Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Theory 4 (Email 7)

Hi Jacob
     An insightful, useful discussion of one of the four concepts at issue in the seminar.  Part of the value of your remarks is to remind us that this distinction between the commonplace or preconception or layman's dictionary understanding (or pop culture) of a disciplinary term applies to any  and all of the active vocabulary in play.  Some of the added value is local due to our CATTt, in which for example "position" becomes freighted with significance, as a central term for Jullien.  Because Jullien does so much with "position," it produces connections with "position" in Lacan, which is equally major.  It doesn't take long to get a parallel (or reoccupation) between surveillance in imperial China and gaze in Western modernity.  A concern of behavior (Morality in our MMM metaphysics, action, act) is motivation, how and if acts hang fire, are put in abeyance, suspended ("souffrance"), on demand of something foreign in me:  A good variation on Superego would be "the Chinese Emperor in me." 
 So we have these popular ideas, and studies have shown that a more or less "vulgar Freudianism" is a default of modern common sense regarding human motives.  Then as you documented, it turns out that the disciplinary term is substantially different.  This happens in all fields (the notion of "force" in physics, for example). 

    Your inference about how to proceed is correct.  What I like about heuretics in general, and theory in particular, is that you can't wing it and expect to accomplish anything, or, winging it produces embarrassment eventually, usually sooner rather  than later.  Rather, you  have to suspend common sense, and follow the instructions of the theory (however wacky or counter-intuitive).  You start in the right direction, noting that while the Unconscious may be structured "like"  a language, it does not include many of the features of formal grammar that literacy developed into the rules of logic, not to mention the practices of inference (abduction, deduction, induction).  Rather, as we know from Part One, the Unconscious thinks via conduction (as I put it), or by dream work.  Everything Lacan says about "primary  process" is this alternative inference system.  The instruction is:  use primary  process operations in your experiment.

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