File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0112, message 132

Subject: Re: libidinal ethics
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 11:50:44 +0800

G'day Eric,

I am reading a book called 'Critiques of Everyday Life' at the mo. It is
quite interesting as it offers a broad overview of a few perspectives.

Funnily enough I had just finished the chapter on Agnes Heller, she proposes
something similar to what you propose.

'Art provides us with a model of a free and unalienated activity that
inculates a feeling of 'sesuous power', as against a utilitarian outlook
that denigrates bodily and affective human needs.'

'The genuine 'individual' is a 'person for whom his own life is conciously
an object, since he is a conscious species-being'. The generic essence
represents the 'all-sided personality', the integrity of which is threatened
by capitalism, mainly because under such a socioeconomic system all of the
physical and intellectual capacities of human beings 'have been replaced by
the simple estrangement of all thses senses - the sense of having.'

'Contra Heidegger, therefore, Heller does not advocate a pure transcendence
of the particularism of everyday life. This would represent a futile
project, a seduction by what Adorno once called the 'jargon of
authenticity'. Rather, we should seek a transformation of daily life into a
richer and more friutful realm of human endeavour. This, in turn, would
encourage the reintegration and efflorecence of the 'all-sided personality',
the fulfilment of the liberatory promise of human rationality, and the full
development of multiplicity of human needs and propensities.'

'Rational character 'for itself' is familiar with dreams and hopes, fears
and pleasures, playfulness, imagination, intuition, mystical contemplation,
unrestricted self-expression. It does not relinquish the right to weeping,
crying, to touch, to shut the eyes when the light is harsh, nor does it
resign the ability of self-abandon, of excitement, of nirvana, of
idiosyncratic (if not private) speech, of the language of gestures, of
being-together, of listening to 'purposeless' voices and embracing
'purposeless beauty,' and so on. Only the 'when' and 'where' and 'how' is
regulated by the personality in order that the non-rational does not impede
the observance of norms and of  'norms-and-rules,' the heirarchy of which
constitutes the hallmark of personality.'

 As there is only one chapter on Heller it is quite densely packed, and I am
possibly doing it an injustice by trying to compress the already compressed.
The reading of Kant you are proposing is very similar to the reading I think
Heller provides.

When I read this last section from the book I found myself smiling, for she
states eloquently something similar to what I was attempting earlier with my
distinction between mediation and meaning. Also from the second quote her
use of 'estrangement' is similar to how I was using 'mediation'. The binary
logic of 'norms and of 'norms-and-rules'' that mediates the analogue of the
meaningful 'rational character for-itself' would become highly instrumental
in a cyborgian subjectivity (some of my med student friends are like this:),
where not much is 'known' but certainty is a given.
I think Badiou was looking at a way to attack this 'certainty', what do you



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