Archive for October, 2012

Alain Badiou “Logics of Worlds” (III & IV raamat)

October 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Badiou, Alain 2009 [2006]. Logics of Worlds. Being and Event, 2. London, New York: Continuum.

Book III. Greater Logic, 2. The Object.

This book proposes an entirely new concept of what an object is. We are obviously dealing with the moment of the One in our analysis. That is because by  ‘object’ we must understand that which counts as one within appearing, or that which authorizes us to speak of this being-there as inflexibly being ‘itself’. The main novelty of this approach is that the notion of object is entirely independent from that of subject. (193)

So our trajectory can be summed up as follows: (object-less) subjective formalism, (subject-less) object and objectivity of the subject (bodies). It inscribes into the logic of appearing the generic becoming of truths which Being and Event had treated within the bounds of the ontology of the pure multiple. (194)

Since we posit that appearing has nothing to do with a subject (whether empirical or transcendental), naming instead the logic of being-there, we clearly cannot oppose an inner to an outer experience. In fact, no experience whatsoever is involved. But we are obliged to establish that an object is indeed the being-there of an ontologically determinate being; or that the logic of appearing does not exhaustively constitute the intel-ligibility of objects, which also presupposes an ontological halting point that is at the basis of appearing as the determination of objects-in-the-world. (195)

[…] being itself may, under certain conditions, be synthesized (enveloped), and therefore be ascribed a unity other than the one that counts its pure multi-plicity as one. Everything happens as if appearance in a world endowed pure multiplicity—for the ‘time’ it takes to exist in a world—with a form of homogeneity that can be inscribed in its being. This (demonstrable) result—which shows that appearing infects being to the extent being comes to take place in a world—is so striking that I have named it the ‘fundamental theorem of atomic logic’. (196-197)

We have called the ‘phenomenon’ of a multiple-being, relative to the world in which it appears, the giving of the degrees of identity that measure its relationship of appearance to all the other beings of the same world (or, more precisely, of the same object-of-the-world). This definition is relative and by no means rests, at least in an immediate sense, on the intensity of appearance of a being in a world. (207)

Given a world and a function of appearing whose values lie in the transcendental of this world, we will call ‘existence’ of a being x which appears in this world the transcendental degree assigned to the self-identity of x. Thus defined, existence is not a category of being (of mathematics), it is a category of appearing (of logic). In particular, ‘to exist’ has no meaning in itself. In agreement with one of Sartre’s insights, who borrows it from Heidegger, but also from Kierkegaard or even Pascal, ‘to exist’ can only be said relatively to a world. In effect, existence is nothing but a transcendental degree. It indicates the intensity of appearance of a multiple-being in a determinate world, and this intensity is by no means prescribed by the pure multiple composition of the being in question. (208)

We will now establish a fundamental property of existence: in a given world, a being cannot appear to be more identical to another being than it is to itself. Existence governs difference. (210)

That existence subsumes difference (through its transcendental degree) does not make existence into the One of appearing. The fact that existence is not a form of being does not make it into the unitary form of appearing. As purely phenomenal, existence precedes the object and does not constitute it. (211)

Given a world, we call object of the world the couple formed by a multiple and a transcendental indexing of this multiple, under the condition that all the atoms of appearing whose referent is the multiple in question are its real atoms.

In an abstract sense, it should be underscored that an object is jointly given by a conceptual couple (a multiple and a transcendental indexing) and a materialist prescription about the One (every atom is real). It is therefore neither a substantial given (since the appearing of a multiple A presupposes a transcendental indexing which varies according to the worlds and may also vary within the same world) nor a purely  fictional given (since every one-effect in appearing is prescribed by a real element of what appears). (220)

In a general sense, we will call  ‘localization of an atom on a transcendental degree’ the function which associates, to every being of the world, the conjunction of the degree of belonging of this being to the atom, on one hand, and of the assigned degree, on the other.

It appears then that every assignation of an atom to a degree—every localization—is itself an atom. Mastering the intuition of this point is both very important and rather difficult. In essence, it means that an atom which is ‘relativized’ to a particular localization gives us a new atom. (224)

Let us restate this definition more explicitly: Take an object presented in a world. Let an element ‘a’ of the multiple ‘A’ be the underlying being of this object. And let ‘p’ be a transcendental degree. We will say that an element ‘b’ of A is the ‘localization of a on p’ if b prescribes the real atom resulting from the localization on the degree p of the atom prescribed by element a. (225)

At this point in our discussion, it is very important to emphasize once again that localization is a relation between elements of A, and therefore a relation that directly structures the being of the multiple. (225)

At the point of a real atom, being and appearing conjoin under the sign of the One. It only remains to formulate our  ‘postulate of materialism’, which authorizes a definition of the object. As we know, this postulate says: every atom is real. It is directly opposed to the Bergsonist or Deleuzean pre-supposition of the primacy of the virtual. In effect, it stipulates that the virtuality of an apparent’s appearing in such and such a world is always rooted in its actual ontological composition. (250-251)

It is crucial to remember that existence is not as such a category of being, but a category of appearing; a being only exists according to its being-there. And this existence is that of a  degree of existence, situated between inexistence and absolute existence. Existence is both a logical and an intensive concept. It is this double status which makes it possible to rethink death. (269)

Just like existence, death is not a category of being. It is a category of appearing, or, more precisely, of the becoming of appearing. To put it otherwise, death is a logical rather than an ontological concept. All that can be affirmed about ‘dying’ is that it is an affection of appearing, which leads from a situated existence that can be positively evaluated (even if it is not maximal) to a minimal existence, an existence that is nil  relatively to the world. (269-270)

[…] what comes to pass with death is an exterior change in the function of appearing of a given multiple. This change is always imposed upon the dying being, and this imposition is contingent. The right formula is Spinoza’s:  ‘No thing can be destroyed except through an external cause’. It is impossible to say of a being that it is ‘mortal’, if by this we understand that it is internally necessary for it to die. At most we can accept that death is possible for it, in the sense that an abrupt change in the function of appearing may befall it and that this change may amount to a minimization of its identity, and thus of its degree of existence. (270)


Book IV. Greater Logic, 3. Relation

[…] a relation is a connection between objective multiplicities—a function—that creates nothing in the register of intensities of existence, or in that of atomic localizations, which is not already prescribed by the regime of appearance of these multiplicities (by the objects whose ontological support they are). It is on this basis that the question of the universality of a relation poses itself. We will say that a relation is universally exposed in a world if it is clearly ‘visible’ from the interior of this world, in a sense which will be specified below. (301)

[…] a relation is universal if its intra-worldly visibility is itself visible. It is then effectively impossible to cast doubt on its existence. Within the full extension of the world, it is a relation for all. These considerations allow us to establish one of the most striking results of the analytic of worlds. We will demonstrate that every relation is uni-versal. More precisely, we will demonstrate that the infinity of a world (its ontological characteristic) entails the universality of relations (its logical characteristic). The extensive law of multiple being subsumes the logical form of relations. Being has the last word. It already did at the level of atomic logic, where we affirmed, under the name of ‘postulate of material-ism’, that every atom is real. That is why the universality of relations—which is itself not a postulate but a consequence—is accorded the status of ‘second constitutive thesis of materialism’. (302)

[…] we must think two types of relations, in order to secure an intelligible answer to the question of what a world is:

a. the constitutive relations (or operations) of the theory of the pure multiple, or theory of being-qua-being; in effect, every world is con-structed on the basis of multiple-beings, and it is important to know under what conditions these multiple-beings are globally exposed to constituting the being of a world;

b. the relations between apparents of the same world, that is to say the relations between objects. (305)

[…] if you totalize the parts of an (ontological) component of a world, counting as one the system of these parts, you get an entity of the same world. This is the second fundamental property with regard to the operative extension of a world thought in its being: a world makes immanent every local totalization of the parts of that which com-poses it. Its state (the count as one of the subsets of the beings that are there) is itself in the world, and not transcendent to it. Just as there is no ultimate formless matter, so there is no principle of the state of affairs. (308)

The extension of a world remains inaccessible to the operations that open up its multiple-being and allow it to radiate. Like the Hegelian absolute, a world is the unfolding of its own infinity. But, unlike that Absolute, the world cannot internally construct the measure or the concept of the infinite that it is. This impossibility is what assures that a world is closed, without it thereby being representable as a Whole from the interior of the scene of appearance that it constitutes. (309)

This paradoxical property of the ontology of worlds—their oper-ational closure and immanent opening—is the proper concept of their infinity. We will sum it up by saying: every world is affected by an inaccess-ible closure. (310)

A relation, within appearing, is necessarily subordinated to the transcen-dental intensity of the apparents that it binds together. Being-there—and not relation—makes the being of appearing. This is what we could call the axiom of relations. I say ‘axiom’ because of the intuitive, or phenomeno-logical, manifestness of its content: relation draws its being from what it binds together. The most rigorous formulation of the axiom could then be the following: a relation creates neither existence nor difference. Let’s recall that an object, the unit of counting of appearing, is the couple formed by a multiple-being and its transcendental indexing (or function of appearing) in a determinate world. We will then call ‘relation’ between two objects of a given world every function of the elements of the one towards the elements of the other, such that it preserves existences and safeguards or augments identities (that is, maintains or diminishes differences). (310)

A relation is an oriented connection from one object towards another, on condition that the existential value of an element of the first object is never inferior to the value which, through this connection, corresponds to it in the second object, and that to the transcendental measure of an identity in the one there corresponds in the other a transcendental measure which also cannot be inferior.

If we wish to move to a positive definition of relations, we will say: a relation between two objects is a function that conserves the atomic logic of these objects, and in particular the real synthesis which affects their being on the basis of their appearing. It is this definition in terms of conservation or invariants which we will adopt in the formal exposition. (312)

Every object—considered in its being as a pure multiple—is inexorably marked by the fact that in appearing in this world it could have also not appeared and, moreover, it may appear in another world. (321)

Generally speaking, given a world, we will call ‘proper inexistent of an object’ an element of the underlying multiple whose value of existence is minimal. Or again, an element of an apparent which, relative to the transcendental indexing of this apparent, inexists in the world. The thesis on the rationality of the contingency of worlds can then be stated as follows: every object possesses, among its elements, an inexistent. (322-323)

The inexistent of an object is suspended between (ontological) being and a certain form of (logical) non-being. We can conclude the following: given an object in a world, there exists a single element of this object which inexists in that world. It is this element that we call the proper inexistent of the object. It testifies, in the sphere of appearance, for the contingency of being-there. In this sense, its (onto-logical) being has (logical) non-being as its being-there. (324)

We will posit in effect that a functional connection between objects is identifiable as a relation only to the extent that it ‘conserves’ the principal transcendental particularities of these objects, in particular the degrees of existence and the localizations. This means that no relation has the power to upset the real atomic substructure of appearing. There is a resistance of matter. (336)


Nicholas Heron “The Ungovernable”

October 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Heron, Nicholas 2011. The Ungovernable. Angelaki. Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 16 (2): 159-174.[…] for him [Agamben] the term dispositif serves simply as the general designation for a particular modality of power, assuming many and varied forms, generating many and varied effects, which has accompanied the appearance of living beings since time immemorial – but whose distinct orientation is nonetheless always specific, always practical (‘‘economic’’ in the precise sense that Aristotle gives to this term). (161)

So we have, according to Agamben, two great groups or classes, as it were separated by a massive partition: on the one side, living beings (or substances), and on the other, the dispositifs in which they are incessantly captured. […] he decisively complicates this schema through the implication of a third element, ‘‘between the two’’; what he terms precisely the ‘‘subject.’’ It is at this point that he advances his second conceptual definition. ‘‘I call subject,’’ he writes, ‘‘what results from the relation and, so to speak, from the struggle [ corpo a corpo : literally, ‘‘body to body’’; in the corresponding English phrasing, ‘‘hand to hand’’] between living beings and dispositifs .’’ (161)

The dispositif is not an external mechanism, intervening as it were from without, entirely separate from the living beings whose conduct it would seek to administer. It is nothing other than its effects, and has no consistency outside of them. The dispositif functions, that is to say, as an index of the living being’s governability : it names both the being disposed (the being ordered) and the disposition itself (the order itself). The first operation of the governmental dispositif, of every governmental dispositif , thus consists in making the living being governable – which is to say, by transform-ing it into a subject . In this sense, the governmental paradigm not only presupposes but also effectively procures – precisely through the attribution of the predicate – the freedom of the governed. (166)

Being a subject thus constitutes the living being’s mode of being in the mesh of whatever dispositif. And the modal category to which it corresponds is contingency. If there is no constituent subject, but only a living being which becomes the subject of this or that dispositif, then the subject is, by definition, a being that can both be and not be; it is a contingent being . The occurrence of a subject, in so far as it can both be and not be, marks the occurrence of a contingency. (166)

In order to perform and to fulfil its function, in order to operate as a mechanism of governance, the grafting of each and every dispositif , according to Agamben, must always involve a concomitant process of subjectivation (in the absence of which, he writes, it risks being reduced to a mere exercise of violence). (168)

[…] the dispositif itself has no separate existence outside of the contingent of subjects which manifest its functioning; by virtue of what is only apparently a tautology, its end is immanent to the subjects it governs precisely in so far as it governs them. The subject is thus the mode that living beings assume in the mesh of this or that governmental dispositif (in so far, that is to say, as they are nothing other than this mesh). (168)

Properly contingent, according to Agamben, are those events that could not have happened, could not have taken place, precisely at the moment in which they did happen, in which they did take place. A contingency is a potentiality that exists: it names the condition according to which a potentiality – that ‘‘amphi-bolous’’ being which, even in actuality, following Aristotle’s definition, preserves its own capacity not to be – can realise itself. The subject, for Agamben, is precisely what marks this taking place of a potentiality as the event – contingit – of a contingency. (168-169)

To be subject means, in this sense, to be the subject of this activity, this praxis; it means to have this activity, this praxis, within one’s capacity . But with this important caveat: that the subject is wholly determined as this capacity and cannot be said in any sense to pre-exist it. Such is, according to Agamben, the operation conducted by the governmental dispositif : the tracing of a caesura in the living being, which separates out in it a capacity to and a capacity not to – which makes of it, precisely, a subject. (169)

Power, in its governmental form, does not therefore merely presuppose the freedom of the subjects it governs, as Foucault had main-tained; rather, as we have sought to demonstrate, it effectively produces it, each and every time, in and through the act of governance itself. But for precisely this reason freedom is not something outside of the subject, like a property, which it may be said to possess or not possess: qua subject it is inscribed in its very being. (169)

Only if the subject could (also) not be, could (also) not take place – only there, according to Agamben, is there a subject. In its very being, the subject thus ‘‘attests’’ to its contingency; it ‘‘bears witness’’ to its being able not to be. (169)

What is a living being? We can now answer with some precision: it is that which receives definition only on account of its inclusion – only on account of its capture – in a governmental dispositif. (169)

The living being is thus included in a dispositif through its very exclusion – which is to say, through its becoming a subject. The subject is the necessarily contingent result of this capture: it is what appears as such when the living being disappears as such. The inclusive exclusion of the living being in a governmental dispositif is what grounds the possibility of a subject. (169)

If it is true, according to Foucault’s inversion of the Aristotelian formula, which Agamben has adopted for his own purposes, that ‘‘modern man is an animal whose politics places his existence as a living being in question’’ 67 and that, henceforth, all politics is biopolitics, we cannot fail to register the follow-ing, drastic consequence: once the oikonomia of bare life itself is installed as the ultimate political task, once bare life itself becomes, so to speak, the subject of politics, this means the impossibility not only of politics (which now subsists as a decision on the ‘‘impolitical’’) but also of a subject in the strict sense. (169-170)

The Ungovernable: it is the beginning, the starting place, the source of every politics, as we have seen, because it is precisely what the governmental dispositif must presuppose, what it must capture at its centre, in order to be able to operate, in order to be able to function. It is the vanishing point, because the task of its exposition is not something that may be accomplished once and for all, is not a state that may be ultimately achieved. Precisely because the living, human being as such is an ungovernable, ‘‘inoperative’’ being, precisely because its existence is without purpose, in vain – this is what triggers, sustains and, indeed, necessitates the incessant activity of the governmental machine. But for this very reason it is also always that which can be retroactively affirmed in order to interrupt its functioning. (170)

Risto Heiskala “Semiootilise sotsioloogia suunas”

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Heiskala, Risto 2012. Semiootilise sotsioloogia suunas: semioloogia, semiootika ning fenomenoloogilise sotsioloogia süntees. – Acta Semiotica Estica IX: 42-65

Strukturalistlik kooditeooria:

1) Struktuure mõistetakse kui suletud koode. […] Subjektid  on  seega  oma  tegevuses täielikult  struktuuri  külge  seotud.  Kõik teated, mida saab edasi anda, on juba koodi kätketud ning „enne kui edastamine  on  isegi  alanud,  teab  vastuvõtja  juba  kõike,  mida  on võimalik  öelda.  Ainus,  mida  ta  ei  tea,  on  see,  mida  faktiliselt öeldakse” (Descombes 1979: 93–94).

2) Assotsiatiivsed  suhted  tõlgendatakse  ümber  paradigmaatilisteks suheteks, millel on lõplik arv elemente (Barthes 1994: 59).

3) Süntagmaatilised  suhted  välistatakse  struktuurist  ja  inkorporee-ritakse  kõnes  aset leidvasse  realiseerimisvaldkonda  (Barthes  1994: 59–60).

4) Struktuuri  elementide  vahelised  suhted  pole  mitte  ainult  binaarsed, vaid ka hierarhilised selles  mõttes, et üks  liige on  opositsiooni alusväärtus (default value) ja teine tuletatud liige.

5) Struktuurid on teadvustamatud.

6) Struktuurid  on  universaalsed. (46-47)

Strukturalismi  vorm,  mis  võtab  omaks  need  alusveendumused, nagu  ka  enamik  strukturalismi  vorme,  mis  võtavad  omaks  vaid mõned neist, satuvad raskustesse vähemalt kahes küsimuses. Esiteks ei  suuda  nad  vastata  küsimusele,  kuidas  struktuurid  muutuvad. Teiseks  ei  suuda  nad  tegeleda  kodeeritud  tähenduste  situatsiooni-liselt  loovate  kasutustega  (vt  nt  Sperber,  Willson  1986). (47)

Neostrukturalistlik teooria:

1) Semioosis  leidub  (suhteliselt)  suletud  koode  nagu  foneemide süsteem,  liiklusmärgid  või  sõjaväelised  auastmed,  kuid  need moodustavad  pigem  erijuhud  kui  reegli.  Kogu  kultuur  ise  kui hiiglaslik  struktureeritud  ja  struktureeriv  tähendussüsteem  on pidevas artikulatsiooni voolavuses. […] Artikulatsioonimoment  on  just  täpselt  see  punkt,  kus erinevuste  mäng  transformeerub,  piiramisprotsessi  kaudu,  keeleliseks või semioloogiliseks struktuuriks kui sotsiaalseks faktiks (vt nt samas,  166–167, 182). See sotsiaalne  fakt  ei  ole  aga  järeleandmatu ja  suletud  kood  ilma  muutusteta,  vaid  strukturatsiooni  või artikulatsiooni- ja ümberartikulatsiooniprotsess.

2) [Juba Saussure ise] mõistis  assotsiatiivseid  suhteid eksplitsiitselt lõpututena ja igast antud liikmest mitmetes suundades selliselt kiirguvatena, et see tootis pidevas voolavuses oleva situatsiooniliselt varieeruva võrgustiku.

3) Nagu  ülal  vihjatud,  on  võimalik  struktuuri  mõistet  tõlgendada nõnda, et nii süntagmaatilised kui ka assotsiatiivsed suhted temasse panustavad.

4) […] pole  mingit  põhjust  arvata,  et  kõik  suhted  on binaarsed.  Peirce  näiteks  tõlgendab  märgisuhet  triaadilisena.  Järg-mises  alapunktis  püüan  ma  näidata,  et seda märgikontseptsiooni võib ilma suurema ümbertegemiseta mõista kui struktuurielementide artikulatsiooni kirjeldust […]

5) Küsimus  struktuurielementide  loomusest  on  sattumuslik  probleem ning see muudab vajalikuks empiirilised uurimused erinevates kontekstides. On  ilmselge,  et  kultuuris  on hierarhilisi  erinevusi (näiteks  sõjaväelised  auastmed).  On  samuti  ilmselge,  et  leidub erinevuste  süsteeme,  mis  on  osaliselt  hierarhilised  (näiteks  soosüs-teem,  mille  murenemine  on  edenenud  selliselt,  et  naised  on  omandanud  positsioone  ja  omadusi,  mida  varem  seostati  ainult  meeste identiteediga).  Ent  on  samuti  erinevuste  süsteeme,  mis  ei  ole  üldse hierarhilised  (näiteks  värvide  klassifitseerimise  süsteem)  või  on osaliselt hierarhilised ja osaliselt mitte (näiteks soosüsteem).

6) Kuigi  võib  olla  teadvustamatuid  struktuure,  ei  ole  tarvilik,  et struktuur  oleks teadvustamatu  ning  suur  osa  (enamik?)  strukturridest, mida uurivad sotsiaalteadlased, on kas täielikult või valdavalt toimijate teadvustatud või eelteadvustatud refleksiooni haardeulatuses.  Sel  juhul  seisneb  uurija  panus  peamiselt  süsteemi  laiahaardelises  ja eksplitsiitses  kodifitseerimises.

7) […] leidub igas kultuurili-ses  süsteemis  mõningaid  universaalseid  dimensioone;  s.t,  selle asemel, et märgid oleksid täiesti meelevaldsed, on nad teatud ulatu-ses  bioloogiliselt motiveeritud […] isegi  kui  tunnistame,  et  struktuurides leidub  universaalseid  dimensioone  ja  et  nende  uurimine  võib  olla viljakas, siis sotsiaalteadlane või kultuuriuurija on enamasti huvitatud  ajaliselt  ja  kohaliselt  varieeruvatest  protsessidest  ning  struktuuridest. (48-50)

[…] tähistaja  ning  tähistatava  artikulatsiooni  võib  tõlgendada  kui märgi  kolmandat  komponenti.  Lisaks  võib  esitada  saussure’iliku  ja peirce’iliku  märgi  vahelise  isomorfilise  suhte  nõnda,  et tähistaja=esitis;  tähistatav=objekt;  ja  tähistaja  ning  tähistatava artikulatsioon=tõlgend. (52)

[…] töötas  Peirce  väga  sageli  kontseptsiooniga semioosist,  milles  märgi  objekt  ei  olnud  mingi  semioosi  väline osutus  (referent),  vaid  selle  sisene  representatsioon. […] Sellel  üldisemal  kultuuri-semiootilisel  väljal  on  objekt  identne  saussure’iliku  tähistatavaga. Teisisõnu on ta konstruktsioon, mis stabiliseerub kultuuriprotsessis. (52)

Tema [Peirce’i] jaoks oli semioos  see  viis,  kuidas  kultuur  aset  leiab  ning  selles  laiemas semiootilise  uurimuse  alas  jõudis  tema  objektimõistmine  lähedale sellele,  kuidas  Saussure  mõistis  tähistatavat. (52)

Mis  siis  viitab  liikumisele  ja  muutusele? Neostrukturalistlik  vastus  on  artikulatsioon,  mida  võiks  mõista peirce’ilike tõlgendite ahela ajalise vooluna. See tähendab ütelda, et viisi,  kuidas  neostrukturalistlik  struktuur  on  pidevas  artikulatsiooni ja  ümberartikulatsiooni  protsessis,  võib  mõista  peirce’iliku semioosina. (53)

Sel moel saame kõige üldisema võimali-ku kirjelduse semioosist kui protsessist, milles kultuur kui märgisuhete struktuur  on  pidevalt  ümberartikuleeritud  tõlgendite  voolus. (54)

Nad [Berger ja Luckmann]  defineerisid  institutsiooni  kui  teatud  vormis  harjumus-pärastatud  käitumise,  milles teatud  liiki  toimijad  ning  tüüpilised tegutsemisskeemid  on  vastastikku  tüpiseeritud;  ja  legitimatsiooni kui  institutsiooni  diskursiivse  põhjendamise  (seoses  näiteks  sellesünni ja funktsiooni ajalooga). Nendest definitsioonidest oli sotsiaal-teoorial kasu, kuna enam polnud tarvis tõmmata teravat eraldusjoont ühelt  poolt  tähenduse  kultuuriliste  tõlgenduste  ja  teiselt  poolt ühiskonna  institutsiooniliste  struktuuride  vahele  ning  seejärel küsida,  kumb  määrab  kumma. Selle  asemel  oli  tee  tähenduste tõlgendustest  sotsiaalstruktuuri  faktideni  kontiinum,  kus  erinevate elementide  vastastiksõltuvuse  ja  määratlemise  suhted  võivad erinevatel ajahetkedel sattumuslikel viisidel varieeruda. (57)

Peirce’i  terminites (CP  5.480)  võiksime  ütelda,  et  kontiinumis  harjumus  (habit)–uskumus–tõene uskumus, muudavad Berger ja Luckmann teadmiste sotsioloogia  fookust  ülemineku  kaudu  tõese  uskumuse  kategooriast uskumuse  kategooriasse;  ent  ka  nende  harjumuse  mõiste  on defineeritud  sellel  tasemel  ning  ei  ole  võimeline  end  suruma peirce’iliku harjumuse mõiste veelgi fundamentaalsemale tasemele. (57)

[…] tähenduse artikulatsiooni (Saussure) või objekti ja märgi ühenda-mist  tõlgendi  poolt (Peirce)  võib  mõista  intentsionaalse  aktina. (58)

[…] uue  uurimise  alamvälja  avamine,  milles  toimi-jad  ise  ei  ole  oma  tähistamistegevuse  kompetentsed  tõlgendajad ning  nende  tõlgenduste  asemel  või  lisaks  nendele  vajame hüpoteetilisi  tõlgendusi  näiteks  semiootikute,  kriitiliste  sotsioloogide  või psühhoanalüütikute  poolt  (vt  Bourdieu  1980;  Silverman  1983). (58)

[…] toob  strukturalistlik artikulatsiooniteooria lisaks märgi teadvusele ilmumise aktile sisse assotsiatiivsed ja süntagmaatilised suhted, mis märgil on teiste märkidega.  Sel  viisil  on  fenomenoloogiline  sotsioloogia  vabastatud „kohalolu  metafüüsikast”  ja  sellega  seotud  püüdlustest  leida „sisekõnet” (Husserl) või mõnd muud tähistajate mõjust saastamata „transtsendentaalset tähistatavat” (vt Derrida 1973; 1981). (58)

Nancy Fraser “Rethinking Recognition”

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Fraser, Nancy 2000. Rethinking Recognition. – New Left Review 3: 107-120

We are facing, then, a new constellation in the grammar of political claims-making—and one that is disturbing on two counts. First, this move from redistribution to recognition is occurring despite—or because of—an acceleration of economic globalization, at a time when an agg ressively expanding capitalism is radically exacerbating economic inequality. In this context, questions of recognition are serving less to supplement, complicate and enrich redistributive struggles than to marginalize, eclipse and displace them. I shall call this  the problem of displacement. (108)

Second, today’s recognition struggles are occurring at a moment of hugely increasing transcultural interaction and communica-tion, when accelerated migration and global media flows are hybridizing and pluralizing cultural forms. Yet the routes such struggles take often serve not to promote respectful interaction within increasingly multi-cultural contexts, but to drastically simplify and reify group identities. They tend, rather, to encourage separatism, intolerance and chauvin-ism, patriarchalism and authoritarianism. I shall call this the problem of reification. (108)

The usual approach to the politics of recognition—what I shall call the ‘identity model’— starts from the Hegelian idea that identity is con-structed dialogically, through a process of mutual recognition. According to Hegel, recognition designates an ideal reciprocal relation between subjects, in which each sees the other both as its equal and also as sepa-rate from it. This relation is constitutive for subjectivity: one becomes an individual subject only by virtue of recognizing, and being recog-nized by, another subject. Recognition from others is thus essential to the development of a sense of self. To be denied recognition—or to be ‘misrecognized’—is to suffer both a distortion of one’s relation to one’s self and an injury to one’s identity. (109)

By equating the politics of recognition with identity politics, it encour-ages both the reification of group identities and the displacement of redistribution. (110)

[…] culturalist proponents of identity politics simply reverse the claims of an earlier form of vulgar Marxist economism: they allow the politics of recognition to displace the politics of redistribution, just as vulgar Marxism once allowed the politics of redistribution to displace the politics of recognition. In fact, vulgar culturalism is no more adequate for understanding contemporary society than vulgar economism was. (111)

Displacement, however, is not the only problem: the identity politics model of recognition tends also to reify identity. Stressing the need to elaborate and display an authentic, self-affirming and self-generated collective identity, it puts moral pressure on individual members to conform to a given group culture. Cultural dissidence and experimen-tation are accordingly discouraged, when they are not simply equated with disloyalty. (112)

Ironically, then, the identity model serves as a vehicle for misrecognition: in reifying group identity, it ends by obscuring the politics of cultural identifi cation, the struggles within the group for the authority—and the power—to represent it. By shielding such struggles from view, this approach masks the power of dominant fractions and reinforces intragroup domination. The identity model thus lends itself all too easily to repressive forms of communitarianism, promoting conformism, intolerance and patriarchalism. (112)

Paradoxically, moreover, the identity model tends to deny its own Hegelian premisses. Having begun by assuming that identity is dialogical, constructed via interaction with another subject, it ends by valorizing monologism—supposing that misrecognized people can and should construct their identity on their own. (112)

I shall consequently propose an alternative approach: that of treating recognition as a question of social status. From this perspective, what requires recognition is not group-specific identity but the status of individual group members as full partners in social interaction. Misrecognition, accordingly, does not mean the depreciation and defor-mation of group identity, but social subordination—in the sense of being prevented from participating as a peer in social life. To redress this injustice still requires a politics of recognition, but in the ‘status model’ this is no longer reduced to a question of identity: rather, it means a politics aimed at overcoming subordination by establishing the misrecog nized party as a full member of society, capable of participating on a par with the rest. (113)

[…] misrecognition is neither a psychic deformation nor a free-standing cultural harm but an institutionalized relation of social subordination. To be misrecognized, accordingly, is not simply to be thought ill of, looked down upon or devalued in others’ attitudes, beliefs or representations. It is rather to be denied the status of a full partner in social interaction […] (113)

[…] the status model tailors the remedy to the concrete arrangements that impede parity. Thus, unlike the identity model, it does not accord an a priori privilege to approaches that valorize group specifi city. Rather, it allows in principle for what we might call universalist recognition, and deconstructive recognition, as well as for the affi rmative recognition of difference. The crucial point, once again, is that on the status model the politics of recognition does not stop at identity but seeks institutional remedies for institutionalized harms. Focused on culture in its socially grounded (as opposed to free-floating) forms, this politics seeks to overcome status subordination by changing the values that regulate interaction, entrenching new value patterns that will promote parity of participation in social life. (114-115)

Unlike the identity model, then, the status model understands social justice as encompassing two analytically distinct dimensions: a dimension of recognition, which concerns the effects of institutionalized meanings and norms on the relative standing of social actors; and a dimension of distribution, which involves the allocation of disposable resources to social actors. (115)

The recognition dimension corresponds to the status order of society, hence to the constitution, by socially entrenched patterns of cultural value, of culturally defi ned categories of social actors—status groups—each distinguished by the relative honour, prestige and esteem it enjoys vis-à-vis the others. The distributive dimension, in contrast, corresponds to the economic structure of society, hence to the constitu-tion, by property regimes and labour markets, of economically defined categories of actors, or classes, distinguished by their differential endow-ments of resources. (116)

Nick Hardy “Foucault, Genealogy, Emergence”

October 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Hardy, Nick 2010. Foucault, Genealogy, Emergence: Re-Examining the Extra-Discursive. – Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 41:1, 68-91

This paper aims to refine Foucault’s position by pursuing two interlinked linesof inquiry. The first is to deepen Foucault’s conception of power by extending theuse of the extra-discursive as a part of his ontological grounding of power. Thismeans that power “relations” come to be understood as contingent and multi-vectored and power “effects” as multi-causal. The second is to show that these relations have a constitutive effect upon the subjects on which they exert influence. Seen in this way, subjects become examples of constitutive emergence —meaning they are neither mere discursive constructs (i.e. “defined”) nor ontologically distinct (i.e. physically/essentially unique). (68)

A discursive formation can be understood as the particular ordering of the four elements that constitute it: things (objects), things said (types of statement), ideas (concepts) and groupings (thematic choices). Each discursive formation is different because each one has particular rules of formation, dictating what can and cannotbe said, whom or what has the ability to speak, what is determined/identified toexist or not exist, and what can or cannot change within its boundaries […] (71)

[…] it appears that thediscursive formation would not be able to operate in the same form without thoseincorporated extra-discursive elements. (71)

Thus the pre-existing extra-discursive becomes co-opted into discursivities and, when a discourse becomes powerful enough, the extra-discursive then begins to be reformed by that discursivity. (72) – pre-existing?

Foucault is claiming that there is structure to discourse(s) and that it is through the various “rules” of discursive formations thatthe world is understood (and, to some extent, also shaped). The extra-discursive,then, forms not only key elements within discourses (objects, entities, etc.), but alsothe external structures that discourse applies itself through (e.g. the pre-existing social institutions that become “surfaces of emergence” for discursive objects) (Dupont and Pearce, 2001: 145; Pearce and Woodiwiss, 2001). (72)

The “discovery” of madness in the prison and hospital system (ibid.: 417–418) is explicitly linked, in Foucault’s work, to the extra-discursive reality of confinement. The isolation of the mad—i.e. their continued incarceration while other groups(beggars, vagabonds, petty criminals, etc.), with whom they were originally con-fined, were subsequently moved out or into other spaces such as workhouses—contributed to the alteration and construction of new discursive formations relating to madness. (74)

No discourse develops against a tabula rasa backdrop; alldiscourses form and develop in situ, influenced, structured and constrained by thecontext in which they exist. The confinement of the mad took place and was only possible because of the (contingent) pre-existence of the empty leper houses. (74)

But, importantly for the discussion inthis paper, the extra-discursive is not a passive, malleable object waiting to be“defined” by a particular discursive position: it continually “bites back”, as demonstrated by the multitude of uexpected events and outcomes that constantly occur. These unexpected outcomes mean that a dispositif  must be continually repaired and/or modified in order to maintain particular relations between knowledge(s) and forces. (75-76)

Dispositifs, in this account, play an importantrole in both creating, consolidating and aiding particular blocks as well as supportingthe particular “relations of force” that enable the reproduction of a particulardominant group at a particular time (CF: 203). A dispositif is as close as Foucault comes to articulating the form and presence of a “meta-structure” present insociety (1976a/1990: 93, 94). (76)

Juan Carlos Goméz “Mutual awareness in primate communication”

October 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Goméz, Juan Carlos 2006 [1994]. Mutual awareness in primate communication: A Gricean approach. – Parker, Sue Taylor; Mitchell, Robert W.; Boccia, Maria L. (eds). Self-awareness in animals and humans. Cambridge: Cambridge Univesity Press: 61-80.

When communication is studied in animals, cognitive components tend to be ignored, whereas students of human communication seem to overemphasize them. (61)

The kind of mental process that seems unavoidable in any Gricean account of communication is metarepresentation, or the ability to represent the representation of a thing instead of the thing itself. […] Organisms capable of attributing mental states are said to possess a theory of mind. Metarepresentation is inherently recursive; that is, a representation can refer to another representation that, in turn, refers to another, and so forth. (66)

This Gricean account of communication involves mutual awareness between the speaker and the listener […] Thus, a Gricean account of communication apparently implies a sophisticated combination of self-awareness – the ability to consider one’s own mental states – and other-awareness, or theory of mind (ToM) – the ability to take into account the mental processes of other people. (68)

Indeed, intentional communication seems sometimes to be identified with these metarepresentational capacities. However, we have seen that a metarepresentational view of intentional communication seems to require highly complex cognitive structures. (69)

[…] the Gricean interpretation of intentional communication is right, but […] it does not necessarily require sophisticated metarepresentational abilities, and can be applied to nonhuman primates and prelinguistic human infants. (69)

[…] according to this interpretation, human infants and gorillas would be able to understand other people’s minds using first-order representations of behaviours that directly reflect mental states such as attention. (72)

[…] if the eyes of the child meet the eyes of the adult, it must be because the adult is attending to his eyes, not to his gesture! You can know that someone is attending to you without making eye contact. If someone is looking at your hand or any other part of your body, he or she is attending to youm and in an excellent position to perceive any manual or corporeal gesture you carry out. In eye contact, however, the other person is not just attending to any part of your body: for eye contact to occur it is necessary that you attend to the eyes of the other person – checking his or her attention – and that the other person attends to your eyes too, probably checking your attention. This means that he or she is attending to your attention. (72)

Eye contact implies mutual attention, and this I will call attention contact. Attention contact consists of attending to the attention of a person who, in turn, is attending to your attention. (72)

Attention contact in them is not the result of complex metarepresentational abilities. It is primary, in the sense that it is first established; then, if one has the necessary cognitive tools, one can construct a metarepresentation of it and its implications. (73)

The concept of attention contact also allows us to understand how organisms presumably devoid of metarepresentational abilities, such as human infants and anthropoids, can nevertheless engage in intentional communication. They do not need to understand their partners’ ideas and intentions by means of second- or higher-order representations. (75)

The other’s attention points to your own attention and, as a result, you are led to your own attention as a focus of attention. If we consider the signs of awareness, the structure of attention contact seems to lead to a first version of self-awareness (both as a physical and as an „aware“ or „attending“ entity).  (76)

The hypothesis I am putting forward is that mutual awareness […] first appears as a peceptual and attentional phenomenon with a peculiar, Gricean structure. By its own nature this phenomenon has a number of mental implications that may be computed only after an organism possesses particular cognitive abilities. […] When we analyze the implications of attention contact, it seems that many important later developments are embedded in its structure: self-consciousness, theory of mind, and complex intentional communication, for example. (77)

M. Gagnon, J.D. Daniel, A. Guta “Treatment Adherence Redefined”

October 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Gagnon, Marilou; Jacob, Jean Daniel; Guta, Adrian 2012. Treatmend adherence redefined: a critical analysis of technotherapeutics. – Nursing Inquiry (Epub ahead of print).

The development and implementa-tion of technotherapeutics are suggestive of particular tactics of governmentality that concern issues of individual conduct (i.e., treatment adherence), which are also known to inter-fere with the production of a healthy population. (2)

Direct methods may include direct observation by healthcare pro-viders (i.e., pharmacist) or objective measurements of drug concentrations in blood or urine. Thus, these methods not only require the presence of a healthcare provider who will record treatment adherence, but imply that individuals who deviate from the prescribed treatment will be automatically identified. In this sense, direct methods allow for healthcare providers to keep track of adherence via objective measure-ments (i.e., number of visits at the pharmacy, number of pills taken, and serum concentration) and intervene directly when individuals fail to take their treatment as prescribed. (3)

Recent advancements in technology now enable healthcare providers (and researchers) to monitor adherence indirectly via an electronic system capable of recording, for example, when medication bottles are opened (smart pill bottles) or when pumps are activated. Indirect methods such as this one have created new possibilities for healthcare providers to objectively monitor adherence at a distance and intervene directly when individuals fail to take their treatment as prescribed. (3)

By adding a digestible sensor to a standard pill capsule, the sensor undergoes an activation process within the stomach fluids and sends digital signals to the implantable microchip located under the skin of individuals who undergo prolonged treatments. For Proteus Biomedical, this device offers significant advantages for healthcare providers because it is capable of tracking the date and time of pill ingestion, recording drug-related information (i.e., type, dose, and place of manufacture), and measuring physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pres-sure, weight, blood glucose, body temperature, and respira-tory rate). This prototype is set to record information, generate feedback in real time for those involved in adher-ence work (including healthcare providers, patients, family members, and relatives), and promptly signal when a treat-ment is not being taken as prescribed. (3)

We will examine how this instrument of surveillance is, in fact, an anatomo-political instrument that exerts a hold over individual bodies and reconfigures individual behaviors in accordance with a pre-determined set of clinical objec-tives. (3-4)

By adherence work, we mean the broad range of activities through which healthcare providers, family members, rela-tives, and patients themselves look after treatment uptake to achieve optimal clinical outcomes. What becomes evident is that the need to closely monitor treatment adherence, and ensure those who deviate from the prescribed treatment are identified in a timely fashion, has led to the development of a new panoptic machine. (5)

Here, it is important to recognize that the efficiency of the panop-tic machine can be explained by the fact that surveillance not only makes individuals aware that they are being watched, but it makes them engage in self-surveillance during times of deviance; or, before misconducts or faults (such as non-adherence) even take place (Holmes 2001). (5)

Theideahereistousethisnewandpreviously unavailable knowledge to sanction individuals who demon-strate poor adherence while validating those performances that meet expectations. From this perspective, it is believed that individuals will be motivated to adopt prescribed con-ducts, habits, and attitudes when they are confronted with their performance (optimal or not) and positioned in rela-tion to the norm. (5)

Bio-politics, explains Foucault (1990), is closely tied to surveillance and the production of knowledge about pop-ulations. In fact, the birth of bio-politics is said to coincide with the introduction of new techniques to study and closely monitor biological occurrences at the population level (Fou-cault 1990). (6)

Bio-politics stands for the administration of life as a col-lective reality (Lemke 2011) and the management of issues known to interfere with life processes. It is concerned with issues that can be documented, measured, and aggregated on the level of populations – but, also, with calculations of possible and probable risks (Gordon 1991). To this end, bio-political interventions take on the semblance of solutions to discrepancies uncovered in the process of gathering infor-mation about populations or in the process of calculating risks within the collective body. (6)

We locate the development and growth of technotherapeutics at the intersections of bio-politics, and what Clarke et al. (2003) have termed biomedicalization. (7)

[Biomedicalization] …is characterized by its greater organizational and institu-tional reach through the meso-level innovations made possible by computer and information sciences in clinical and scientific settings, including computer-based research and record-keeping. The scope of bio-medicalization processes is thus much broader, and includes conceptual and clinical expansions through the commodification of health, the elaboration of risk and surveillance, and innovative clinical applications of drugs, diagnostic tests, and treatment proce-dures (Clarke et al. 2003, 165). Clarke AE, JK Shim, L Mamo, JR Fosket and JR Fishman. 2003. Biomedicalization: Technoscientific transforma-tions of health, illness, and U.S. biomedicine. American Sociological Review 68: 161–194. (7)

Tech-notherapeutics brings together three major forms of risk identified in neoliberal societies; insurance risk, epidemio-logical risk, and case management (Dean 2010). These three conceptions of risk are less concerned with individual adher-ence than with managing shared health costs, the spread of disease, and keeping individuals who pose a risk connected to regulatory systems. Risk assessment is no longer an indi-vidual matter, but now accounts for whole groups and their practices, and the social risk they pose in relation to health and disease, life and death. (7)

Overall, we understand technotherapeutics as serving to both disci-pline individual bodies and also to regulate whole groups of people deemed to constitute a threat to the collective body. In this sense, we consider that adherence work is above all a political project that endeavors to achieve optimal disease management (through surveillance and discipline), reduce the financial burden of treatment non-adherence on health-care systems, and serve to further marginalize and differenti-ate ‘at-risk groups’ because of their unwillingness or inability to conform. (7)

Returning to the bio-political goal of ‘making live’ and ‘letting die’, we understand that the populations deemed ‘hard to reach’ and ‘vulnerable’ – gay and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, injection drug users, and aboriginal people – have been historically constructed as ‘risky’ and dangerous. In this particular context, technotherapeutics would allow for healthcare providers to gather previously unavailable information about these populations and use this information to intervene directly with patients who deviate from prescribed treatments; not for theirbenefit,but to make sure they do not affect those who the state would ‘make live’ (otherwise useful and productive bodies). (8)

On one hand, technotherapeu-tics are being introduced under the premise that they can improve the therapeutic management of chronic conditions, maximize clinical outcomes, facilitate communication with healthcare providers, and individualize the care provided to those who undergo prolonged treatments. (9)

On the other hand, the development and implementation of technothera-peutics suggest particular tactics of governmentality that can-not be overlooked. (9)