And the Beginning of Philosophy
16 JULY 2021
If the concept of history and the history of philosophy constructed under it are contaminated by geo-politics then that philosophy must be allowed to end. We also find that this history is continuous with the selection of thematics, concepts and concerns which were at first theological. To begin philosophy again is to open ourselves to the fundamental philosophical experience, the obscure experience, which was surrendered to religion because religion controlled the end of the world. This beginning will also require that we discard classical logic and the law of identity for new faculties.
Library of Ashurbanipal; Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
here is the love of philosophy. It is neither the love that someone may have for philosophy (today we call them “philosophy fans” or “philofans”) nor is it the love that the philosopher has for wisdom.
It is the love erupting in philosophy: It is the love that philosophy has to give. Philosophy’s love. To begin again from another beginning, of which we knew intimately in our hearts as often as it skipped a beat, is to relieve the love of philosophy so that it may now do its work. This love is not the self-love of identity, faith, charity, and philia. The love of philosophy moves with lust, the loose, the spreading, the exploding.
The other lust, the other beginning which has already loosened itself, multiplied, and has arrived at you, has now risen in you by becoming your love, your anastasis. As you may see, the familiar—P is P, P and Q, P or Q and its old and current variants—will morally confine you with their self-love, and keep you away from this lust; this lust, it is more rigorous with its formalities which far exceed the classical notions of formality. This has to be explored with a heart, it must explode within a heart, explode as hearts, which can rise with the explosions of the stars and fall into the quiet lakes which mirror the movement of the skies—that is, your heart.
This love is not given from a soil—the soil which smells of the blood of Achilles, or Karna, or Salahuddin, or Tomoe Gozen, or Spotted Elk. It is not given from illogical geo-political determinations—west and east, and north and south. This love is repelled by national philosophies and the latter with their self-identifying self-love have no other terror than this love, this lust, this wanderlust of man, which we witness now at all borders. This lust, this loosening, this seizure of hearts, your heart’s rush comes from a non-place—the internet. The other beginning has no land, no flag, no blood, no soil. It is not planted, it is loose, it lets, it lets loose, it lusts. It is the loosening of philosophy. It is the lust for freedom. It is the lust of freedom.
In this text of Jean-Luc Nancy we experience this love. In this difficult text — O Jean-Luc, how difficult! —we are asked to reconsider the now familiar love for philosophy as opposed to national philosophical movements (which are entwined with regional fascisms) and from philosophy as entertainment, something we consume in the series of internet memes, funny videos, and pornography of all kinds. Instead, there is rage. It explodes like Christ in the temple kicking and whipping away the usurpers of the space of the divine. Through that reference we must also indicate that it is time. The hours—not an identical moment, not simultaneity, as we will see—have arrived.
Nancy’s text encloses one of the most difficult of texts of Heidegger “End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking” (the difficulty is due to the political indecision in this text, concerning the ‘vocation’ of the geo-political invention called ‘the west’) in quotation marks, as if to guard us from its premises and conclusions, while opening the thought of the other beginning from within this text of Heidegger, and that which lies beyond its scope as Nancy had shown a long time ago. Nancy also suggests the other current in Heidegger’s corpus, which was published in recent decades, concerning the “other beginning” and its conditions. The conditions of the other beginning of philosophy in Heidegger lead to the text On Time and Being which is difficult due to a different order of reasons: It institutes a break with the logic derived from ontological difference for another logic, which Heidegger refused to develop beyond its ties to the principle of identity.
From here onwards we should engage with a few moments of certain philosophical texts scattered across time. These texts too wander, they too lust for the redemption of love. That is, they must not be thought of as confined to a history of philosophy which for Heidegger was the primary item of the geo-political project of ‘the west’. We should also think together in a wanderlust without surrendering to the temptations of other regional configurations—sciences and poetry—or nationalistic temptations, which include both the surviving vestiges of the projects of ‘the west’ and the newly assertive obscene stances of ‘the east’. That is, we wander, and we let loose that which is the love of philosophy and let it break through the borders and migration counters.
Heidegger produced various determinations of metaphysics. In an early text “What Is Metaphysics” Heidegger would present metaphysics as the kind of thinking which at its very inception, the inception of each individual metaphysical act, brings into view the whole of metaphysics and of beings while setting the metaphysician into question. In this manner, in that text, the nothing (better understood as the voluptuousness of all things in their polynomia) approaches the questioner as the things (better understood as that which has been determined as that particular thing, or a functional isolation) recede from the questioner. The experience of polynomia gives way to the most metaphysical of experiences for Heidegger, the angst, which is also listlessness, as opposed to lust.
In metaphysics, a difference is a difference in another, and in this sense the difference between Being and beings is without the third in which Being would separate from beings. This strange difference should either close in on beings for the oblivion of Being, or it should augment in such a way that at the limit of the difference two distinct kinds appear. Or, they disappear together as Nietzsche said.
Christ expulses money changers, Caravaggio, 1610; Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In the text under consideration—the text of Jean-Luc Nancy—and what its title refers to, the “End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking” of Heidegger, the determination of metaphysics is something different. It shows us the loss of a lust, a wanderlust which was short changed for something poorer—the geo-political dominance of a region, which as we know, for Heidegger comes through in the sense of ‘the volk’. There is then a journey of the meanings of metaphysics inside Heidegger’s corpus itself. It begins with
(1) the “pre-ontological understanding of Being” which belongs to the “Dasein” as its essence;
(2) the experience of listlessness—“all things and human beings and oneself along with them into a remarkable indifference”—against the revelation of the polynomia of things;
(3) and finally the identification of philosophy with what Heidegger conceived as “metaphysics”, which in turn was identified with “the west”.
For Heidegger, the end of philosophy was the beginning of the reign “the world civilization that is based upon Western European thinking” (1)
The dominance of the west is not a cheerful development for Heidegger; it is, in fact, the very privation of Being itself, if something like that can be thought easily. At the same time is it not gesture of false humility through which the fundamental decisions of humanity get reserved into “the west”? This question too is at stake in ‘the end of philosophy’.
Now, this geo-political conclusion of Heidegger and its hidden intentions should have been questioned a long while ago, but perhaps it did not appear to be ‘so funny’ when it was originally published. In all these determinations of the essence of metaphysics place and soil play an important role for Heidegger. We know of the soil texts and the recently published notebooks. Soil for him is not only the soil of the volk who dwell in the regularity afforded by it but it is also the soil of metaphysics. But for now, let us recall the introduction Heidegger wrote for “What Is Metaphysics” in 1949, where taking the arboreal analogy of Descartes – Philosophy is the tree of which metaphysics is the root, physics the trunk, all the other sciences are branches – he would remark that the roots give themselves “after a fashion, to the element of the soil” which is the truth of Being.
When we attend to this “history of metaphysics” which is also “the history of the west” we should understand what history is for Heidegger. History is intimately connected to the soil. The soil is the soil of Being if it is taken by the volk who make it the locus to grow and let it grow with them. This growth, to take his example, of the soil of the Balkan region taken by wars which propelled growth and wars, is the soil with a history. As he explains in a text from the Nazi period, “making history” means: first to create the space and soil”, where we find the sense of “to create space” resonating with “living room”. However, we come to know something more in these texts about history. Not all human beings can have history, of the growing relation with the attendant strife which is nourished by the soil, and which in turn nourishes the soil. Those who lack history are the ones who are not “volk” properly, and are inept at creating space and soil through capture and wars,
there are human beings and human groups (Negros like, for example, Kaffirs) who have no history [...] however, animal and plant life has a thousand year long and eventful history [...] within the human region, history can be missing, as with Negros. (2)
In the corpus of Heidegger, despite its many formal articulations of metaphysics, there is rarely an illuminating formal determination of history; that is, history is the tree rooted in a soil which belongs to those volk who capture it, own it, and it in turn nourishes them while this tree (arbour leads etymologically to “growth”) develops branches out of the trajectories of contestations. That is, history and “the west” are forever implicated in this racialisation of a provincial sort of gossip. Therefore, we will not carry this burden over from here.
However, we will return to the formalism of the relation to Being in Heidegger, the gravity of his warnings, and the limitations of these warnings later. Further, it should be apparent that we do not accept today this meaning of history; we do not accept this history of philosophy; and we will not be concerned anymore with the end of such a geo-political tale of philosophy. And, soon we will find the reasons of metaphysics according to which this tale of philosophy is still poor.
Then, it is time again to ask the question “what is philosophy”? As Gilles Deleuze remarked, it is a question one asks in old age. When Deleuze asked it, he was not that old. He too was thinking of the old age of philosophy; philosophy in its old age asks itself—for it can ask nobody else—what is philosophy? It is another matter that Deleuze assumed the posture of indifference to the “end of philosophy” discussions and to “deconstruction”.
But we are not concerned with history and philosophy as a geo-political instruments. We are letting lose, the lust of philosophy. We don’t have to borrow “the other beginning” from Heidegger, which will then be a geriatric gesture as per that sense of history which we left behind. Instead, we experience this birth as the love which summons freedom, the lust which scatters the listlessness. We begin again, on the non-soil of a non-nation, in the world of everyone and no one, philosophy as the giving of love according to its relation to that which is obscure—there is something, and that we are obscure ourselves. (3)
However, for this occasion (because we will find other occasions together, and accordingly, we will account differently) we should account for what it was that came to be called philosophy in a constricting and consolidated manner since Heidegger.
There are certain early tendencies in the formal organisation of thinking which was concerned with everything in a region, which is not Greece. The Greeks never knew themselves as Greeks. As far as we know, pending archaeological discoveries, the region where these formal thinkers who gave principles to the thinking of everything appeared from the “Asia minor”, Northern Africa, Mesopotamia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Phoenicia, and the Mediterranean region. We should note here that we still don’t know sufficiently about the formal thoughts and metaphysical inventions of other regions of the world, which we had been evaluating on the basis of a restricted understanding of philosophy and a geo-political history of philosophy; in recent decades, on the basis of a Heideggerian syllabus.
This has to be explored with a heart, it must explode within a heart, explode as hearts, which can rise with the explosions of the stars and fall into the quiet lakes which mirror the movement of the skies—that is, your heart.
Native American Chief Spotted Elk lies dead after the massacre of Wounded Knee, 1890; Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Of these thinkers, for certain reasons Plato and Aristotle came to be held up as the points of origin of all thinking concerning philosophy and the construction of its history. The most important reason is the survival of their texts which in turn is related to their adaptability into religions – Christianity and Islam – which took control of life and thought in these regions. One cannot easily imagine Epicurus, Lucretius, and Zeno the Phoenician being adopted by either Islam or Christianity. Instead, Epicureanism made its appearance in the region now called Europe during the period known as renaissance. What came to be constituted as “west” and “western philosophy” in the 19th century was already prepared by this first syllabus of the philosophical selections of the Islamic and then the Christian theologians.
This hour is the urgent beginning; we should come to details of this tale and the implications it had for the development of various formalities in philosophy and the sciences on another occasion.
It is in the metaphysics of Aristotle, which closely follow the questions opened by Plato’s Parmenides (The One), that the primary conditions of philosophy in “western philosophy” are to be found and not in the pronouncements of the poem on the unity of being and thought, which we came to understand by thinking back to it through the path opened by Aristotle, and then Heidegger. As we know, logic is not concerned with questions, such “what is sorrow?”, “who is Mudimbe?”, “Why is there something?” Logic is concerned with any P whatsoever, which is how it claims its universality; that is, without being a discipline which enquires into the distinctions between the general, the specific and the individual it calculates the terms and relations which come to it determined in advance. However, logic would come to be the ground of metaphysics from the Middle Ages.
According to the early Wittgenstein, logic, which is also our common place wisdom today, sends these questions to the sciences. Classically, ontology is the discipline concerned with the meaning of something. The answer to the question “what is x?” is never given in terms of that thing, but in terms of some other thing, or that which is said of the thing in our consideration, and these answers lead to the meaning of meaning itself, which, we insist, must mean something. In a certain sense ontology is the common place activity which everyone practices. However, as the activity of thinking which refers everything to that which is said of everything is not at all what is being called ontology today. Today, there is a careless distribution of ‘ontologies’ such as programming language ontologies, machine ontology, and computational ontology which are projected on to the level of what was called fundamental ontology. This activity can confuse thinking, but it can also create calamitous outcomes.
If logic presupposes a metaphysics according to which it receives terms and relations this metaphysics remains Aristotelian. We can arrive at this metaphysics from different texts and different pathways of his corpus. But for this purpose, it is the text Metaphysics that is important. As we know, the concept of substance is that through which the unity of each thing experienced, which themselves vary within ranges, and they come and go. But that against which all substances and all kinds of substances achieve their unity, and the reason for this unity were offered by him in Metaphysics, to which the sciences return from time to time without having to read it because the problems of philosophy remain open to all those who think towards the obscure experience. The book Λ is where why things must have unity is discussed. Here, the question is of the world as that which sustains itself, it is presented as an assumed fact, which is the most difficult thought. Now, this question—the question of the obscure as we addressed it elsewhere—is not explored by him, instead we are told that there must be an eternity in which the world and the heavens are conserved, even while, individual substances enjoy their hours and pass away. Such eternity must have an outer boundary which protects the things of the world from passing into nothing through the dynamics of change. (All this concerns difficult arguments regarding motion or speed, to which we will have to come eventually). That which does not require another to be is a thought when this thought is a self-thinking thought. The unity of the self-thinking thought which does not require another is the god of Aristotle.
The first mover, then, of necessity exists; and in so far as it is necessary, it is good, and in this sense a first principle [...] On such a principle, then, depend the heavens and the world of nature. And its life is such as the best which we enjoy, and enjoy for a short time. (4)
That is, the obscure experience of the un-anticipatable insistence of the world, or the non-event of, to use a phrase from Kant, “The End of All Things” is enclosed by the first total metaphysics that we know of, and identity is opened as the primary sense, let’s say, of Being. The familiar substance metaphysics alone is not sufficient to guarantee that the world and everything in it will not vanish in the lust of kinesis, and therefore the world needs that against which all changes find a measure—which is also immeasurable—such that we may have the experience that the threat of the disappearance of the world is brought under the orders of anticipation (which is the eschatology of religions); in other words, the self-thinking thought which is necessary in itself assures us that the world will remain through arrivals and passages of substances. The unity of all things, then, refers to the unity of the self which does not require another for this unity; or that which is without lust. Here, we can see the reasons why theologians would later find in Aristotle “The Philosopher”. However, this self-thinking and self-sufficient thought was still not enough for Christianity is another matter, for this thought which is a pleasure to itself, which loves itself eternally, is not the creator of this order of the world. This world, for Aristotle, is eternal. For the distinction between God and His creatures theologians would later introduce certain clever distinctions which were foreign to Aristotle, so that this new God would demand the love of his creatures and the creatures in turn will receive his love.
The metaphysics of Aristotle founded on the unity of substances understands changes as the distribution of variations into two extremities. It set the beginnings of the logic of one and two in philosophy. It is from the answer to the question “How does the world sustain itself?” that the metaphysics and from it the classical laws of thought follows. This question, which we should ask again and again in other forms—“What guarantees the non-vanishing of this world?”—rarely took prominence in philosophical texts, despite the prominence gained by Aristotle in these histories. In other words the experience of philosophy, the obscure experience, is not part of the history of philosophy as Heidegger (and other such geo-political determinations of philosophy) conceived it, due in part to the appropriation and theologisation of the end of all things by religion.
The laws of thought follow from the metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle who were responding to the obscure experience that the disappearance of the world itself is not anticipable, and it cannot be thought as an event.
Image Credit: University of Virginia Press
There were other articulations of this question, and of this obscure experience, in the ancient world, from across the world, some of which would enter the sciences as fundamental principles. Let us recall that, Nietzsche was acutely aware of the sense of this question and the difference it has with the question “What is being?” That is, the question of Being was holding the gaze of philosophy away from the abyss of the obscure experience. Hence, he would wager that the answer to the question—How is it that we know in thought the remaining constant of the world as such?—through his eternal return of the same. That is, unlike the Aristotelian guarantor, for Nietzsche the world itself returns eternally. (5) These profound questions and concerns opened by philosophy—not merely Plato’s Parmenides and Aristotle’s Metaphysics—were at first given over to theology and then to the sciences, who, often without being aware of it, are safekeeping these questions. In the meantime, philosophy would recede into the subject (the identity between the subject and the object) and later into meaning and culture when we came to Heidegger.
Heidegger did question these subjectivisms and identity aggressively. While the ‘other’ relation Heidegger found with identity lies elsewhere, in idyllic a priori constructed from out of a peasant life which repeated without variation across generations, it should not be forgotten that he opposed the very classical form of responsible thought which is founded on identity, the identity between thought and being,
The relationship between thinking and being is sameness, identity. The title “Being and Thought” says, being and thought are identical. As if it were decided what identical means, as if the sense of identity lay at hand [...] (6)
But was it sufficient? Did not identity insist in the structure of event of being? These questions too will have to be reserved for another occasion.
To examine the meanings of identity here it would take an excursion into another theory of faculties for philosophy and then begin again and be seized by what is its provenance. This occasion is too brief to point out the other powers or faculties which are not classical, and we have addressed them in several texts. (7)
The laws of thought follow from the metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle who were responding to the obscure experience that the disappearance of the world itself is not anticipable, and it cannot be thought as an event. The laws of thought can be represented as law of identity p = p; law of non-contradiction Not (p and not p); and law of excluded middle P or not P. Of these laws it is identity which is the constant between the two prominent formalisms of the laws of thought—intuitionist mathematics (its mathematicians are rare) which works without the third law and para-consistency without the second law. It is to be see whether there is a general theory of logic of which the familiar logics are special cases. The law of identity guided the investigation into the foundations of mathematics. The procedures of Gödel, which simulated a computer, which did not exist then, lead to computers and also computational thinking, and that remains the height of the achievement of the logic of identity which we found was derived from the metaphysical closure of the obscure experience.
However critical Heidegger remained of identity it played a role in his thinking as that through which an other thinking which raised a theatre of contradictions and contraries played out in the clearing, while a different sense of identity, of the self-identical volk, would guide and contribute to the idyllic a priori of much of his thinking of history.
But we should now come to the end as it was for Heidegger and what it means for us. Heidegger’s examination of and practice of philosophy avoided many of the questions and problems which were once properly philosophical—space, plenum, matter, measure, polynomia—and were surrendered to the sciences and to what he dismissed as metaphysics. The deepening of the questioning of metaphysics appeared from another direction, which was the determination of Being as meaning itself, which does not mean anything—Being is not the name of Being, from which followed the insight that metaphysics is the drive which sought to make of the meaning of all meanings a particular meaning. The series of these names of being—Idea, Substance, Subject, Will—constitutes the history of metaphysics for Heidegger, which is a rather restrictive history. The formality of Heidegger’s early architectonic, of the difference, of Being is Platonic; if we take the shorthand third man argument to point it out it will not be inaccurate. The determination of Being or the naming of Being in each epoch has constituted with Being a difference which is generally termed as ontico-ontological difference. In metaphysics, a difference is a difference in another, and in this sense the difference between Being and beings is without the third in which Being would separate from beings. This strange difference should either close in on beings for the oblivion of Being, or it should augment in such a way that at the limit of the difference two distinct kinds appear. Or, they disappear together as Nietzsche said.
Whether Heidegger thought in terms of Genera and Species is another enquiry. Instead, we take this strange difference into considerations as it presents itself; or, understand it as Heidegger’s way of asking us to think the thought of the giving of meaning itself which is not a meaning in itself. For him, the acts of naming Being prevented us from thinking of meaning itself in the “history of metaphysics”. Metaphysics was, often forcefully, interpreted by Heidegger as the quest for the name of Being. But why this quest? Is it a matter of a ‘wicked heart’? Or is it a matter of not possessing the powers required to avoid this gesture? Is it due to the necessity to find names in order to transact with things, living and non-living? Is it due to his rejection (rather a silence about it) of the obscure experience which he might have thought as a problem of reason?
But what is important is to see that each name of Being identifies and defines a world guided by that name. Of the series of names, a particular determination leads to the possibility that man may never name Being again; that is, when things appear as “standing reserve” the very act of naming enters the domain of relics, which is the end of the series of the names of Being. From the two ways of thinking of the difference of Being we found earlier, the becoming relic of Being is one of its possibilities. The “end of philosophy” coincides with the end of the naming of Being. Being shall no longer be called by man, and then man must think without Being. These ambiguities between the end of philosophy as the gathering of metaphysics which calls for another thinking and, at the same time, a helplessness in the face of the dominance of technology which has taken away the power to name Being from man, remain. The privation of the power to name Being perhaps prompted Heidegger to call for a silent thinking at the end, appropriate to the end.
We found with Aristotle that the form of thinking we recognise as metaphysics appeared against and as the answer to the most obscure and the most common of all experiences, which we termed the obscure experience. The theological and political conditions of the reception of philosophical texts (which persist even today) ensured, as we found earlier, the constitution of an early syllabus of philosophy, and through which a formal structure or organ of analysis of metaphysics of the kind deployed by Heidegger appeared. According to this received organ of analysis the most important question was “What is Being” What is the meaning of meaning? A self-defeating question. That which went into oblivion with Aristotle and Plato—the obscure experience—was displaced by Heidegger with a new oblivion which is of Being because for Heidegger the approximate relation to the obscure experience through the question “Why there is something?” belonged to the order of metaphysics.
Such eternity must have an outer boundary which protects the things of the world from passing into nothing through the dynamics of change. (All this concerns difficult arguments regarding motion or speed, to which we will have to come eventually). That which does not require another to be is a thought when this thought is a self-thinking thought.
La Durée poignardée, René Magritte; Image Credit: Art Institute Chicago
However, other beginnings and explosions of philosophy, without the conditions of loci and parental guidance of nation states existed. Often as what Derrida would call a bastard logics. The other beginning, a beginning which does not deny the polynomia of all things, while remaining open to the obscure experience as the common, which calls everyone to it without a care about language and soil, is our responsibility. But are we then without tradition, without analogies to port us, and without homologies to spring out of? No. We do have a tradition of our lustful explorations, provided we turn away from the poor philosophies which rely on an older logic, and look within and between texts of philosophy and the sciences, and the wanderlust of these texts.
We are beginning. Therefore a few tastes will do, and each reaching to us from their own bastard logics. The earlier works of deconstruction by Derrida remained strictly within classical logic while revealing the limits of texts well determined in the classical sense; at these limits one could already glimpse the other philosophy, for differance is neither word nor concept. In his final works a style of thinking emerged which was departing from classical logic, to the point that, echoing a Buddhist metaphysician from another place and time, that bastard Nagarjuna, Derrida would remark on the Khora of Plato—“One cannot even say of it that it is neither this nor that or that it is both this and that. It is not enough to recall that khora names neither this nor that, or, that khora says this or that”. (8) The important moments in this remark are “one cannot even say” and “it is not enough to recall” without which one can slip back into the distinct undecidable spaces of classical logic. Derrida brought this other logic or a bastard logics to bear on responsibility and politics. Contemporaneously, Jean-Luc Nancy published one of the most difficult texts from the point of view of classical thought and at the same time the most lucid of text from the bastard traditions, Sense of the World. Nancy addressed the same concerns we found earlier in Aristotle and later in Nietzsche, who are not the only custodians of this concern, while making a difference with Sartre on the relation between essence and existence, through resonance with a text of Aquinas—“On Being and Essence” which conducts itself as a commentary on Aristotle. Nancy’s text breaks away from that tradition to begin another thinking—“what is at stake will turn out to be this: existence precedes and succeeds on itself.” (9) Bernard Stiegler, who wrote passionately, absorbing the resources of the classical tradition, was also creating another tradition through the proliferation of references without care for regionalities and nationalities. Without continuing that lustful wandering of the world philosophy will appear to have finished itself today. Even while questioning the concepts, we find in Stiegler, an aggressive re-capture of the philosophical concerns and concepts from the sciences without the embarrassments and worries of his generation, because he was taking what was proper to philosophy. There are several other names to remember and gather into your traditions, your bastard traditions in this context. That will be soon.
To recapitulate, the history of philosophy constructed by theology and geo-politics, which was received and transmitted by Heidegger as “the accomplishment” and the “the history of the west” is, without doubt, finished. We found that the restriction of philosophical questions and concepts to be entertained within that history, and also the conceding of much of philosophy to theology and the sciences, created an emaciated corpus of philosophy. That impoverished body of philosophy will not be able to fight the new wars against renewed fascisms, racisms, nationalisms, technological exuberance, and the tremendous challenge posed by climate crisis. Instead, we have now opened ourselves to the experience of philosophy, the obscure experience, and to a new practice of traditions which are always going to be bastard traditions.
Thus, we begin: By discarding the philosophies which were derivative of a thought of identity (10), which appeared by enshrouding the obscure experience, which includes the thought of being. We have begun from what was always the most common—the obscure experience. But we have only begun. We have begun, as it has been sufficiently indicated, a philosophical work which will not be of one, or of two. But everyone; philosophy as duty in politics. This work needs you. It calls for all hands on deck setting sail on a lustful sea to bring the love of philosophy to places which are without the orientation games of east and west, colour and tongues. Philosophy: To share in the redemption of love through the obscure experience.
Love. Think. Love.
Shaj Mohan, 13 July 2021
1. “End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking” in Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings. Edited by David Farrell Krell. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1993, p. 435.
2. Martin Heidegger, Logic as the Question Concerning the Essence of Language, trans. Wanda Torres Gregory and Yvonne Una. Albany: SUNY Press, 2009, p. 69.
3. In order to avoid paraphrasing: “Since we don’t have much time I can sum it up as follows. We experience ourselves anticipating events in our lives, which often go on imperceptibly. For example, you are anticipating the end of this sentence while I am speaking and therefore you are listening. This can lead to satisfactions, surprises, and disappointments. But the end of the world, the total vanishing of the world, is never in our anticipation. We do not have the faculty for it. Instead, the impossibility of anticipating such a thing according to reason gives us this experience of the certainty of the persistence of the world as the most intimate experience. The sharing of this experience is really the community of the forsaken, which we all are. That is, what we share as the most mundane is the experience whose sense has forsaken us. This obscure experience should be an experience of responsibility. That is, this commonplace and intimate experience, and the community of the principle that we discussed earlier, presuppose each other. They are the very sense of our belonging to each other and what we call the world”; “But, there is nothing outside of philosophy”: An Interview with Shaj Mohan by Rachel Adams, Philosophy World Democracy 2.2
4. 1072b, Aristotle, Metaphysics.
5. There are disagreeable interpretations of this thought of Nietzsche including the Heideggerian one which is closer to the question under Nietzsche’s consideration than that of Deleuze.
6. Martin Heidegger, Pathmarks, William McNeill. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 361.
7. Mohan, Shaj and Divya Dwivedi. 2019. Gandhi and Philosophy: On Theological Anti-Politics, London: Bloomsbury Academic; and Mohan, Shaj and Jean-Luc Nancy. 2020. “Our Mysterious Being” Philosophical salon (April 13), https://thephilosophicalsalon.com/our-mysterious-being/
8. Jacques Derrida, On the Name, ed.Thomas Dutotit, trans. David Wood, John P. Leavy Jr., and Ian Mcleod. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995, p. 89.
9. Jean-Luc Nancy, The Sense of the World, trans. Jeffrey S. Librett. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997, p. 34.
10. Of identity and politics, and identity politics, including fascisms, another time.