"this is not the way god intended us to enjoy spring"
"this is not the way god intended us to enjoy spring"
Spinoza, ‘Ethics IV Pref’
“For Deleuze, Spinoza’s Ethics must be understood in opposition to morality. Whereas morality implies a doctrine of what rational beings ought to do, ethics concerns the question of liberating what it is “a body can do.” Ethological ethics is an affective alternative to a spiritual rationality, which circumscribes the moral community within a zone of prescriptive principles or universal laws. Rather than aiming to define the moral community based on shared spiritual or moral powers, as humanism and politics of “personality” inevitably do, ethology ascertains singular units of agency, where agency refers to the power to affect and to be affected. “Singularities” name provisional effective assemblages rather than stable, selfsame spiritual identities or indivisible souls. Deleuze’s understanding of singular being recalls Spinoza’s definition: “if a number of individuals so occur in one action that together they are the cause of one effect, I consider them all, to that extent, as one singular thing” (E II def7). Ethology, for Deleuze, concerns the capacities of individuals as singular degrees of power, while “consideration of genera and species still implies a ‘morality.’” A taxonomy of genera and species “implies a morality,” because morality subordinates individual cases to general laws. […] A moral perspective encounters a singular being, event, or circumstance and refers it to the principles appropriate to its type, class, or natural kind. […] Morality often functions by using one notion of nature (human nature) against another notion of nature (mere or animal nature). As the moral perspective evolves from Descartes to Kant and Hegel, “human nature” becomes “personhood,” which isolates the spiritual and rational from sensuous determination, aligning moral agency only with the rational aspect of ourselves.”
-Hasana Sharp, 'Spinoza and the Politics of Renaturalization'
“Those notions they call Universal, like Man, Horse, Dog, and the like, have arisen from similar causes, namely, because so many images (e.g. of men) are formed at one time in the human body that they surpass the power of imagining—not entirely, of course, but still to the point where the mind can imagine neither slight differences of the singular [men] (such as the color and size of each one, etc.) nor their determinate number, and imagines distinctly only what they all agree in, insofar as they affect the body. For the body has been affected most [NS: forcefully] by [what is common], since each singular has affected it [by this property]. And [NS: the mind] expresses this by the word man, and predicates it of infinitely many singulars. For as we have said, it cannot imagine a determine number of singulars.
But it should be noted that these notions are not formed by all [NS: men] in the same way, but vary from one to another, in accordance with what the body has more often been affected by, and what the mind imagines or recollects more easily. For example, those who have more often regarded men’s statute with wonder will understand by the word man an animal of erect statue. But those who have been accustomed to consider something else, will form another common image of men—for example, that man is an animal capable of laughter, or a featherless biped, or a rational animal.
And similarly concerning the others—each will form universal images of things according to the disposition of his body. Hence it is not surprising that so many controversies have arisen among the philosophers, who have wished to explain natural things by mere images of things.”
Spinoza, Ethics II p40s1
Robert Pippin (via stickyembraces)
“The over-animal.—The beast in us wants to be lied to; morality is a necessary lie told that it shall not tear us to pieces. Without the errors that repose in the assumptions of morality the human being would have remained animal. As it is, it has taken itself for something higher and imposed sterner laws upon itself. That is why it feels a hatred for the grades that have remained closer to animality: which is the explanation of the contempt formally felt for the slave as a non-human, as a thing.”
-Nietzsche, 'Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits'
Agamben, 'The Open'
"This domestic world, which surrounds the philosopher as he moves his attention "backward" from the space in which he writes, must be "put aside," or even "put to one side," in his turn towards objects as objects of perception. It is this world, which is familiar to him, that is given in the form of familiarity. What does it mean to assume that bracketing can "transcend" the familiar world of experience? Perhaps to bracket does not mean to transcend, even if we put something aside. We remain reliant on what we put in brackets; indeed, the activity of bracketing may sustain the fantasy that "what we put aside" can be transcended in the first place. The act of "putting aside" might also confirm the fantasy of a subject who is transcendent, who places himself above the contingent world of social matter, a world that differentiates objects and subjects according to how they already appear. We could question not only the formal aspects of the bracket (which creates the fantasy that we can do without what we put to one side), but also with the content of what is bracketed, with "what" is "put aside." What is "put aside," we might say, it the very space of the familiar, which is also what clears the philosopher’s table and allows him to do his work.
The objects that appear within phenomenology also disappear in the “passing over” of what is given as familiar… This disappearance of familiar objects might make more than the object disappear. The writer who does the work of philosophy might disappear, if we are to erase the signs of “where” it is that he works. Feminist philosophers have shown us how the masculinity of philosophy is evidenced by the disappearance of the subject under the sign of the universal (Bordo 1987; Irigaray 1974; Braidotti 1991). The masculinity might also be evident in the disappearance of the materiality of objects, in the bracketing of the materials out of which, as well as upon which, philosophy writes itself, as a way of apprehending the world.
We could call this the fantasy of a “paperless” philosophy, a philosophy that is not dependent on the materials upon which it is written. As Audre Lorde reflects, “A room of one’s own may be a necessity for writing prose, but so are reams of paper, a type writer and plenty of time” (1984: 116). The fantasy of a paperless philosophy can be understood as crucial not only to the gendered nature of the occupation of philosophy but also to the disappearance of political economy, of the “materials” of philosophy as well as its dependence on forms of labor, both domestic and otherwise. In other words, the labor of writing might disappear along with the paper. If the suspension of the natural attitude, which sees itself as seeing beyond the familiar, or even seeing through it, involves putting the paper aside, then it might involve the concealment of the labor of philosophy, as well as the labor that allows philosophy to take up the time that it does. Rather than the familiar being posited as that which must be suspended in order to see, we might consider what “it” is that we “overlook” when we reside within the familiar. We would look, then, at what we do with things, how the arrival of things may be shaped by the work that we do, rather than put aside what it is that we do.”
-Sara Ahmed, 'Queer Phenomenology'
Peter Sloterdijk, 'In the World Interior of Capital'
next level wizard name: gandalf the green
Agamben, ‘The Open’