November 2011


A great post HERE. Post author Christine Skolnik writes:

Object-oriented ecology might be an antidote for both old-school, resource-greedy attitudes toward nature and self-negating, yet self-absorbed, deep ecology.  Without going into unnecessary detail, old-school views of nature privilege the human being as a self-justified, imperious subject wielding wondrous technologies in order to extract value from the environment.  Deep ecology, conversely, is invested in de-centering the human, though its very objections and abjections can be interpreted as a form of narcissism.  The guilt and shame of deep ecology may arise from a sense of superiority: the responsibilities of a unique subject among common objects.  In either case it does not follow that only human beings can solve the problem.  Shouldn’t the mess we’ve made serve as a proof of our basic incompetence as environmental stewards?

H/T to Adam Robberts over at the outstanding blog Knowledge Ecology

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All I have really wished to say, I think, when evoking the term “object” or “thing”, is that beings are differance. This is the sense of the distinction between virtual proper being and local manifestation. As Jean-Luc Nancy so nicely puts it, “being is or entrances the existent” (The Sense of the World, 27). Or again,

…that which is neither property nor a substance– the act or as-act of being-as-act –cannot be produced. Nor does it produce itself, not having the resources of a subject (for it is an agent, identical with its action, not a subject). It “is produced” in the remarkable sense of “taking place,” “happening”… “[C]reation deconstructed yeilds the being-as-act of existence, along with its differance.” (27 – 8)

Differance is the simultaneous coming-to-presence of beings and their withdrawal. It is the deferral of presence and presencing. And this is precisely what the relation between virtual proper being and local manifestation is. Things are these processes of differance. Beings are like blooming flowers, yet are blooms that always hold themselves in reserve, such that there will never be any final presence, completion, or parousia. And this differance has no need of God or a subject to take place. Being blooms in and of its own accord. Nor is there any eschatology, teleology, or final point where being coincides with itself, exhausting withdrawal.

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