Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Hallucinatory Thinker; PT 4. of Derrida's Interpretation of Husserl

While running up against the problems that Husserl confronted in eventually having to make a problem out of history, we find him spiraling further down the rabbit hole of "pure logic". The pure logic of the "Protogeometer". The pure sense of the ProtoGeometer. Elaborating on history's pure essence while not elaborating on it at the same time; this qualifies as the sense of Husserl new Historical Account elaborated in the past post.

While we ran up against the ostensible wall of not being able to describe something that already took place before description, nonetheless, we still left open the possibility of having something to be said about it. We are then extending the limits of Phenomenology to it's utmost by extending it to the limits of conceptuality on the border of hallucinations. We are using language to extend Phenomenology to where it wants to go bearing in mind that it can never really get there (Here, Heidegger's concept of Sous rature becomes paramount, which Derrida further developed into the greatest expansion of Husserl's bracketing method; into the crossing out of a word that can't be said, yet was written with a concept in mind. Refer to Spivak's introduction to Derrida's De la grammatologie). While we will get into the language later in regards to Phenomenology, we are now taking for granted the fact that we are using our own concepts for apparent Phenomena, which in the last post Kant helped us out with. What is are these outermost extensions of Phenomenology then?

Derrida states "Since no existential thesis was necessary or permitted, these sciences were immediately freed from all factuality. No sensible figuration in the real world, no psychological experience, no factual content have, as such any instituting sense. The geometrical eidos is recognized in that it withstood the test of hallucination".
Derrida refers to Husserl's Ideas I to establish the a priori structure that Husserl wanted to establish. In reference to any geometer in Ideas I, Husserl states, "Where experience functions in them, it is not as experience. The geometer who draws his figures on the blackboard produces in so doing strokes that are actually there on a board that is actually there. But his experience of what he thus produces, as experience, affords just as little ground for his seeing and thinking of geometrical essence as does the physical act of production itself. Whether or not he thereby hallucinates, and whether instead of actually drawing lines he draws his lines and figures in a world of fantasy, does not really matter"
So Husserl uses Hallucination as a litmus test for pure sense which is incredibly bold. When anyone is drawing something on the board that is geometrical, they can be doing it half asleep while still drawing a shape. If someone whispered to you while you were falling asleep at a board "draw a square", you would be in the process of drawing the square whether or not the request was accomplished. While in the process you might fall down to the ground with the chalk line following you down the path to the ground, but the fact of the matter is that one need not to be conscious to know what a certain geometrical shape is. Derrida refers to Descartes meditations when Descartes states "Whether I am awake or asleep, two and three add up to five, and a square has only four sides". Trying to distinguish this from Platonism to me seems like the hardest task which Husserl makes as an absolute necessity. Derrida elaborates on this for us when he states "if the eidos and the ideal object do not preexist every subjective act, as in conventional Platonism; if then they have a history, they must be primordially grounded in the protoidealizations based on the substrate of an actually perceived real world. But they must do this through the element of an original history".

So then if proto-ideas are neither empirical nor platonic (before the subjective act), then they are somewhere in-between or never at the limits of a beginning or an end. There is some hidden history of "the gap", the gap which Hegel pronounced as the greatest problem of all philosophy (the gaps between things in general). Derrida insightfully writes in the footnotes to this interpretation "This hidden history will take its sense from an infinite Telos that Husserl will not hesitate to call God in his last unpublished writings. It is true that this infinite, which is always already at work in The Orgins, is not a positive and actual infinite. It is given as an Idea in the Kantian sense, as a regulative "indefinite" whose negativity gives up its rights to history". This last sentence speaks volumes from a place that is subjectively of pure silence. What Husserl conceived Teleologically is not an affirmation. It's something that can't be said and is therefore a-historical (It's with this in mind that we understand why Derrida would become fascinated with Nicholas De Cusa and Apophatic Theology.)

Being in complete negation, being in a complete hallucinatory state, things are always the same subjectively speaking. This is very easily conceived with the simple maxim that "the world goes on without us". Whether or not I'm asleep or in a hallucinatory state, an object is still an object, but only for a subject. Here is where Husserl can distinguish his Idea of proto-geometrical history from empiricism and Platonism, by affirming that Ideal Objectivities are only for subjects. So while the subjective mind is always and already making sense of something before it becomes object-idealized, this making sense of something before is not something that is always and already there from some origin. As we saw in the last post, this origin was Indefinite for Husserl, as it was for Kant. Ideas are not always there from some beginning point (Platonism) nor are they there solely because of "Life-World" material conditions (empiricism). The idea then of an "Indefinite Origin" becomes more clarified when the traditional definition of "Origin" becomes disposed of, and is thrown into the connotation of "Indefinite".

Derrida speaks of Husserl's litmus test of Hallucination in finality when he states "Hallucination, then, is truth's accomplice only in a static world of constituted significations. To proceed to the ground and primordial constitution of truth, we must return, starting from the real world, to a creative experience. Even were it unique and buried, this experience remains, by law as well as by fact, first. We recognize, then that for the sphere of sense, the true contrary of hallucinations (and imagination in general) is not directly perception, but history. Or, if you prefer, it is the consciousness of historicity and the reawakening of origins."
Hallucination then is very much part of the being-world. It is part of a static world. It is part of a world that is always and already prescribed. Hallucination while serving as a radical limit to phenomenology and experience, nonetheless, does not cross the threshold into the a priori. This is almost the same as saying the "unconscious mind" is not the same as the purely logical and non-pyschologistic mind which would ground Husserl's argument against pyschologism in his Logical Investigations. Hallucinating, is signifying, certainly a truth, but not it's sense. No sense is gained in the radical limit of pure imagination or in a state of hallucination. Being in a hallucinatory state, one is already in sedimentations; albeit a modified sedimentation.
Yet, if we were to define a hallucination as a purely creative experience starting from nowhere (which would then be in a sense, original), it's opposite state wouldn't be Phenomenological perception, but history. The milieu of perception then can be understood as the hallucinatory state where things are being seen for the first time without any recognition that they will be seen again or have ever been seen before (a-temporal/omni-temporal). History, essentially as Historicity, which is the possibility of moving horizontally within an infinite amount of references (sedimentation's), opposes itself to the a-temporality of a creative experience that is hallucinatory, in the sense that it's never been done before.

Hallucinatory Thinking in this sense then is not within the history of someone whose being asked to do something who is at the same time hallucinating, but tacitly in a creative experience that will always give up it's rights to being signified, and will always give up it's rights to being explained by phenomenology.....except for the fact that it does give one little right to Phenomenology, that of explaining how it's never signified.

No comments:

Post a Comment