1) THERE ARE NO MAGIC NUMBERS

1) There are no magic numbers

We see in thinkers like Zizek and Badiou a reification of certain contingent structural elements that are treated as universal truths that can be applied to any and every object of philosophical reflection. For example, as soon as there are three categories in a typology Zizek is ready to jump in with the Lacanian distinction between the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic as if this triurn typology were something far more than a rough and ready heuristic guide to enable one to get one’s bearings intellectually when faced with a new or confusing situation. This distinction is read into the real world, as expressing a truth that everyone must come to terms with, and that is universally recognised even if unconsciously. Badiou with his four “truth procedures” is similarly guily of such magical thinking, enshrining a contingent enumeration as an apodictic requirement of thought.

While Badiousians discuss learnedly whether a fifth condition is possible or concevable Latour has produced an “event” in thought by publishing a book that outlines no less than fifteen modes of veridiction and existence. Whatever one may think of the details of the system, Latour is quite clear that the number of modes is a pragmatic affair, inspired by the desire to avoid reductionism.

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2 Responses to 1) THERE ARE NO MAGIC NUMBERS

  1. [TB]: “1) There are no magic numbers”
    We see in thinkers like Zizek and Badiou a reification of certain contingent structural elements that are treated as universal truths that can be applied to any and every object of philosophical reflection.”

    {AK}: Well, I don’t object to elaboration of perspectives; that’s not necessarily dogmatic closure in itself. Even ‘reductionism’, as ‘reductionism’, is merely a ‘concentrated working through’ of possibilities, such ‘focus’ need not be limiting. And, yes, such perspectives can offer a ‘universal’ commentary – the view from this conceptual complex, as it were. But it’s not the only such view.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [TB]: three categories in a typology; Zizek; Lacanian distinction between the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic – triurn typology
    {AK}: Freud did this, too. It’s psychological totalitarianism; Bakker does a neurological version; they’re all corporate fascists, invested in figures of ‘Self’, reified this or that way. Lol By using the institutionalised forms of selfhood as a power base, they can introduce their own preoccupations as an exclusive & ‘universal’ concern; if the universality, or their inflations, are questioned, they resort to R.D. Laing’s “Knots” games, &, of course, positioning all questioning not issuing from them as ‘unconscious resistance’.
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    [TB]: “Badiou with his four “truth procedures”; similarly guily of such magical thinking,”
    {AK}: My way” or the ‘highways of relativism’ & ‘superstition’? Lol
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [TB]: “enshrining a contingent enumeration as an apodictic requirement of thought.
    {AK}: “Come into my system, & enjoy its systematic obligations”?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [TB]: “Latour has produced an “event” in thought by publishing a book that outlines no less than fifteen modes of veridiction and existence. Whatever one may think of the details of the system, Latour is quite clear that the number of modes is a pragmatic affair, inspired by the desire to avoid reductionism.”
    {AK}: The question which suggests itself is whether a French restatement of Richard Rorty is required?
    Isn’t it all, “a kind of magic”?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The problem may be that the “triurn typology” is insufficiently abstract and so instead of being seen as an isomorphism or analogy it is mistakenly taken to be concrete.

    Liked by 1 person

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