'Critique of Post-Critique' Anyone wanting to repotentiate the power of the negative against an increasingly complacent 'affirmaionist' conscencus of philosophical thought (vitalist-pan.physciscit etc) will have to reconsider valence of critiques of conceptual truth predicated on appeals to non-conceptual or material 'force' understood very broadly: non-identity, intensity, power, affect etc. its about rehabilitating the truth of negativity by questioning the skeptical exposure of truth as force. How? - exposing the *untruth of the concept of force* through which truth is supposedly circumscribed as effect or symptom. (..) It is Plato who first grasps that the problem of the negative is the problem of thought. Why? Because to think is to be bound, whether one wants to or not, to the norm of truth, yet the *form* of truth is constitutively related to *that which is not* What is the nature of this “not”? To ask this question (..) is to ask about the being of the negative and thereby (…) to ask “what is non-being?”. This is the question of thoughts relation to the reality it seeks to circumscribe - to ask how the being of thought is implicated in the thought of being. The problem of the negative is the problem of thoughts ability to discriminate between that which is and that which is not. The acknowledgment of the link between truth and negation is the potentiation of thought, while the disavowal of negativity and the glorification of affirmation is the debility of thought, thoughts sophistical capitulation to the expediency of what is. (..)
What we need, then, are not so much cognitive maps (theory controlling aesthetics) as a new kind of proletkult, or a new kind of dérive, a new way of collectively experimenting in the act of mapping, as an ongoing practice, rather than an aesthetic work for contemplation
How can we present a proposal intended not to say what is, or what ought to be, but to provoke thought, a proposal that requires no other verification than the way in which it is able to “slow down” reasoning and create an opportunity to arouse a slightly different awareness of the problems and situations mobilizing us?
Critique as work that is concerned with ‘what is’ - never escaping the diagnostic. This version inheres to the belief in ‘critique as unveiling’ or that truth operates in such a modality - that it is about peeling back layers to get to an ‘essential’ kernel. (there is none, and this move disallows complexity) Sort of oppososed to a more ‘synthetic’ version, going several steps further than a ‘mapping’ - instead to mobile procedures of constructing truth(s) of what could be.
Stengers reminds us of Whitehead’s proclamation in Modes of Thought: “the aim of philosophy is sheer disclosure” (Modes of Thought, 49) and not the concepts themselves: “the concepts are required by the transformation of experience, but it is this disclosure that has, and always will have, the last word” (TWWhitehead, 17). There once was an old Bedouin, who, sensing that his death was immi­nent, gathered together his three sons and signified his last wishes to them. To the eldest, he bequeathed half his inheritance, to the second one quarter, and to the third one sixth. As he said this, he died, leaving his sons in perplexity, for the inheritance in question consisted of eleven camels. How were they to respect the old man's will? Should they kill those of the camels whose division seemed prescribed, and share the meat among them? Did their father really want them to prove their love by accepting this loss? Or had he made a mistake, dis­tracted or weakened by his imminent death? In fact, at least one error was obvious, because one-half plus a quarter plus a sixth do not make one. All the ingredients were there for a fratricidal war, insulting wishes of the dead. The three brothers nevertheless decided to try to avoid the war, that is, to wager that a solution could exist. This means that they went to see the old sage who so often plays a role in such stories. This old sage, on this occasion, told them that he could not do anything for them except to offer them what might perhaps help them: his old camel, skinny and half-blind. The inheritance now counted twelve camels: the eldest took six of them, the second three, the youngest two, and the old camel was returned to the old sage. What did the twelfth camel accomplish? By its presence, it made possi­ble what seemed contradictory, simultaneously obeying the father's wishes, discovering the possibility of respecting their terms, and not destroying the value of the inheritance. Stengers 2011, Thinking with Whitehead
Latour: The mistake we made, the mistake I made, was to believe that there was no efficient way to criticize matters of fact except by moving away from them and directing one’s attention toward the conditions that made them possible. Latour 2004, Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam
Rogoff: "Criticism" the application of value judgment and notions of worth. “Critique" the massive project of understanding what assumptions underlie truth claims. "Criticality" is the move inwards, not from a position of judgement, of underlying assumption, regardless of how well-armed we are, we live out the conditions of which we are speaking. Rogoff 2014, Lecture in Copenhagen
Latour: With critique, you may debunk, reveal, unveil, but only as long as you establish, through this process of creative destruction, a privileged access to the world of reality behind the veils of appearances. Critique, in other words, has all the limits of utopia: it relies on the certainty of the world beyond this world. By contrast, for compositionism, there is no world of beyond. It is all about immanence. Latour 2010, Compositionist Manifesto