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3 - Convergent Suspicions

Jean Godefroy Bidima Indiana University Press ePub

PALABRE EXORCISES, CHANNELS, and sometimes authorizes the use of social violence. Its function is to stage public confrontation, a spectacle in which the self grapples with its other. And yet, there are institutions in Africa competing equally with palabre in the project of reducing alterity. These include traditional powers, colonization, single-parties, and the false pluralism of present-day regimes.

The primary competitor to palabre is found in traditional societies’ existing forms of domination. We are not talking about one group's submission to another after a military victory, where an essentially physical form of domination is founded exclusively on force. Rather, we are interested in forms of domination whose foundation is metaphysical and on whose popular support authorities can rely without needing constraint: in other words, those forms originating in myths, symbols, and customs. These forms of authority are derived from genealogy and sexual difference, aristocratic systems, secret societies, age classes, and age hierarchy. These factors can govern palabres but are never vulnerable to their judgment.

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~ Respectability

J Krishnamurti Krishnamurti Foundation America ePub

He asserted that he was not greedy, that he was satisfied with little, and that life had been good to him, though he suffered the usual miseries of human existence. He was a quiet man, unobtrusive, hoping not to be disturbed from his easy ways. He said that he was not ambitious, but prayed to God for the things he had, for his family, and for the even flow of his life. He was thankful not to be plunged into problems and conflicts, as his friends and relations were. He was rapidly becoming very respectable and happy in the thought that he was one of the lite. He was not attracted to other women, and he had a peaceful family life, though there were the usual wrangles of husband and wife. He had no special vices, prayed often and worshiped God. "What is the matter with me," he asked, "as I have no problems?" He did not wait for a reply, but smiling in a satisfied and somewhat mournful way proceeded to tell of his past, what he was doing, and what kind of education he was giving to his children. He went on to say that he was not generous, but gave a little here and there. He was certain that each one must struggle to make a position for himself in the world.

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Chapter Nineteen. Klein’s Reactivation of Plato’s Theory of ’Aριθμο Eδητικο

Burt C. Hopkins Indiana University Press ePub

Klein’s interpretation of Plato’s dialectical method is guided by the question he has shown was raised, but not answered, by Greek mathematical thought. It is guided therefore by the question of the mode of being proper to the mathematical objects that such thought, in its theoretical guise, cannot help but encounter, a question that it also cannot help but be unable to answer—“for all time” (83/85)—so long as it remains strictly mathematical. The question here, which concerns both the mode of being proper to the “pure” ριθμο as well as to their εδη, is what guides Klein’s desedimentation and reactivation of Plato’s thought of “[t]he Platonic theory of the ριθμο εδητικο [eidetic definite amounts]” (88/91), a theory that “is known to us . . . only from the Aristotelian polemic against it (cf., above all, Metaphysics M 6–8).” Klein writes:

Only the ριθμο εδητικο make something at all like “definite amount” possible in this our world. They provide the foundation for all counting and reckoning, first in virtue of their particular nature which is responsible for the differences of genus and species in things so that they may be comprehended under a definite amount, and, beyond this, by being responsible for the unlimited variety of things, which comes about through a “distorted” imitation of ontological methexis [participation].69 (GMTOA, 89/92–93)

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5. Beyond the Domination of the “Coloniality of Power and Knowledge”: Latin America’s Living Ana-Chronic Temporality and the Dissemination of Philosophy

Alejandro Arturo Vallega Indiana University Press ePub

In the previous chapters we have seen a constant attentiveness in Latin American thinkers toward thinking in light of their concrete situation. This situated thought finds a profound opening in Enrique Dussel’s insight concerning Latin American thought as arising out of a radical exteriority beyond the possible control, determination, and manipulation of Western European and North American thought and culture. We also saw that such experience is pre-rational, inasmuch as it ultimately refers us to a sensibility found at the heart of the disposition that differentiates us as human, namely the encounter of other humans in a proximity sustained by a sense of total or radical exteriority. As we saw above, before the interpretation there is already the life that is to be interpreted, and that situates individual consciousness and rational discourse out of epiphany (rather than in terms of the hegemonic system of Being or comprehension). At the same time, we also saw that it is this sensibility that is put in danger under colonialism and the domination and dependency suffered by the peoples of the periphery. Moreover, in Dussel’s own thought we found an ambiguity marked by the manner in which he evokes the being of those in total exteriority and the radical exteriority afforded by this awareness concerning life beyond modern Western hegemonies. Along with this issue we found an aporia with respect to the very possibility of engaging the aesthetic character of liberation in its critical as well as affirmative modalities, namely the emphasis or return to a kind of rationalism (although in the name of the excluded, and in this crucial point of departure radically different from modern Western instrumental rationalism that accompanies capitalism, liberalism, imperialism, colonialism, and globalization). One may now ask how it is that the system of domination and dependency comes into being and how it is that even in Dussel’s case being in total exteriority and thinking in radical exteriority ultimately must turn to analytical instrumental discourses, thus reenacting lineages that underlie Western thought and its hegemonic logic. By engaging these questions we will move toward understanding the possibilities for thinking out of the distinctness and peculiarities of excluded peoples and lives and in terms of their aesthetic dimension. As we will see now, by focusing on the work of Peruvian philosopher Aníbal Quijano, dependency and the turning away from being proximate in total exteriority occur through the colonization of the Americas and as the result of the development in the sixteenth century of certain orderings and lineages that become systems of domination over knowledge and being. Through these orderings and lineages arises the modern Western mind and its other, the non-Western, uncivilized, irrational, and dark peoples or “races.”1 This ordering will serve as the delimitating space for understanding what knowledge is and exploring its place and limits throughout the development of the sciences and humanities and in the history of Western philosophy. Ultimately these systems of domination and the delimitations of existence that are possible within them are sustained by a kind of disposition, a sense of temporality that operates as an aesthetic sensibility. This sensibility arises from these orderings of power and knowledge; it pre-rationally frames, directs, and limits any possible self-understanding and human knowledge. I will speak of this sensibility in terms of an aesthetic horizon in the later part of this chapter and call it the coloniality of time. (In chapter 10 we will see how Frantz Fanon encounters this sensibility and its limiting force, and how it may be overcome by a decolonial aesthetics.) Finally, following the question of temporality as aesthetic experience, in the last section of the chapter we will open another sense of temporality found in Quijano’s analysis of Latin American experience. As we will see, Latin American life in its distinct temporalities opens a space for thinking beyond the coloniality of power and knowledge and in light of distinct and singular Latin American articulations of senses of being and individual, as well as communal, humanity. This opening will allow us to begin to think from the radical exteriority Dussel exposes in his philosophy of liberation.

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Democracy and America from Freedom and Culture (1939) (on Thomas Jefferson)

Larry A Hickman Indiana University Press ePub

I make no apology for linking what is said in this chapter with the name of Thomas Jefferson. For he was the first modern to state in human terms the principles of democracy. Were I to make an apology, it would be that in the past I have concerned myself unduly, if a comparison has to be made, with the English writers who have attempted to state the ideals of self-governing communities and the methods appropriate to their realization. If I now prefer to refer to Jefferson it is not, I hope, because of American provincialism, even though I believe that only one who was attached to American soil and who took a consciously alert part in the struggles of the country to attain its independence, could possibly have stated as thoroughly and intimately as did Jefferson the aims embodied in the American tradition: “the definitions and axioms of a free government,” as Lincoln called them. Nor is the chief reason for going to him, rather than to Locke or Bentham or Mill, his greater sobriety of judgment due to that constant tempering of theory with practical experience which also kept his democratic doctrine within human bounds.

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9 Semiotization of Matter: A Hybrid Zone between Biosemiotics and Material Ecocriticism

Serenella Iovino Indiana University Press ePub

Timo Maran

A BASIC CLAIM OF the newly developing field of material ecocriticism appears to be that matter has agency and embodied meanings and that it is possible to decipher this matter in the framework of textual criticism. As Serenella Iovino has put it in her ISLE introductory essay on material ecocriticism, “The ‘material turn’ is the search for new conceptual models apt to theorize the connections between matter and agency on the one side, and the intertwining of bodies, natures, and meanings on the other side” (“Stories” 450). Material ecocriticism, she continues, “comes from the idea that it is possible to merge our interpretive practice into . . . material expressions” (451). Such an approach raises broad philosophical questions, such as the following: In which ways is the agency of matter expressed? How do we interact with material processes? What are the relations between meanings embodied in matter and our representational practices?

Quite similar issues have been addressed within biosemiotics, a discipline that studies semiotic and communicational processes in and between organisms. After all, all biological organisms live in a certain physical location and under certain physical conditions of the environment, which they need to perceive, respond to, and adapt for. Biosemiotics describes such relations as being based on signs and sign exchange by employing concepts such as codes and coding, Umwelt (the species-specific attachment to the environment, organized by meanings; see J. Uexküll, “The Theory”), and semiotic niche (Hoffmeyer, Biosemiotics 183), among others.1 At the same time, there is a crucial difference between material ecocriticism and biosemiotics; whereas the former has taken a critical approach to human social and cultural processes, the latter has not. The common ground between material ecocriticism and biosemiotics, rather, appears to be foremost in their attentiveness to the connections between the physical realm and meaning processes. With this understanding, I wish to consider a biosemiotic view on what can be called the “semiotization” of matter, namely, how human actions change the semiotic properties and signification of matter. I believe this is a preliminary step that will increase the potentially fruitful interchanges between biosemiotics and material ecocriticism. This chapter includes three subsequent arguments in three sections: a demonstration that matter has the potential to initiate meanings and participate in semiotic processes, a demonstration of different ways that humans and nonhuman animals can make sense of material objects and environments through the process of modeling, and a conclusion that by applying such models back to the material environment, humans semiotize matter by altering it based on human perceptions and understandings.

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5. [On Framing Philosophical Theories]

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF


[On Framing Philosophical Theories] late Spring 1890

Houghton Library

Three questions, at least, I think it must be admitted, ought to form the subject of studies preliminary to the formation of any philosophical st nd theory; namely, 1 , the purpose of the theory, 2 , the proper method of rd discovering it, 3 , the method of proving it to be true. I think, too, it can hardly be denied that it will be safer to consider these questions concerning the particular theory which is to be sought out, in the light of whatever we can ascertain regarding the functions, the discovery, and the establishment of sound theories in general. But these are questions of logic; and thus, no matter whether we ultimately decide to rest our philosophy upon logical principles as data, or upon psychological laws, or upon physical observations, or upon mystical experiences, or upon intuitions of first principles, or testimony, in any event these logical questions have to be considered first.

But if logic is thus to precede philosophy, will it not be unphilosophical logic? Perhaps logic is not in much need of philosophy. Mathematics, which is a species of logic, has never had the least need of philosophy in doing its work. Besides, even if logic should require subsequent remodelling in the light of philosophy, yet the unphilosophical logic with which we are obliged to set out will surely be better than no logic at all.

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25 October 1959

Wilfred R. Bion Karnac Books ePub

Truth—need for, and need to keep maladjustment in repair

Psycho-analytic procedure pre-supposes that the welfare of the patient demands a constant supply of truth as inevitably as his physical survival demands food. It further presupposes that discovery of the truth about himself is a precondition of an ability to learn the truth, or at least to seek it in his relationship with himself and others. It is supposed at first that he cannot discover the truth about himself without assistance from the analyst and others.

It is likely that this belief has an empirical foundation in that all are familiar with the fact, probably learned very early in life, that a mistaken idea leads to mistaken action, which leads to frustration and other forms of suffering. But a true view can do the same, and on the choice that is made depends the nature of the suffering experienced. The choice is really a choice of method; the essential difference for our purposes in the nature of the choice made is that one is in favour of the method of frustration evasion, and the other in favour of the method of frustration modification. Freud's pleasure principle would seem to tend in the direction of frustration evasion, his reality principle in the direction (in his view) of frustration modification. But in fact, as Freud saw, the impulse to pleasure is not absent under the domination of the reality principle, nor is the reality principle absent under the dominance of the pleasure principle. Much depends on the fact that the choice is influenced by what is, and what is conceived to be, the reality when the choice is made. But the decision is seriously affected by the individual ability or inability to tolerate enduring frustration. If the patient is unable to endure frustration—that is, frustration over a period of time—he will lean towards the methods of frustration evasion.

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10 August 1959

Wilfred R. Bion Karnac Books ePub


Under the title dream-work-α I propose to bring together a number of mental activities all of which are familiar to practising psycho-analysts, although they may not have previously associated them together in this way and may not indeed feel the need or value of associating them in the way I propose after they have familiarized themselves with what I am about to say.

The title, ‘dream-work’, has already a meaning of great value. I wish to extend some of the ideas already associated with it and to limit others. It has seemed to me least likely to cause confusion if I group my ideas under a new title which indicates the affiliations of my ideas and yet makes clear that a distinction is being proposed from the theories already grouped under the term, ‘dream-work’.

The main sources, other than the stimulations of psycho-analytical practice and historical affiliations of these grouped ideas, are three-fold.

(1)    Freud's Interpretation of Dreams [1900a, SE 4, 5] and especially the elaboration of his theories of dream-work.

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3 The Evil of Insecurity in South Sudan: Violence and Impunity in Africa’s Newest State

William C Olsen Indiana University Press ePub


When South Sudan finally gained independence in July 2011, after long and bitter wars with North Sudan, the event came to mark such a hopeful moment for the millions of its citizens who expected the advent of new era of peace, security, and prosperity. But while it has only been a year since independence and all of these aspirations might still be realized in the future, the new country has now quickly found itself confronted with really daunting challenges, which have since began to dampen the popular celebrated sense of freedom. The most critical of these challenges was insecurity, especially the threats posed by violent ethnic divisions and antigovernment militias. Among the most highly expected rewards of independence among ordinary South Sudanese have been security, a functioning judicial system, and accountability for acts of violence that had been rampant throughout the years of the struggle for liberation. Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended two decades of war with the north in 2005, the eyes of the citizens were set on two important future dates—the referendum on independence to be held in January 2011 and the declaration of independence in July 2011—and they hoped that these would bring relief to that violence that had characterized the history of the united Sudan since independence from British Colonialism in 1956. Wartime violence had been squarely blamed on the Sudanese state, and rightly so, either because it had perpetrated it or because it had failed to uphold its responsibility to protect the citizens against it. South Sudanese, therefore, hung their hopes for safety, equality before the law, and state responsibility upon the attainment of the independence of South Sudan. However, since independence, the young state has found itself unable to immediately shoulder the burden of what it means to be sovereign, free, peaceful, accountable, and responsible for the protection of its citizens against violence and poverty, as well as the burden of building institutions of state. The result of being thus weighed down is that every day South Sudanese have carried the brunt of violent armed forces and an unresponsive and weak legal and judicial system; therefore, serious disappointment has set in among the majority of the populace. This chapter will describe these disappointments, how they manifest themselves, and how the everyday people of South Sudan live with rampant violence, abusive armed forces, and a confused and unresponsive justice system. The chapter describes three types of violence that the citizens of the world’s newest nation are forced to live with: (1) the cases of targeted abuse that are characterized by impunity, (2) random violence between various ethnic groups, and (3) some of the institutional problems that lead to failure of the state to protect or seek redress.

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50. [Plan for a Scientific Dictionary]

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF


[Plan for a Scientific Dictionary]

Winter–Spring 1892

Houghton Library

Plan for a scientific dictionary, to be called Summa Scientiæ; or,

Summary of Human Knowledge. To be contained in one volume of 1500 pages of 1000 words per page.

The articles, though elementary, to be masterly summaries valuable even to specialists. C. S. Peirce to be editor and to write about a third of the whole. The other writers to be young men, specialists who have not yet achieved great reputations, but found out and selected by the editor as having exceptional mental power and special competence. These men to conform to certain rules as to matter, arrangement, and style; and required to rewrite until they became trained in the kind of composition required.

Economy of space to be effected by every device that ingenuity and many years’ reflection upon this problem can suggest. Facts to be tabulated as far as possible. The style of writing to be extremely compact, yet scrupulously elegant. The ideas dominant in each branch of science to be emphatically indicated, and its leading principles distinctly stated.

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Endnotes to the Translation

Heidegger, Martin ePub

1. See pp. 85–92.

2. As Heidegger refers to the French in the 1937 essay “Wege zur Aussprache,” pp. 15–21 in Martin Heidegger, Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens, ed. Hermann Heidegger (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1983), p. 15; Vol. 13 of Martin Heidegger, Gesamtausgabe, 102 vols. to date, gen. ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1977–), hereafter cited as GA.

3. Martin Heidegger and Imma von Bodmershof, Briefwechsel 1959–1976, ed. Bruno Pieger (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 2000) p. 83.

4. See the German translator’s afterword, pp. 90–91.

5. On the unique relation between Heidegger and France, the reader is referred to the work of Dominique Janicaud on the history of the French reception of Heidegger. His two volume Heidegger en France (Paris: Albin Michel, 1991) is a momentous and exhaustive survey of this rich terrain. Both translators have benefited from the conversation and friendship of Professor Janicaud, an attendee of these very seminars, throughout the years. We mourn his recent and untimely passing.

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Margaret J. Wheatley Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF



identity and change, 50, 93, 95, 100 and control, 47, 95 and emergence, 78, 87 and evolution, 62 and poetry, 12 and self, 46-64, 92 and systems, 50, 56-64, 82, 85, 100 importance of, 3, 14, 47, 54, 57-58,

62, 64, 85-86, 88, 100 images of the world, 1-3, 8, 49. See also worldviews, machine images. incentives, 63 incoherence, in organizations, 60, 63 individuals, relation to systems, 44,

67-68, 70-72, 78-79, 90 information and emergence, 78, 87 importance of, 25-26, 33, 38-39, 46,

49, 81-82, 84, 101 in systems, 86, 98, 101 inquiring organizations, 86, 102 insects. See termites, bees. institutionalization, as process, 57 integrity, and incoherence, 60 interdependence, 14, 18, 23, 44, 52,

102 intervention, in systems, 81, 98 isolation, 51, 52, 73

law, scientific, 48 leaders, role of, 44, 57, 67-68, 72-73, 97 leadership, 60, 63, 80 learning, 7, 26, 33, 80, 96

Lewontin, R. C., 18 life, irresistibility of, 29, 33, 91 lightbulbs, experiments with selforganization, 31 linking, as characteristic of life, 35, 53 local efforts, 32, 70-71 logic, of life, 13-14 loneliness, 44, 53 love, and organizations, 57, 62-63

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Can Politics Ever Be Spiritualized?

J Krishnamurti Krishnamurti Foundation America ePub
Medium 9780253211859

Value, Objective Reference, and Criticism (1925)

Larry A Hickman Indiana University Press ePub

In some writings of mine on judgments of value considered as evaluations, there was no attempt to reach or state any conclusion as to the nature of value itself.1 The position taken was virtually this: No matter what value is or is taken to be, certain traits of evaluative judgments as judgments can be formulated. One can assuredly consider the nature of impersonal judgments, such as “it rains,” without going into the physical and meteorological constitution of rain. So it seemed possible to consider the nature of value-judgments (as evaluations, not just statements about values already had) without consideration of value, just as, once more, one might discuss deliberation without analysis of things deliberated upon.

The outcome soon showed the mistake. There was a tactical error in connection with the present status of the discussion. There was much interest in value, and little in the theory of judgments, and my essay to disentangle the two only gave the impression that I was trying in a roundabout way to insinuate a peculiar theory concerning value itself, or else that because I did not discuss value I thought it of little importance as compared with instrumentalities. But the error was more than one of mode of presentation, as, indeed, might have occurred to me in considering the analogy between evaluation judgments and deliberation. For if deliberation constitutes a distinctive type of judgment, it is because there is a distinctive type of subject-matter; not that it is necessary to go into details about special matters deliberated upon, but that certain generic traits need to be registered. For as Aristotle remarked long ago, we do not deliberate concerning necessary things, or things that have happened, but only about things still contingent. Hence to make out that deliberation is representative of a distinctive logical type, it is necessary to show that genuinely contingent subject-matter exists. And my theory regarding evaluation judgment involved a similar implication regarding value as its subject-matter. The present article is, accordingly, an attempt to supply the deficiency by showing that the nature of value is such as not only to permit of but to require the general type of judgment sketched in the previous writings.

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