File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0112, message 135

Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001 18:24:59 +0000
Subject: Re: libidinal ethics

The only thing that I think doesn't come over in you précis is that 
Heller rather contrarily seems to have actually rejected all notions of 
utopian thought because she believed that dis-aleination was impossible 
to achieve.... That is not to say that 'utopias' are not important - 
rather they are more important as they function to focus resistance. 
 What did you think of the claim that art, philosophy served to resist 
the forces of commodification?

Did you like the chapter on Lefebvre?


fuller wrote:

>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physical and intellectual capacities of human beings 'have been replaced by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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