A Transcendent Madness : Part 2

Before I Go: Burning Man Round 2- A Note before the madness
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The death penalty enacts the decision that life and death are calculable; and there could be no additional calculation that would justify this decision, since it is the decision itself that makes calculation as such possible: "a hyperbolic moment," "something absolutely heterogeneous to the calculable that nonetheless functions as the ground of the calculable itself" Naas then rereads "Cogito" in light of this hyperbolic structure.

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If the history of western culture is the history of reason, it is not that of "Latin rationality" but rather, quoting Derrida, of "a Grund that is also an Ab-Grund ": a foundation that is also an abyss; a ground that is itself groundless; a reason that "justifies everything" but cannot itself be justified, thus acting as a kind of un-reason On Naas's reading of Derrida, reason as such is possessed of this hyperbolic structure, a self-founding leap that "is indistinguishable, in the end, from a certain madness" Indeed, this is why Derrida emphasizes the 'hyperbolic moment' at the end of Descartes's First Meditation when the cogito, stupefied by the thought of the evil genius, is brought "to the point where absolutely nothing is left untouched by doubt, the point where reason is indistinguishable from madness" Although it thus "precedes or exceeds the separation of meaning and nonmeaning" 49 , the zero point of the cogito, the dazzling immediacy of the 'I think' in the face of radical doubt, is what makes any meaningful project, work, or history possible.

To reduce it to a specific historical structure, as Derrida charges Foucault of doing, carries two disastrous consequences: 1 Foucault cannot interrogate the ground of possibility for his own discourse, since it is not clear how any meaning including his own could be possible that would not be merely determined by a historico-social formation; 2 Foucault thereby succumbs to historicism, perpetrating "a violence toward the transcendental" that "attempt[s] to reduce the moment of hyperbole to history" Naas thus hits upon a fundamental question of the debate, namely, "the question.

However, Naas also concedes that the parallel he draws between "the hyperbolic moment" in "Cogito," on the one hand, and "the moment of a seemingly sovereign decision" in the death penalty seminars, on the other, "may look somewhat arbitrary or forced. But," he continues, "already in that earlier essay, the point of departure is explicitly and insistently thought in terms of decision" Now, what Naas does not seem to consider is that this language of decision permeating "Cogito" in fact comes to us by way of Foucault's original preface.

There, the "primitive decision" "through which a culture rejects something which for it will be the Exterior" [3] functions as a constitutive division founding and splitting the history of reason in the West. Foucault's project thus aims to "go back to that decision that both bound and separated reason and madness" so as to discover "the originary confrontation that gives meaning to the unity and the opposition of sense and senselessness.

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That will allow that lightning flash decision to appear once more, heterogeneous with the time of history, but ungraspable outside it. This passage suggests two immediate consequences for Naas's essay. First, it renders dubious the charge that Foucault commits the totalizing violence of historicist closure by failing to "ask certain transcendental or transcendentalizing questions" 57 , since what is at issue is precisely the hyperbolic structure of a groundless ground, of a basis for justification that can never itself be justified.

Indeed, the thesis of "an ineradicable originary violence" 58 underlying reason, attributed by Naas to Derrida, is precisely Foucault's. Second, and accordingly, the excellent analysis that Naas provides of Derrida's death penalty seminars might, in fact, be fruitfully applied to Foucault's project, since the fulgurant decision that Foucault describes as 'heterogeneous with the time of history' while yet making the latter possible evinces precisely the structure of the hyperbolic moment.

Indeed, Derrida's death penalty seminars might even be construed as a re-thinking of what is at stake in Foucault's original preface, bespeaking the echoes of the debate four decades later. The three essays comprising Part Two, "Surviving the Philosophical Problem: History Crosses Transcendental Analysis," provide a robust, interestingly resonant and dissonant treatment of the debate's metaphilosophical stakes and implications for critical thought today. Colin Koopman frames the matter as a conflict between how each thinker relates his own work to philosophy. Aptly making use of Foucault's chronically under-read "Reply to Derrida," Koopman argues that the debate can be cast in terms of the degree of indispensability accorded to philosophy itself, that is, whether or not philosophy is obligatory for thought.

Whereas Derrida, on Foucault's view, privileges philosophy as the arbiter of meaningful discourse insofar as a discourse secures its rational warrant by establishing its philosophical ground , for Foucault, philosophical discourse itself is subject to historical conditions of enunciation, the archival conditions for the formation of statements proper to a given episteme. As Koopman puts it: "If for Derrida philosophy was the form that thought would take whenever it interrogates its own conditions, for Foucault philosophy is itself subject to rules of formation" However, Foucault would likely agree with the characterization of philosophy as thought reflecting upon its own conditions, for this is precisely how he describes the tradition of critical philosophy in which he situates himself.

Are these conditions themselves transhistorical, necessary and universal, and to what extent; or, on the contrary, can they be understood as historically contingent and singular 'all the way down'? Indeed, Koopman casts the philosophical problem in similar terms at the end of his essay. Deconstruction and genealogy can each be understood as a philosophy of the limit, a critical reflection of thought upon the limit-conditions proper to it.

Learn how to enable JavaScript on your browser. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD 0. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Buy As Gift. Overview A bizarre true story of spiritual revelation and psychedelic horror associated with the specter of Hitler and the madness of a world on the brink of a global holocaust.

This strangely foreboding testament to the inherent danger and the transcendental propensity of the psychedelic experience contains a detailed exposition of the RNA shutter mechanism interface between the organic matrix of the brain and the spiritual matrix of the human soul.

General Summary

The author's treatment of that receptor matrix "interface" includes the correlation between Jungian psychology and the correlative derivative of the Hindu Sutras that obviously provided Jung with the inspiration for the development of his principles of psychic functioning. The author's treatment of the internal dynamics and historical continuity of the psychedelic experience also includes a very important reference in the Christian Bible and is interlaced in a 30 year autobiography that includes a very long and very intense nightmare about the reincarnation of Hitler.

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Despite the sharp and dismissive nature of their initial exchange, Derrida and Habermas eventually became friends and intellectual collaborators. Indeed, the situation becomes still more complicated if we take into account the disagreements within the Frankfurt School over the status of reason. James D. Faubion New York: New Press, , Thus, Foucault here makes clear not only that his work aligns with that of certain members of the Frankfurt School, but also that this school itself does not offer a unified position on the critique of reason—thus his rational critique of rationality also diverges sharply from the position of Habermas.

A more complex rendering of the different positions with respect to the critique of reason would most likely put Adorno and the later Horkheimer together with Foucault and also Deleuze on one side of the debate, with Derrida and Habermas on the other.

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Yubraj Aryal, Vernon W. He also raises the interpretive question about whether Foucault is correct to say that the Greek logos had no contrary and that the split between reason and madness emerges only in the Renaissance, but I will set this issue aside. The main thought is that Foucault denies that there is a historicity proper to reason in general—rather, his aim is to write a history of reason, that is, a history of forms of rationality, which is an attempt to think reason in thoroughly historicized terms—and this is why he thinks it makes sense to talk about the history of historicity.

It is worth noting, just as an aside, that Habermas makes a very similar criticism of Derrida. This makes the convergence of their critiques of Foucault all the more curious and in need of explanation. Derrida, Rogues , As I argue in more detail elsewhere, I think that a careful reading shows that if Foucault is guilty of such a romantic gesture, it would have to be unreason and not madness that he views as the locus of freedom.

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A bizarre true story of spiritual revelation and psychedelic horror associated with the specter of Hitler and the madness of a world on the brink of a global holocaust. A bizarre true story of spiritual revelation and psychedelic horror associated with the specter of Hitler and the madness of a world on the brink of.

However, the complexities of the difficult and shifting distinction between unreason and madness in History of Madness need not concern us here. OSO version 0.

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Access brought to you by:. Sign in to an additional subscriber account. In this vein, Habermas writes, genealogical historiography can only take over the role of a critique of reason qua antiscience if it escapes from the horizon of just those historically p. Similarly, Derrida, in Rogues , describes deconstruction as an unconditional rationalism that never renounces—and precisely in the name of the Enlightenment to come, in the space to be opened up of a democracy to come—the possibility of suspending in an argued, deliberated, p.

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