LATOUR AND HERACLITUS: being-as-other

It is most strange that the first Greek works on being concluded that continuity and self-identity ought to be drawn from being when literally all the grammatical examples – even Aristotle’s categories – stated the exact opposite, deploying the others necessary for the continuation of existence. The hypothesis of a substance beneath subsistence had no reason to exist, and went contrary to the most common facts, even the facts of grammar, and yet it is this forking-off that triumphed – and all because the Sophists had to be silenced and Heraclitianism prevented from devouring everything in its path – or so it seemed. AIME rethinks, in every sense of the word, this forking-off, and is attentive to the evidence: being is the copula that marks alteration, the alienation, the jump, gap, passage, the exploration of the other beings necessary for the temporary and partial maintenance of the identical”. From AIME site.

Also here: “The special contribution of habit is that it is very good at defining essences, continuities that appear to be durable and stable because breaks in continuity are omitted even though they remain “highlightable” and “retrievable” at every moment. It is not that “existence precedes essence” but that behaving like an essence is a mode of existence, a way of being that cannot be substituted for any other and that no other can replace. Without habit, we would never have dealings with essences, but always with discontinuities. The world would be unbearable. It is as if habit produced what stays in place on the basis of what does not stay in place. As if it managed to extract Parmenides’s world on the basis of Heraclitus’s. We can say of habit that in effect it makes the world habitable, that is, susceptible to an ethos, to an ethology.

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