Perhaps my favorite moment in reading philosophy occurs when you encounter that element of their thought that appears both random and batshit, crazy insane.  Instances of such moments would be when I read Plato denouncing certain instruments and meters in poetry, or Leibniz claiming that the monads contain everything that will ever happen to them, past, present, and future, or when Epictetus compares lost family members to broken vases, or when Deleuze speaks about his hatred of domesticated animals like cats and dogs, or when Aristotle claims that political science is the highest of the sciences.  These are moments that appear completely idiosyncratic and bizarre, without any reason.  The moment that I love in these encounters, however, is when suddenly you understand the “logic” of that thought and the necessity behind it.  The joy that comes from these encounters is when you understand the ineluctability of those conclusions given the axioms of the thinker’s philosophy.  I love that moment when these strange claims no longer appear to be individual idiosyncrasies, but rather follow from their most fundamental commitments ethically, politically and metaphysically.  This suggests reading after the manner of Sherlock Holmes.  Rather than dismissing these things as mere oddities of a personality, they should instead be seen as symptoms of both a logos and an alterity that provides a clue to the fundamental commitments of the thought.  These moments of fundamental alterity are opportunities to be drawn out of our own ethical, political, and ontological commitments, to encounter the true difference of the text, and to read in a way that doesn’t simply project our own hermeneutic prejudices on to what it is that we’re reading.  They are the places where our own larvae or becomings become possible when reading.

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