File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0106, message 94

Subject: Aesthetics of ethics?
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 09:44:40 +0800

Hi Steve,

> Eden what Eden? Utopian dreams are always heterotopian ones in the final
> analysis. Remember that Hugh lives in one of the two great failed utopian
> post-revolutionary societies - the USA and the Soviet Union our
> existence is marked not by social systems that can be considered
successful but
> by failures.

Eden? Literally a time and space before the socius, before any social.
Before knowledge of anything (objective), let alone Good and Evil. There is
nothing Utopian about Eden, because there isn't any social (besides a
collective subjectivity). I could argue that you need a collective
objectivity for there to be a social.
Then "new born infants and intellectually disabled humans" would be in a
state similar to what I call 'Eden'.
(I am only using the term 'Eden' because in an analogous sense there is a
definite break between Heaven on Earth and the generation of a social, i.e.
language, clothes, morality, possibily knowledge of self, etc).

That is what I was saying we can not return to. Mainly because we are
capable of objectified thought, and because there are things to think
objectively about, rather than operating on pure instinct. It was just a
throw away line...

Thankyou very much for mentioning Badiou.

 > Would you then abandon the ethics of otherness as does Badiou?

Is (what I think is) his latest book "Ethics" the most appropriate to read
so as to answer your question?
I just got stuck into that book last night, and it seems the most
I have churned through a few of his works, and maybe I was too quick make

What are your concerns with Badiou's ethics?

I don't disagree with you at all about your argument for the invention of
new ideas of the sublime, the unknown, and varieties of aesthetic
experience - I just wanted you to be more specific, it seemed too general
that is all. Why I brought up an ethics of aesthetics is because I am
worried that when it comes to creating anything, it is normatively those in
power who deem what is worthy to create. In the passage from Plato, he goes
on to describe how the next period of (imperfect) society after democracy is
tyranny. Is it possible for ideology to be tyrannical?
Just heckle me if I am not making sense yet :). Or if the sense I am making
is worthy of being heckled! I am an optimist, only because I have run
through all available pessimist arguments...



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