response to R. Scott Bakker on transcendental phenomenology and BBT

Bakker is caught in a picture drawn on the basis of the bifurcation of subject and object and of the consequent quest for certainty. This quest fails, and messiness or disorder can no longer be seen as obstacles to cognition or to meta-cognition but as active facilitators of them. This is the lesson of Michel Serres’ THE PARASITE, amongst many other works that Bakker « refutes » so glibly with his repetitive scientistic mantras. Bakker has no idea of the paradigm change that makes disorder and uncertainty, in other words « error », into key components of knowledge.


Anyone who posits some form of efficacy or constraint outside the natural order on the basis of some kind of interpretation of ‘experience’ has the same argumentative burden to discharge: How do you know? What justifies such an extraordinary (supernatural) posit?…What makes the question so pressing now is that their instrument, reflection, has finally found itself on the coroner’s table. -R. Scott Baker

There is nothing « outside » the natural order. In this sense, I am opposed to the transcendentalist’s move to remove Reason or the reflective understanding from physical reality. There is indeed a supernaturalist residue in much transcendental and phenomenological philosophy. This is why my project has always been to theorize « the natural order » as itself always already creative, aesthetic, interpretational, experiential (mine is a naturalized transcendental (Schelling’s « Nature is a priori »)). There is no « other » world from which the causal efficacy of our world derives. With our universe…

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4 commentaires pour response to R. Scott Bakker on transcendental phenomenology and BBT

  1. npopow91 dit :

    I was struck by the uncompromising outrage you showed at the very idea that Lacan can somehow be reduced to being nothing more than an antiquated « intentionalist ». It just immediately appeared to me to be a blatent travesty of Lacans work. That like, elementary misreading, that even those shitty little comics, « Intro to Lacan » would preclude has been digging into my skin like a splinter. After in disbelief spending a great deal of time isolating what an intentionalist actually looks like my incredulity and sensation of inteliectual sloppiness has only increased. Intentionalism is belief that that we can know beforehand what we mean to say, and then express its univocal sense. So it relies on a phenomenological understanding of meaning- so just the reflective Cogito that would pretend it knows how language works and therefore how give a single sense to his enunciation. Anyone who has read Lacan even given a cursory glance at what he says, knows that if anything he wastes too much in so many different ways, refuting this form of intentionalism. If anything maybe he repeats and argues this insight so many times to the point where it becomes almost too predictable.


    • npopow91 dit :

      My question for you though Terrence pertains just how shocked i was at your immediate rebuttal of that ascription of bad intentionalism to Lacan. I understand that you are on extremely intimate terms with the key texts of DG (Anti-oedipus and A Thousand plateaus especially). And so you repeatedly have decried the pernicious Lacanian dogmatism that according to you so many remained mired in. This puzzles me from the get go alot because I dont see many Lacanians at all, they are a dying breed if anything. But I’m just curious as to what those specific grievances are that motivate the caustic antagonistim you have displayed against both Lacan and Freud. Please tell me its not just simply the bad cult of the Master they flirted with to inaugurate and legitimize all their discipline or privilege it somehow. Are there any deeper theoretical discrepancies?

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      • terenceblake dit :

        I do not completely reject Lacan, so it is normal for me to defend him against Bakker’s ridiculous inclusion of him amongst the intentionalists. My critique of Lacan is from the point of view of pluralism, and so rejoins Deleuze and Guattari’s critique. In a nutshell, Lacan is a half-pluralist, halfway between monism and pluralism. Bakker, however, is a simple dogmatic monist.

        One of the very positive aspects of Lacan’s interventions was to liberate Freudian psychoanalysis from its scientism.

        Most of the cognitive biases that Bakker trumpets as apocalyptic discoveries of modern cognitive science were already known to psychoanalysis, and not only discussed theoretically but dealt with practically.


  2. npopow91 dit :

    I mean you say Lacan oscillates between pluralism and monism. Now just at a metaphysical level Lacans reading of the Parmenides concludes that the « One is not » and because of that impossibility of a One (Phallic signifier) not only does he revoke any thing like that could possibly lead to that all-encompasing monism. But precisely the non-One, its non-coincidence etc explains why there is only multiplicity. Maybe your distinction between monism and pluralism goes beyond these abstract decisions. If you could elborate on that maybe it would be clearer,


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