of the
    individual subjectivities of the soldiers."

    Thompson seems to argue against the way that Protevi uses affect as pre-programmed module
    split off from subjectivity.
    ”Evidence is now accumulating that experience-dependent brain activity in particular
    environmental contexts plays a huge role in the development of the individual brain.
    Rather than being a collection of pre-specified modules, the brain appears to be an
    organ that constructs itself in development through spontaneously generated and
    experience-dependent activity (Quartz & Sejnowski, 1997; Quartz, 1999;
    Karmiloff-Smith, 1998), a developmental process made possible by robust and flexible
    developmental mechanisms conserved in animal evolution (Gerhart & Kirschner,
    1997).”

    “Douglas F. Watt (1998) describes affect as ‘a prototype “whole brain event”’, but we could go further and say that affect is a prototypical whole-organism event. Affect has numerous dimensions that bind together virtually every aspect of the organism—the psychosomatic network of the nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system; physiological changes in the autonomic nervous system, the limbic system, and the superior cortex; facial-motor changes and global differential motor readiness for approach or withdrawal; subjective experience along a pleasure–displeasure valence axis; social signalling and coupling; and conscious evaluation
    and assessment (Watt, 1998). Thus the affective mind isn’t in the head, but in the whole body; and affective states are emergent in the reciprocal, co-determination sense: they arise from neural and somatic activity that itself is conditioned by the ongoing embodied awareness and action of the whole animal or person.”

    Thompson addressed concerns by Provi about subjectivism in his model. “A certain tendency to privilege interiority in autopoietic discourse has always worried me. I felt that worry in writing those words in Mind in Life about the reciprocal yet asymmetrical relation between interiority and exteriority, but I did not adequately address the worry because of another argument I was trying to advance, specifically that the genuine interiority of life is a precursor to the interiority of consciousness, and hence that the conception of nature presupposed in standard formulations of the hard problem or explanatory gap for consciousness—namely, that living nature has no genuine interiority—is misguided. So the task is to see whether we can retain the crucial advance that a phenomenological reading of the theory of autopoiesis provides, while situating that advance in an enriched and more balanced account of the dynamic co-emergence and mutual entrainment of living processes and their environments.

    In Donn Welton’s words: “The organism enacts an environment as the environment entrains the organism. Both are necessary and neither, by itself, is sufficient for the process of sense-making.”

    “But now comes the tricky point. What we have just said implies that the relation between organism and environment is reciprocal, for each acts as a control parameter for the other. But this kind of reciprocity does not imply that their relation is not also asymmetrical, in the relevant sense of asymmetry. Although the physical and energetic coupling between a living being and the
    physicochemical environment is symmetrical, with each partner exerting more influence on the
    other at different times, the living being modulates the parameters of this coupling in a way the
    environment typically does not. Living beings, precisely because they are autopoietic and adaptive, can “surf” environmental events and modulate them to their own ends, like a bird gliding on the wind. Interactional asymmetry is precisely this capacity to modulate the coupling with the environment. If we lose sight of this interactional asymmetry, then we lose the ability to
    account for the directedness proper to living beings in their sense-making, and hence we lose the
    resources we need to connect sense-making to intentionality.”

    I will venture a tentative thesis at this point concerning Prtovei’s interpretation of DG vs Thompson’s 4ea. I think Protevi’s approach belongs to the larger framework of enactivism, based on his numerous analyses of Gallagher, Thompson, Merleau-Ponty and Varela. But I also suspect it represents a less sophisticated, more reductive version than that of Thompson or Gallagher, in spite of its claims to situate subjectivity within a wider realm of the bio-political.
    Whereas Protevi thinks his view is wider in scope, it may simply be more fragmented, lacking the extent of integrative impetus in Thompson-Varela’s thinking. Proteiv’s reliance on dynamical systems metaphors seems to too often begin from algorithmicly-themed and internally centered machinic processes(near-reflexive affect modules, cognitive programs). Then creativity and transformation consists of the clashing, interruption and intgerating among such independent flows, machines, algorithms..

    We see the same reductive tendency in Massumi to begin from self-centered algorithmic iterations which only later interaffect, resonate or disrupt each other. Whta’s lacking is a more radical thinking of interactivity. Non-linearity isn’t enough because it still operates as a deterministic metaphor.

    Massumi: "Intensity is beside that loop, a nonconscious, never-to-be-conscious autonomic
    remainder. It is outside expectation and adaptation, as disconnected from meaningful sequencing,
    from narration, as it is from vital function. It is narratively de-localized, spreading over the
    generalized body surface, like a lateral backwash from the function-meaning interloops traveling
    the vertical path between head and heart.
    When on the other hand language doubles a sequence of movements in order to add
    something to it in the way of meaningful progression – in this case a sense of futurity,
    expectation, an intimation of what comes next in a conventional progression – then it runs
    counter to and dampens the intensity. "

    Massumi: "Intensity would seem to be associated with nonlinear processes: resonation and
    feedback which momentarily suspend the linear progress of the narrative present from past to
    future." Non-linearity and feedback work to relate disparate contents. "Every event takes place on both levels – and between both levels, as they resonate together to form a larger system composed of two interacting subsystems following entirely different rules of formation.
    Affect or intensity in the present account is akin to what is called a critical point, or a bifurcation
    point, or singular point, in chaos theory and the theory of dissipative structures. This is the
    turning point at which a physical system paradoxically embodies multiple and normally mutually
    exclusive potentials, only one of which is “selected.” “Phase space” could be seen as a
    diagrammatic rendering of the dimension of the virtual. The organization of multiple levels that
    have different logics and temporal organizations but are locked in resonance with each other and
    recapitulate the same event in divergent ways, recalls the fractal ontology and nonlinear causality
    underlying theories of complexity. "

    "For structure is the place where nothing ever happens, that explanatory heaven in
    which all eventual permutations are prefigured in a self-consistent set of invariant generative
    rules." "Nothing is prefigured in the event. It is the collapse of structured distinction into
    intensity, of rules into paradox. a tinge of the unexpected, the lateral, the unmotivated, to lines of
    action and reaction. A change in the rules. The expression-event is the system of the
    inexplicable..."

    Note here that beginning from system as logical procedure creates a sharp oppositionality between structure and change, rule and paradox, the cognitive and the affective.
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    First, a couple of questions. Who are the primary references for the vocabulary you are using here? Deleuze-Guartari? Does ‘mimetic emulation’ come from them or Rene Girard? Where does the term ‘conscientious universes’ come from?Joshs
    • I’ve taken most vocabulary from Guattari’s book “Schiizoanalytic cartographies”; mimetic emulation is from Girard; I used Guattari’s model on pg. 27:


    Machinic Consciential
    Phyla Universes


    The economy of Flows Territories of virtual real
    (signifier, labor)
    libido, Capital)

    Sorry, not conscientious, but consciental. DG used in “A Thousand Plateaus” another term instead of this one - incorporeal transformations.
    Guattari attempts to lay down the general model of an assemblage. There are a few organizing principles:
    a separation between subjectivity and consciousness; mutual interdependence and interrelation of the four domains; their materialistic ontological status, the endless process of motion and variation, described in terms of deterritorization and territorization; verification and application through comparison with differently established models.
    I could begin with a warning. While it sounds impressive to throw in every conceivable source of input, information, flow, both signifying and a-signifying, as possible impingments upon and definers of subjectivity, we don’t end up with anything interesting or useful except as such impingements can be seen in the light of ordering structurations and patterns. Without minimal coherence and consistency there is only pure randomness. If we are to choose a DG account of affectivity and subjectivity over other philosophies and psychologies, it must be because it is more useful to us, more clarifying and , in some overall sense, more effectively ordered, not because it offers a laundry list of infinite sources of random impingement. That large list you gave me (room, psychology, signifying and a-signifying flows, etc, etc,) is less significant in and of itself than in how it is specifically understood in its orders of relationship. We know that all these impingements jostle, form and reform subjectivity, but how do we make sure that we don’t end up reifying them such that the subject is nothing but an endless sequence of random operant conditionings? I have no problem in embracing DG in this regard as preferable to Freudian, stimulus-response and first generation cognitive models of the subject, because while at a micro level DG abandons the ordered structures and processes that define these approaches, at a metalevel it is posits a less arbitrary and less polarized model of experiential change. All that stuff coming at subjectivty from above, below and within that dissolves, ovewhelms and displaces psychodynamic id, ego and superego has a more radically intricate kind of order or logic to it that persuades us that we understand persons better through it that via Freudianism.Joshs

    I think that DG’s project is going far beyond the critique of psychoanalysis. Foucault noted:
    “Anti-Oedipus is a book of ethics… How does one keep from being fascist, even
    (especially) when one believes oneself to be a revolutionary militant?
    How do we rid our speech and our acts, our hearts and our pleasures, of
    fascism? How do we ferret out the fascism that is ingrained in our
    behavior? The book is about the tracking down of all varieties of fascism, from
    the enormous ones that surround and crush us to the petty ones that
    constitute the tyrannical bitterness of our everyday lives.”


    Foucault’s evaluation of DG’s thought is still entirely relevant. The ethical-political dimension
    helps to find a way out of an impression that DG intended to show that “the subject is nothing but an endless sequence of random operant conditionings.” Subject’s operating conditions are not random, they are primarily the same as the operating assemblages, maintaining the essential, power relations of our societies. Therefore, “the sequence of random operant conditionings” is not endless; it is finite and well defined. Further, whereas you wrote that “rather than a single linear causal intentional vector, consciousness can more accurately be described as a site of competing streams offragmented perceptions and conceptualizations jostling for attention,” for DG “the site of consciousness” is the place where the economy of the power’s interventions and strategies is applied. (The faciality machine that we used to discuss is one of the examples).
    Further, these “competing streams offragmented perceptions and conceptualizations jostling for attention” – aren’t they are already ready-made - images of images, perceptions of perceptions, arriving at the site of consciousness after being intensively processed not by some uncertain environment, but by our essential social-political machines?
    If the “subject” has become primarily determined by implicit and hidden forces and social
    presuppositions, so that its most intimate desires and motivations are just working parts of the dominating system (in spite of seemingly different “conscious” subject’s own declarations) – don’t we deal with the kind of fascism in Foucault’s sense? That is why Foucault pointed out that DG’s thought provides ethical guidance - when one, following DG, finds his/her own “operating conditions,” one gets a chance to exercise freedom, to practice becoming.
    “If we are to choose a DG account of affectivity and subjectivity over other philosophies and psychologies, it must be because it is more useful to us, more clarifying and, in some overall sense, more effectively ordered, not because it offers a laundry list of infinite sources of random impingement.” I agree with you, DG’s project is not effectively ordered – they were busy with so many challenges so that they often did not put the clearance as their first priority. Further, they often disorganized their work deliberately, as the way to distinguish themselves and to invent the new forms of expression, as well as due to militant and provocative aims. That is one of the reasons
    why after so many years of intensive scholarship, there is still room for further problematization and application of their thought.

    "all these impingements jostle, form and reform subjectivity, but how do we make sure that we don’t end up reifying them such that the subject is nothing but an endless sequence of random operant conditionings?"
    DG's account on the subjects and subjectivity can be found in their assemblage theory.
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    Protevi has spent that past few decades trying to convince us that his reading of DG gives him a method of analyzing notorious affective-socio-political situations such as Columbine that can supplement 4ea accounts. I think the details of his method give us a good opportunity to judge the usefulness of his ordering strategy, particularly with regard to affect and motivation.

    I have selected what I think are pertiment passages from Protevi's 'AFFECT, AGENCY AND
    RESPONSIBILITY:THE ACT OF KILLING IN THE AGE OF CYBORGS' to demonstrate how
    difference operates via assemblages for him:
    Joshs
    Thank you for doing the work and making this case of "a cool blood killer.” It was interesting reading. DG’s concept of “an assemblage” is one of the most difficult ones; but it is a key notion to understand better “the varieties of fascism, that constitute the tyrannical bitterness of our everyday lives.” (Foucault). The political and ethical implications of different assemblages are significant – what is at stake is the question of the essence of the subject of action – is that a conscious, responsible individual or a collective impersonal agent of some kind?
    It looks like for Thompson there is no problem, whereas Protevi could find and pose one. Could you explain the status of “problem” of consciousness in the cognitive psychology and neuroscience field?
    Does the 4EA - model have some social – political implications?

    I think Protevi’s approach belongs to the larger framework of enactivism, based on his numerous analyses of Gallagher, Thompson, Merleau-Ponty and Varela. But I also suspect it represents a less sophisticated, more reductive version than that of Thompson or Gallagher, in spite of its claims to situate subjectivity within a wider realm of the bio-political.
    Whereas Protevi thinks his view is wider in scope, it may simply be more fragmented, lacking the extent of integrative impetus in Thompson-Varela’s thinking. Proteiv’s reliance on dynamical systems metaphors seems to too often begin from algorithmicly-themed and internally centered machinic processes(near-reflexive affect modules, cognitive programs). Then creativity and transformation consists of the clashing, interruption and intgerating among such independent flows, machines, algorithms..
    Joshs
    After looking through Protevi’s books, I started thinking that you are right in your critique. He tries to
    combine 4-e model with DG’s approach, but in spite of his claims, he could not formulate the problem
    quite in the spirit of DG’s thought. So it is not just about “more reductive version than that of Thompson or Gallagher,” but also of DG.
    Nevertheless, he could formulate his thesis: "there is another sense of “agent” as nonsubjective controller of bodily action, either reflex or basic emotion, and (2) that in some cases, the military unit and nonsubjective reflexes and basic emotions are intertwined in such a way as to bypass the soldiers’ subjectivity qua controlled intentional action. In these cases, the practical agent of the act of killing is not the individual person or subject but the emergent assemblage of a military unit and nonsubjective reflex or equally nonsubjective affect program… though we could argue that the practical agent of the massacre was the assemblage of the unit and the distributed nonsubjective rage agents…"

    It is a more reductive version of DG’s definition of assemblage: “it has two sides – it is a collective assemblage of enunciation, and it is a machinic assemblage of desire…It is a social machine, taking man and women into its gears, or, rather, having men and women as part of its gears
    along with things, structures, metals, materials.” So, there are two sides of the same assemblage –
    expressive one, including all possible ways of collective expression, and desire’s one, including
    a variety of bodily affects, taken together and connected with technical machines, mechanisms, materials, etc. DG’s understanding implies that the real subject of a statement as well as of an action is the particular assemblage. The question is how general is their definition? Should it be applied to some particular situations (in Protevi’s case, one might think that when the solder comes to normal life, he starts regretting what he did)? Should we assume that the notion of assemblage applies to some extreme situations, but in general, there is still a place for a rationally thinking normal individual?) It could be beneficial to check how DG’s approach is compatible with Judith Butler’s one: “Assembly only makes sense if bodies can and do gather or connect in some way, and speech acts that unfold from there articulate something that is already happening at the level of the plural body. But let us remember that a vocalization is also a bodily act, as is sign language, and this means that there is no speaking without body signifying something, and sometimes the body signifies something quite different what a person actually says…
    If the plural subject (of assembly) is constituted in the course of its performative action, then it is not already constituted; whatever form it has prior to its performative exercise is not the same as the form it takes as it acts, and after it has acted. So how do we understand this movement of gathering, which is durational, and implies occasional, periodic, or definitive forms of scattering? It is not one act, but a convergence of actions different from one another…Temporal seriality and coordination, bodily
    proximity, auditory range, coordinated vocalization – all of these constitute essential dimensions
    of assembly and demonstration”.
    I do not want to critique Butler’s approach, trying to find out
    how her model is different from the known theories of Le Bon, Sorel, and Canetti. What is important here is that the essential emergent, performative components, necessary for maintaining an assemblage do not require the physical proximity and the abruptness of gathering (the main points for Butler), or some special circumstances (battlefield, or war for Protevi). The communicative-expressive components, as well as bodily constellations, mentioned by Butler, are constitutive even for some virtual Internet communities. Further, “speech acts that unfold from there articulate something that is already happening at the level of plural body”- in Protevi’s case, the military training complex, plying an essential role in “dehumanizing the solder’s actions,” functions as a generative matrix, as a diagram of intensities and crucial thresholds.
    However unexpected and spontaneous Butler’s assembly looks like, one could find a virtual prototype of the event, and map its crucial intensive components.
    If we consider some bureaucratic agency, the conventional theory is that it has an authority structure, in which rights and obligations are distributed in a hierarchical way, as well as clearly defined roles and positions. Further, the exercise of authority is backed by legitimacy, so that the personal beliefs of a member of an organization or her knowledge of the cost of a breach of the agency’s written regulations. Definitely, one could find these primary structural constituents. Nevertheless,
    cannot we also discover here all the essential components of Butler’s model? There are two interdependent regimes – an expressive (including linguistic one), as well as a bodily one (including
    a set of behavioral patterns, working techniques, interactions with machines and colleagues). All employees gather together, speak the same organizational jargon, reflecting and effectualazing a process of their bodily transactions. Apparently, assemblage’s performative acting components are much more important for employee’s functionality, than an organization’s authority structure, ethics code, its written rules, employee’s values or beliefs. Therefore, in principle, it has satisfied the DG’s definition of assemblage. Further, getting back to Guattari’s general model, one could locate the agency on a general map of intensive flows of information, money, libidos’ investments and interactions, essential existential territories, and virtual discursive communities.
    There are a few more critical remaining questions: the degree of the independence of an employee,
    of her own agency, related to the assemblage’s plural subject; her sense of her own agency, homogeneity, and heterogeneity of practices through consequential social fragments.
    Going back to Protevi’s case – when a soldier comes home to normal life, he experiences remorse and regret.
    Does it mean that he is coming back to possession of an ordinary subjectivity? If yes, the assemblage theory should be reserved just for individual cases.
    DG’s answer: the social field is comprised of blocks, fragments (assemblages) that are located on
    “a continuous and unlimited line, with their doors far from each other, and contiguous back doors
    that make the blocks themselves contiguous.” Probably, it could be an interesting and challenging task to show how assemblages, comprising the solder’s normal life, are contiguous to his last military
    experience.
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    We see the same reductive tendency in Massumi to begin from self-centered algorithmic iterations which only later interaffect, resonate or disrupt each other. Whta’s lacking is a more radical thinking of interactivity. Non-linearity isn’t enough because it still operates as a deterministic metaphor.Joshs
    I think that these fragments show how brilliant Massumi’s account of an event is. I’d like to pay your attention to the contemporary political developments in the US since November 2016, when Trump was elected. We can witness the rise and the fall
    of numerous attempts to explain what happened, ranging from political philosophies (Badieu and Bifo Berardi, for example) to mass media and simply conspiracy (it is often difficult to distinguish between them). Theories, models, explanations, and narratives have replaced each other with vertiginous speed. Moreover, today, the absolute majority of writers and their listeners (readers) do not remember (and do not reflect on)
    what was in the center of their attention 24-27 month ago, being wholly preoccupied with current events. Can we conclude, that affect was at the core of these discursive surges?
    Therefore, we definitely must agree with Massumi, when he wrote:
    “Our “habit of dwelling upon the long future and the long past” is a“literary” effort of “purely abstract imagination, devoid of any direct observation of particular fact. “In considering our direct observation of past, or of future, we should confine ourselves to time-spans of the order of magnitude of a second, or even fractions of a second.”
    “It is not the forecasting or back-casting of the critical observer who places emphasis on. There is no overlook allowing an emphasis to be laid on from outside or above. Rather, Whitehead says, the observer, is on the “utmost verge” of events’ taking shape in their own “process of self-completion.” On the verge of history, past and future are “immanent” to the present and, in that interval, to each other. The critique of history has nowhere to be but in the reciprocal immanence that is the verging toward the self-completion of events in the making. The fraction of a second-scale is where we must mark the singularity of events, and grasp their return. This is no easy task: because the verge of history is also events’ lacuna point, the moment they have not taken place. This is why Nietzsche argues that what history is most intensely about is the “untimely.”
    This is why Foucault asserts the need for an effective history that is a “history of the present”… “Effective history . . . shortens its vision to the things nearest it—the body, the nervous system . . . energies”. Only an immanent critique can effectively “observe” what is energetically not taking place, coeval with a moment’s effective self-completion: in the interval of history’s in-the-making.”
    To become the observer on the “utmost verge” of history, one must discover the exact point
    of indiscernibility, where the intensity of the event, bodily affects, and energies, are not separated yet from the fabulated narratives and discourses.
    Further, one can discover that intensive becoming, the Nietzschean “untimely” doubles history; that there are endless circuits of the actual physical real and virtual intensive real, which carries everything, continually following each other, running behind each other and referring back to each other around a point of emergency.
    “There is no such thing as either man or nature now, only
    a process that produces the one within the other and couples the machines together.”
    What we need to understand is how our primary and unrecognizable affects and patterns are
    built “in between.” Between an intensive-virtual-social-politic, and individual-personal-actual-formed. The unconscious drives, desires, and impetuses are enclosed within the one circuit,
    so that “Producing-machines, desiring-machines everywhere, schizophrenic machines, all
    of species life: the self and the non-self, outside and inside, no longer have any
    meaning whatsoever.”

    That is why Massumi wrote:
    "Intensity is beside that loop, a nonconscious, never-to-be-conscious autonomic
    remainder. It is outside expectation and adaptation, as disconnected from meaningful sequencing,
    from narration, as it is from a vital function. It is narratively de-localized, spreading over the generalized body surface…
    When on the other hand language doubles a sequence of movements to add
    something to it in the way of meaningful progression – in this case, a sense of futurity,
    expectation, an intimation of what comes next in a conventional progression – then it runs counter to and dampens the intensity. "
    Getting back to the events of November 2016 (and, in general, considering how mass media work, or New York Stock Exchange functions) , one should conclude, that on the “utmost verge” of the event is affect,
    condensed to the striking intensity of shock; the unresistable request to get involved, to get a response of any kind.

    Note here that beginning from system as logical procedure creates a sharp oppositionality between structure and change, rule and paradox, the cognitive and the affective.Joshs

    Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to apply to unconscious intensity the nature/culture opposition, the dichotomy between chaotic and disastrous affective flows, and a cultural, civilized, and rational symbolic order. If we turn to Guattari’s basic scheme of a general contemporary assemblage, we can find
    there that signifier, labor, libido, and Capital are united under the rubric
    The economy of flows. Practically, it means that any intensity of the event, taken up by mass media, would be immediately converted into the individual libido and desires, simultaneously transformed into appropriate discourses, will become the flow of “immaterial labor,” and, finally will be appropriate as the surplice value in some form of
    Capital. All these processes should maintain an endless motion and acceleration. Yet, our contemporary societies are not built to entirely control and manage the event. Massumi: “"Nothing is prefigured in the event. It is the collapse of structured distinction into intensity, of rules into paradox. A tinge of the unexpected, the lateral, the unmotivated, to lines of action and reaction. A change in the rules. The expression-event is the system of the inexplicable... The affect is to be modulated by a variety of strategic improvisational techniques, they modulate an unfolding of the event on the fly, but they cannot completely control the outcome. Affective techniques apply to situations more directly than to persons. They are directly collective. They are fundamentally participatory, since they are activated in a situation, couched singularly in the occurrence of that encounter. They are event factors, not intentions.”

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