ALEXANDRE MATHERON PDF

Related Entries 1. The confessional rifts of the seventeenth century were certainly an important part of context in which Spinoza composed his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus [hereafter: TTP]. The early part of the seventeenth century was marked by a religious schism that rapidly took on political significance. The Arminians, or Remonstrants, defended religious toleration on the grounds that faith is expressed in the conscience of the individual, and so is not subject to the coercive power of the state.

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It may not have been checked over by human eyes. For matters of precision please consult the original pdf.

Because Marx was neither aware of the concept of immanent causality in Spinoza nor produced it himself, the idea of the effectivity of structure is found only in practical state in the complexity with which Marx depicts the social reproduction of economic relations in Capital. According to Althusser, however, it appears there in false conceptual clothing, in borrowed language: in Hegelian terms of essence and appearance.

This language belongs to a spiritual monism in which all differences are reduced, in a teleological circle, to transitional moments of the self-mediation of spirit. Second, Reading Capital forms the prelude to a wave of Spinoza receptions, in which seventeenth-century metaphysics is shifted far beyond Marxism into the radiant presence of structuralist philosophy.

All ends are regional, provisional and decentred in their sense. The impersonal process of infinite transindividuation does not coincide with social production. Both the extimity and the immanence of finite modes in substance designate the objectivity of an impersonal genesis, in which individuals produce changing goals, which are never the goal of the impersonal process itself.

Therefore, secondly, in an epistemological respect, the production of the true in Spinoza operates without any external truth criterion through the imaginations and the affects. Inadequate ideas do not represent mere errors, but signs of both the natural and social conditionality of perceptual faculties that serve as the initially given, though unstable resources of the production of thought. Unlike in Descartes, an inadequate idea is no negativum that attests to the impotentiality of someone participating in the nothingness of error, but the reverse.

The conditions for the production of common notions are implicated and enveloped in all the distorted, imagined and erroneous ideas that individuals produce of the natural and historical relations of contingency and violence, into which they are thrown, without being able to intellectually master them in any immediate way.

What is true is the sign both of itself and of what is false. The imagination is understood as the critical site, where individuals renegotiate the relationships they have established to the contradictory conditions of their existence. The imaginary identifications and the conflicts will never disappear; they are, as Althusser has said, of eternal quality.

If there is something that links different strands in contemporary radical thought, then the opposite tendency, in re-ontologizing politics, to subsume politics under single philosophemes — like fidelity to the event, disagreement, potentiality of the not, etc.

Though these philosophemes are all post-metaphysical ones which do not have recourse to fixed qualities or predicates, they all seem to be conceptualized in a way that excepts them from critique and corruption. They might be rare, and they might exhaust, but they do not revert or differ in themselves. Structural causality How does Althusser conceive immanent causality in Spinoza? What happens in his view in the process of an immanent determination?

In Reading Capital Althusser basically gives the same answer as in For Marx, only now it is not oriented to the problem of the political break condensation, displacement or fusion of contradictions, dislocation of their internal aspects , but to that of the reproduction of social formations.

He states that the social reproduction process has to be conceived through the mechanism by which social elements in their degrees of effectivity are displaced on the basis of their positions in the structure. So as not to withdraw to a relativist position of infinitely mutating interactions, Althusser claims it would be necessary to pose a primacy of determination by the economic that unifies the play of differences between social elements by determining the displacements of their degrees of effectivity.

As simultaneously both element and frame, the economic relations determine the degree of effectivity or the indices of reflection with which the social instances, to which they belong and constantly have to be added, act on each other and allow other contradictions or other aspects in a contradiction to become dominant.

Correspondingly, in a redetermination loop the superstructures determine the economic relations, whose conditions of existence they represent. This is why the determining relationships are situated on the same level as the instances which they determine. If surplus-value is not measurable, that is precisely because it is the concept of its forms, which are measurable. It determines the variability of the interval, in which surplus-value can be realized as profit in so far as an immense complexity of heterogeneous practices are mediated against one another.

The concept of surplus value determines the variability of the mechanisms in which different economic processes, heterogeneous circuits of fixed and circulating capital, the plural times of the overall reproduction of capital are sutured with an enormous multiplicity of social relations, in which they exist and through which they are redetermined. Hindess and Hirst as well as Laclau and Mouffe have levelled the criticism that Althusser, with the primacy of economic determination, ruined the complexity of social antagonims.

Laclau and Mouffe therefore separated the schema of overdetermination from the economic determination primacy. A striking change in perspective has taken place. The identification of being and nothingness at the beginning of the Logic — constantly criticized by Althusser for introducing a genetic totality that creates its own matter — now takes on a paradoxical role in the genesis of materialist philosophy.

On the basis of its own indetermination, its lacking of any determinate predicates, any first something is transformed, as soon as we want to get hold of it, into its own other, nothingness. By equating being and non-being, Hegel hence declares that everything has always already begun, and the continuity of the process consists in its discontinuity and extension. That is why Hegel presents the infinite or absolute in no determined figure.

The doctrine of attributes While Althusser simplifies the problem of causality through polar schematization — mechanist vs structural, expressive vs immanent causalities, etc. The emanative cause, however, stands over being, and its effects leave a cause that remains in itself. The effects are nothing but the things that follow, the descending things, manifesting the degradations of a being that flows out of and down from an eminent One.

While for Deleuze it is the individuation of such a degree that takes place in the distances internal to the structure, Althusser restricts himself to saying that variation, dislocation and condensation take place in this distance, without analysing the type of activity characteristic for the individuation of a relation.

Spinoza invents a couple of limit concepts to think this expressionism. There is only space to sketch briefly one of them here, before concluding with some remarks about how the thought of politics is affected by those limit concepts. They express essential determinations of being, of which we are only aware of two: thought and extension.

From an analytic operation, distinguishing constitutive differences in substance, Spinoza proceeds to a synthetic operation in which all attributes are integrated into a single substance. From the differentiality of the infinite — the plurality of infinitely many substances of only one attribute — Spinoza advances to a disjunctive synthesis, in which one substance comprises all attributes without totalizing them, since substance is not their sum, it is not their third.

As this transition is difficult to understand, many readers conceived the idea of infinite attributive substances — introducing Spinoza not as thinker of the One, but of original differentiality — as hypothetical and as invalidated as soon as one reaches definition six of the unity of a single substance.

The speculative primacy of differentiality would then be empty or void. The attribute transforms into an element related to something existing outside of substance. This made Hegel claim that substance is an indeterminate abyss. The attributes constitute an irreducible heterogeneity of multiplicities that are differential in themselves.

That is, in the doctrine of attributes Spinoza develops the idea of positive determination that represents the pivotal speculative principle of his philosophy in which determination is not conceptualized through negation, but through non-resembling expressions differentiating what is already differential in itself. They are the differential itself, differences in potentiality, which are expressed, articulated and embodied.

They are operators of heterogenesis. To conclude: my hypothesis is partisan. By renouncing the idea anchored in negative theology that the One is absent and inscribes itself as difference of this absence in the structure of being as self-split of the One , Spinoza does not only invent a new mode of thinking difference as inner differentiation or difference in itself, but by this metaphysical invention he also produces a new mode of thinking politics through the inner differences of its acts. Politics thus requires us to comprehend what lies at the limit of the un thinkable — the critical thresholds in the transformations of mass potentialities where a certain increase in potentiality induces a leap into thought, while a certain decrease catalyses resentment and fear of difference.

These passages between passive and active affects, between the potentialization and depotentialization of psychic life, are always passages in potentiality itself.

On the one hand, politics in Spinoza, as transindividual production of thought, as passage from inadequate ideas and imaginary stereotypes to the joys of thinking and the affirmation of difference, manifests the capacities of the multitude for leading a life of non-domination which is founded neither in voluntary decisions nor in subjective acts of the intellect, but in transindividual relations and transferences between infinitely variable fields of matter, psyche and thought.

On the other hand, however, these physical and psychic passages from the imaginary to the intelligible are for Spinoza always provisional and partial. This is why his political thought is minimally confident, based on the vitalist assumption that the forces of life are excessive, thus can partially change from imaginary identifications to adequate ideas and insitute this change, give it rigour and duration.

At the same time his thought is maximally realistic and critical, since it registers the extent to which the forces of life are invested in the political-theological apparatuses of domination. This is why Spinoza breaks with any aneconomic or exceptionalist ideas of politics as that which is other than being, or which by definition rules out any determinate objects and laws.

The absolute democracy of which he speaks is based on the indeterminate or virtual ground of the affects and forces of life that cannot be represented in the figure of a people, a party, or any other collective subject.

It can only be constituted and reconstituted through the deconstruction of the imaginary selfrepresentations of the multitude — that is, through self-critique. But this self-critique has to be part and parcel of a transindividual process in which it experiences its own genetic force; if not, it will be reduced to an ascesis or obligation, and thus tend to decompose.

That is, centuries before Nietzsche and Foucault, Spinoza thinks that the forces that pass through the individuals are catalysers both of liberation and of oppression.

And politics is understood as an experiment in interrupting, in the very process of liberation, the re-emergence of the fear of difference and its destructive and oppressive forces. The production of society through affects spans a field that knows both a vector of potentialization or intellectualization and the becoming reactionary of the multitude.

To think and to make politics is to relate these processes to one another and to change their relationship. Translated by benjamin carternotes 1. The Complete Edition, trans. Althusser et. See ibid.

Franziska Schottmann, diaphanes, Berlin, , p. Goshgarian, Verso, London and New York, Samuel Moore, Penguin, London, , p. The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class. Althusser et al. Ben Brewster, Penguin, Harmondsworth, , p. Alan Sheridan, Hogarth Press, London, , p. Farris, Gal Kirn and Peter D. Young, ed.

Jean Hyppolite, Studies on Marx and Hegel, trans. Deleuze, Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza, p. Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, trans. Elwes, in EthicaDB. See additional y Gueroult, Spinoza I, pp. For the hypothesis of a Scotist inspiration of Spinoza through the recourse to the concept of formal distinction, see Deleuze, Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza, pp..

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See Matheron It is not to envision precarious enlargement of reason; from the level of duration to the 3 Sartre See also Matheron , p. For more on the affinities between Spinoza and Sartre, see Rizk Matheron suggests that his perspective was only a passing phase of 6 In these respects, Matheron has made common cause with Martial Gueroult and Gilles youthful enthusiasm, whereas I take up the challenge to make good on an unfulfilled promise.

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It may not have been checked over by human eyes. For matters of precision please consult the original pdf. Because Marx was neither aware of the concept of immanent causality in Spinoza nor produced it himself, the idea of the effectivity of structure is found only in practical state in the complexity with which Marx depicts the social reproduction of economic relations in Capital. According to Althusser, however, it appears there in false conceptual clothing, in borrowed language: in Hegelian terms of essence and appearance. This language belongs to a spiritual monism in which all differences are reduced, in a teleological circle, to transitional moments of the self-mediation of spirit.

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Dordrecht etc. In dat blog had ik ook de TOC, die ik hier nog eens breng. Spinoza and the Sciences. This collection, volume 91 in the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science series, contains twelve essays, five of which were originally presented at a sesquitercentenary symposium on "Spinoza and the Sciences" held under the auspices of the Boston Colloquium for the Philosonhv of Science.

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