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The Philosophy of the Flesh: Toward an Immanentist

Ontology of Perception
The notions of Nature and Reason, far from explaining the metamorphoses from perception to the more complex modes of human exchange, make them incomprehensible. Because by relating them to separate principles, these notions conceal a constantly experienced moment, the moment when an existence becomes aware of itself, grasps itself, and expresses its own sense. The study of perception could teach us a bad ambiguity, a mixture of finitude and universality, of interiority and exteriority. But there is a good ambiguity in the phenomenon of expression, a spontaneity that accomplishes what appeared to be impossible when we considered only the separate elements, a spontaneity that gathers together the plurality of monads, the past and the present, nature and culture into a single whole. To establish this wonder would be metaphysics itself and would at the same time give us the principle of an ethics. (MerleauPonty Reader,Unpublished Text, p.290)

As is abundantly well known, one of the major weaknesses of the Marxian critique of political economy is its determinism. In seeking to discover the economic laws of society, Marx ended up reducing all significant human activity to the labour that is socially necessary to ensure the reproduction of human society. The laws governing the pro-duction of use values and exchange values also govern their distribution among social classes and thus form the economic base upon which all other social structures and institutions from the family to the state to culture at large are founded and that form therefore an ideal superstructure that serves merely to hide or camouflage the rock-solid reality of the basic social relations of production. This is the forma mentis of traditional Marxism: in this perspective, it is the material economic base that determines or drives the ideological superstructure; and it is the combination of the two that constitutes human history. This duality of physical realism and of spiritual idealism is yet another manifestation of the separation of Nature and Reason, of Form and Matter, of Mind and Body, and finally of Subject and Object, that has characterized Western thought from its inception. Because Marxs thought his realism tended to relegate all philosophy to the sphere of mere interpretation, Marxism has always displayed a clear aversion to and insufferance for philosophical speculation and especially the prima philosophia, the theory of the foundation of reality itself namely, meta-physics and ontology. In this regard, Marx was replicating for his critique of political economy what Kant had performed in the Critique of Pure Reason, neatly separating the world into mere appearances and things in themselves, the latter being the ultimately inscrutable cause behind the former. For human knowledge to be founded on scientific bases, Kant proposed that we acknowledge the strict separation of

appearances in search of explanation and the ultimate immutable reality of which they were a mere re-presentation (Vor-stellung). This is the separation (chorismos) or the separated principles of Nature and Reason to which Merleau-Ponty alluded in the quotation above a separation or worse still an opposition (Gegen-stand, the German word for object) that we must transform into a participation (methexis, in the terminology of Nicholas of Cusa) in harmony with our project for a better world. What we find inspiring in Merleau-Pontys formulation of this separation is the fact that it states the problem in the tersest manner, and then suggests an answer together with the reason why it is a valid answer. The problem, tersely but improperly stated, is whether metaphysics can suggest an ethics that is to say, whether an ontology, a theory of reality, can provide the ground not just for a view of reality but also for a de-ontology, for a framework or pro-ject of action upon reality. One of the hardest things to do for people of a radical disposition is to provide a foundation for their convictions, for their intention no longer to interpret the world, but to change it. Yet such foundation must be found or at least our inquiry into it (remember that the original word for history in Greek was istorein, to inquire) must be commenced somewhere. Marxs Eleventh Thesis on Feuerbach betrays most eloquently his in-sufferance for the task of (philosophical) interpretation of social reality and his urgency for its practical scientific transformation. Had Nietzsche been aware of this Thesis, he would most probably have retorted that philosophers thus far have pretended to interpret the world when in reality they were attempting to change it! For unlike Marx, Nietzsche held no illusions that social reality could be deterministically reduced to scientific laws or that socially necessary labour time could ever constitute and determine the laws of motion of human history and societies. The entire aim of our studies so far has been not merely to attempt to change the world as it is at present by interpreting it, by understanding its functioning and mode of operation the more easily to intervene on it or at least to contrast it; but it has been also in large part to understand the reasons behind our exertions, behind our radicalism. We may know what to change and how to do it out of what Daniel Guerin once called a visceral opposition to the status quo, but we still need to know why we engage in the ruthless criticism of all that exists if we are going to have any chance of success. Our goals need to be clear before we set out to deploy our means. What we are attempting here is a critical re-foundation of an autonomist ontology that generates its goals not from the positing of extrinsic values but rather from the identification of the most basic human mode of

perception of reality. (Cf. M-P, end of Unpublished Text synopsis in Reader.) So far we have employed the approach of critique on the road to this quest because it is often easier to learn from the discoveries as well as the mistakes of theoreticians and practitioners that have preceded us. But critiques are necessarily negative in character: they are meant to de-struct rather than to con-struct and that is what we have done predominantly to date, except to the degree that every negation often involves also the negation of the negation and so, perhaps, some positive affirmation as well. It is obvious that our task cannot be confined to the ruthless criticism of everything that exists (Marx) because such critique would have no meaning unless it also had a purpose. There where actions have no meaning they can also be said to lack purpose, and vice versa. What then can be our purpose and on what meaning can it be founded? This is the area perhaps where the thought of Karl Marx leaves most to be desired, even in view of its (again) fundamental importance. The most refined corrections and improvements on Marxist thought in this arena have probably come from post-Nietzschean elaborations, culminating especially in the Italian left-Heideggerianism that was an offshoot of the new left move away from the orthodoxy of Communist parties of the European post-Stalinist era. Marxism may well have provided a deontological guide to our opposition to the ravages of capitalist industry, morally, ethically and then politically predicated on the notion of the theft of labour time. But if labour time is merely the time that is socially necessary to produce goods and services for consumption, then it is obvious that Marx has reduced the entire problem of capitalism to the mere distribution of the social product. Not only does this critique crumble to a mere gripe or grudge over distribution, over the share of the spoils; but it also fails to challenge the technical-scientific orientation of capitalism, its technology and science, - the political choice of what it produces and how it produces it. Even if we agree with Marx that a certain quantity of labour-time is (physically!) necessary for a human society to reproduce itself (again, physically), it is still obvious that this minimum quantity necessary for reproduction may well constitute a necessary condition but not in the least a sufficient condition to ensure the actual reproduction of a society a process that is as much political and cultural as it is narrowly economic! The Marxian critique also never proffered the ontological ground on which any praxis or deontology could be founded and erected. It is fair to say that Marx was too tied to the philosophy of the Enlightenment in its twin excrescences of German Idealism and scientific rationalism to

be able to escape the fallacies that engulfed them both and that were exposed so virulently already by the critics of the negatives Denken from Schopenhauer to Nietzsche through to Weber and finally Heidegger (cf. for all, this last authors Letter on Humanism). The fundamental error of Western philosophical and scientific thought has always been to seek to identify objectively the purpose and meaning of action with its object to con-fuse therefore activity with matter, the operari with the opus, the agere with the actus and the facere with the factum. And this con-fusion of the quest for the meaning of human reality (of its perception) with the certainty and calculability of it has meant that, in the words of Nietzsche, Western metaphysics has always sought the fixity of Being, its essence, and has neglected its being-as-becoming. As a result, this Western will to truth (Nietzsche) has turned into a maniacal quest for certainty, for the full end (Voll-endung) of history and consequently of philosophy itself. This quest, however, could only end in nihilism that is, in the debunking of all truths and values -, and determine what Heidegger called the Vollendung at once the ful-filment and completion, and therefore the ex-haustion, of the Western metaphysical tradition. (Again, the obligatory reference is to Heidegger, Vol.2 of his Nietzsche.) Given that no ultimate values can be fixed with certainty, given that truth can never be identical with its object, Nietzsche was keen to stress the importance of what happens in life, in that place that lies be-tween the first thing (birth) and the last thing (death). The question for us is: if we accept with Nietzsche that there are no ultimate values or final and definitive truths, that there is no summum bonum, what meaning and purpose can we then bestow upon our lives that will guide our living activity and that will make our political action worthwhile? It may be said that we are a purpose in search of a meaning, a need in search of a reason. Nietzsches ontology is incomprehensible (it cannot be grasped practically) without his notion of the Eternal Return of the Same which is premised entirely on the interpretation of historical events as symptoms or signs of either the underlying health or else of the Disgregation of the instincts of freedom (will to power) of human agents. The notion of the Eternal Return is neither cyclical (palingenesis) nor anagogical (as in the anakyklosis), but refers instead to a novel conception of time as nunc stans the now understood not as a point on a sequence of past nows and future nows, but rather as an entirely different dimension in which time is not spatialised, in which it cannot be measured, added to or subtracted from. For Nietzsche, everything happens at once; only in this sense does it return eternally and in this sense must fate be loved (amor fati).

Arendts profound incomprehension of Nietzsches transvaluation of all values is due in large part to her inability to penetrate Nietzsches entirely novel interpretation of place (Ort) as different from time and space! Which is strange, because Heidegger (whom Arendt knew intimately, to be scabrous) elaborated it at great length though incompletely or incorrectly in his thorough critique of the Kantian notion of intuition in his Kantbuch, which he meant as the second part of Being and Time. Arendt also and rightly begins her peripatetic assessment of the life of the mind with a critique of Kants epistemology (a cours force it seems for most modern thinkers), which in turn she interprets as a response to the solipsism of the Cartesian cogito. We agree with Arendt that the mind has a life not merely metaphorically but in the full sense of the word, materially, because we do not accept as valid the Cartesian dualism of mind and matter a dualism that degenerates inevitably into solipsism given that the cogito admits and conceives of ec-sistence exclusively as a mental thing the res cogitans as opposed to the res extensa -, and that the res cogitans must constitute an indivisible unity (in Leibnitzs powerful phrase, a being must be a being). The mind has a life because it is part of life, it is within life and the world: that is its materiality. A mind without life and the world is unimaginable because for the mind to ec-sist it needs a life and a world in which to be situ-ated, loc-ated, that is, it needs a site and a locus, a place that is categorically distinct from our conventional notions called time and space. Similarly, life has a mind to the extent that we cannot conceive of life without an organ capable of conceiving life the mind, whose locus is not necessarily the brain or the heart but again a place, a dimension categorically distinct from any body organs or functions. [Cassirer, Individuo y Cosmos, fn.57 Nietzsche and inter-pretation, no thing to be interpreted. Being-as-becoming, place and not time and space.] Pero la grandeza del Cusano en este aspecto y su significacin histrica estriban en el hecho de que en l, lejos de cumplirse este proceso en oposicin al pensamiento religioso de la Edad Media, se lleva a cabo precisamente dentro de la rbita de ese pensamiento mismo. Desde el propio centro de lo religioso realiza el descubrimiento de la naturaleza y del hombre que intenta afianzar y fijar en ese centro. El mstico y el telogo que hay en Nicols [56] de Cusa se sienten a la altura del mundo y de la naturaleza, a la altura de la historia y de la nueva cultura secular y humana. No se aparta de ellas ni las rechaza sino que, como cada vez se entrega ms y ms a su crculo, va incluyndolas al mismo tiempo en su propia esfera de pensamientos. Aun desde los primeros tratados del Cusano es posible seguir este proceso; y si en ellos prevalece el motivo platnico del chorismos49, en las obras posteriores gana la primaca el motivo de la methexis50.En sus ltimas obras se

manifiesta como cumbre de la teora la conviccin de que la verdad, que al principio haba buscado en la oscuridad de la mstica y que haba determinado como oposicin a toda multiplicidad y mudanza, se revela sin embargo precisamente en medio del reino de la multiplicidad emprica misma, la conviccin de que la verdad clama por las calles51. Cada vez con mayor fuerza se da en Nicols de Cusa ese sentimiento del mundo y, con l, ese su caracterstico optimismo religioso. El vocablo pantesmo no es adecuado para designar acabadamente ese nuevo sentimiento del mundo, pues no se desvanece aqu la oposicin entre el ser de Dios y el ser del mundo, sino que por el contrario se mantiene inclume en toda su plenitud. Pero como lo ensea el tratado De visione Dei, si la verdad de lo universal y lo particular de lo individual se compenetran mutuamente en forma tal que el ser de Dios slo puede ser comprendido y visto en la infinita multiplicidad de los puntos de vista individuales, del mismo modo podemos descubrir tambin el ser que est ms all de toda limitacin, de toda contraccin, solo y precisamente en esa limitacin. De modo que el ideal hacia el cual debe tender nuestro conocimiento no consiste en desconocer ni en desechar lo particular, [57] sino ms bien en comprender el pleno despliegue de toda su riqueza, pues slo la totalidad del rostro nos proporciona la visin una de lo divino. We can see here, in Cassirers account of the thought of Nicholas of Cusa, which in many ways pre-announces that of Hegel (cf. at par.60), how the notion of totality subsists even as Nicholas elevates the participation (methexis) of the particular as an a-spect, a view of the whole. Similarly, in the erroneous exegesis of Nietzsches thought (in Jaspers as in Foucault), the primacy of interpretation is supposed to refer to the im-possibility of encompassing this totality. But this is far from Nietzsches meaning! The notion of interpretation always implies a mediation between the interpreter and the interpretandum that which is inter-preted, a mediation between the thing and the knowledge of the thing on the part of an inter-preter. But this is exactly what Nietzsche denies the ecsistence of a thing whose totality or truth we cannot comprehend or en-compass. Far from ec-sisting independently of the knower or interpreter (whose ineluctable task it is to be con-fined to infinite interpretations -, for Nietzsche neither the thing nor its truth have a totality that can re-fer (bring back) to an under-lying, sub-stantial re-ality (thing-iness or what-ness). This is the consistent meaning of esse est percipi that eluded both Berkeley and Schopenhauer because both thought that being was a function of per-ception, so that it is the perceiver that bestows being to the perceived which is the true meaning of idealism as against realism. In effect, both Berkeley and Schopenhauer conceive of the world as representation or Idea in a neoplatonic sense that opposes Ideas to the world of appearances. But Nietzsche and Nicholas of Cusa are speaking the language, not of pantheism but of immanence, like Spinoza: they are saying that being ec-sists only

as appearance, as per-ception; for them, the apparent world has disappeared together with the real or true world. The opposition of real and apparent worlds or being is the ineluctable outcome of the transcendental attitude that opposes (this is the meaning of the Platonic chorismos, of the philosophia perennis) particular beings to the Being of beings the particular to the totality, the part to the whole. Note that Heidegger (cited by Arendt in LotM, p.11) claims that with this phrase Nietzsche has eliminated the difference between the sensible and supra-sensory worlds and in this he is clearly wrong because Nietzsche never wished to refute the difference between the two worlds: he wished instead to make a dif-ference by exposing the meaninglessness of their opposition! Of course, Heidegger had every interest in relegating Nietzsche to the nihilism (incomplete or complete) that he had denounced and sought to overcome! This is the point that Arendt herself misses completely: What is dead is not only the localization of such eternal truths, but also the distinction itself (p.10). And this is the meaning of nihilism for Arendt. Yet she also is wrong: nihilism for Nietzsche does not consist in the elimination of the distinction or difference between true and apparent worlds. Nihilism is the very fact that belief in the suprasensory world leads to the annihilation of the sensible world. The seed of nihilism is contained in the very thought of trans-scendence and this is a fallacy to which Arendt clearly and genially points, but ultimately does not elude (see Preface, p.11). The overcoming of nihilism, however, starts precisely with the overcoming, not of the distinction or difference between the two worlds, but with the real source of this distinction or opposition, which is the forma mentis that generates this distinction, with the transcendental attitude that forms the substratum of this philosophia perennis. This is the com-pletion and exhaustion [Voll-endung] of metaphysics for Nietzsche. What Nietzsche certifies is the end of transcendental metaphysics in a practical, even political, sense. But that is not to say that a metaphysics of immanence is no longer possible: on the contrary, it becomes necessary. Because, as Arendt insists, as do Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, meaning and truth-ascertainty are not the same thing! (Preface to LotM.) [Refer to discussion of Nicholas of Cusa.]

The entire aim of Kants critique of metaphysics his enquiry into the possibility of any future metaphysics able to call itself science was to avoid the Cartesian dualism by relegating the subiectum of reality to the inscrutable status of the thing in itself, which allowed

the hiatus between this last and human knowledge to be bridged or mediated by the human faculties of intuition, the intellect (the understanding), and finally pure reason, in a series of mediations that moved from mere appearances to the laws of nature and those of logico-mathematics as governed by the rule of pure reason. Kant accepted the skepticism of both Leibnitz and Hume over the existence of a subject as the author or agent of the thinking process. Descartes had committed the fallacy of presupposing an agent behind every action and therefore he presumed that the act of thinking necessarily presupposed the existence of a thinker. Both Leibnitz and Hume, and most emphatically Nietzsche, showed that this was a non sequitur. Leibnitz, in particular, postulated that reality could not be divided into noumena and phenomena for the sufficient reason that everything that exists, including phenomena or mere appearances (Kants blosse Erscheinungen), has a greater right to exist than what does not: - and that is a sufficient reason for its being. Only in this limited sense, the certainty of per-ception the fact that there is something instead of nothing was the Cartesian cogito certain. And in this sense Nietzsche was right to replace the Cartesian cogito ergo sum with his vivo ergo cogito. As MerleauPonty reminds us in the quotation below regarding the cogito: Sa vrit logique est que pour penser il faut tre. It is not the act of thinking that comes first; rather, it is the ineluctable reality of living or perception that precedes thinking-as-reflection or consciousness and, much farther down the track, that of the thinking subject, of the I. This conceptual chain, what Nietzsche calls the ontogeny of thought, and the evermore strict con-nection between perceptions, then reflection, and then the extrapolation to a conceptually or logically necessary chorismos (Plato) or separation between the perceiver and the perceived (of ideas and things, says Merleau-Ponty below) was to become the fateful problematic for Western thought. Had Descartes been more careful in his formulation of the cogito, as Nietzsche and Arendt suggested, he would have expressed it as cogito me cogitare, ergo sum (p.20, LotM). But in that case it would have become obvious to him that the first cogito, the one that perceives that I think, begs the question of whether the thinking is done by a thinker, by an I which, as Nietzsche showed beyond question, leads to a circulus vitiosus (each fresh statement presupposes a previous thinking subject or I); or to a non sequitur (because thinking can occur without a thinking subject or I). This is the fundamentality of thought, its abyss or, with Nietzsche, its Being-as-becoming:

Quant la source mme des penses, nous savons maintenant que, pour la trouver, il nous faut chercher sous les noncs, et [Maurice Merleau-Ponty, SIGNES. (1960) 27] notamment sous l'nonc fameux de Descartes [that is, the cogito]. Sa vrit logique - qui est que pour penser il faut tre -, sa signification d'nonc le trahissent par principe, puisqu'elles se rapportent un objet de pense au moment o il faut trouver accs vers celui qui pense et vers sa cohsion native, dont l'tre des choses et celui des ides sont la rplique. La parole de Descartes est le geste qui montre en chacun de nous cette pense pensante dcouvrir, le Ssame ouvre-toi de la pense fondamentale. Fondamentale parce qu'elle n'est vhicule par rien. Mais non pas fondamentale comme si, avec elle, on touchait un fond o il faudrait s'tablir et demeurer. Elle est par principe sans fond et si l'on veut abme; cela veut dire qu'elle n'est jamais avec elle-mme, que nous la trouvons auprs ou partir des choses penses, qu'elle est ouverture, l'autre extrmit invisible de l'axe qui nous fixe aux choses et aux ides. (Merleau-Ponty, Signes, p.27.)

This fundamentality of thought is why for Kant, contrary to Descartes, the question of the Ich-heit or Ego-ity (the thinking subject), could not be settled by rational means: the I was a concept that belonged to the transcendental dialectic in that its existence could not be proven by scientific or logical means. Arendt (in the preface to LotM, pp13ff) rightly laments the distinction Kant made between Reason and Intellect and the relegation of the former to the task of cognition rather than thought, of truth rather than meaning, something that he ought to have left to the Intellect instead, as Schopenhauer rightly insisted (see discussion in section below). But neither Kant nor Schopenhauer nor even Arendt ever question the nexus rerum constituted by the physical laws of cause and effect; and this failure is what prevents them from posing correctly, meaningfully, the question of transcendence, of the separation of the suprasensible and the sensible worlds. Though he questioned the possibility of meta-physics, Kants philosophical efforts were directed at showing how scientific laws were possible: how it is possible for human beings to discover invariant relations between physical events with the predictable precision or certainty of logicomathematics that justified their description as natural laws on account of the causally necessary link otherwise known as nexus rerum - that permitted the ontological and epistemological ordo et connexio rerum et idearum (order and connection of things and ideas). Kant reasoned that we need to go beyond the Leibnitzian Principle of Sufficient Reason because that principle cannot account for the mathematical regularity of scientific observations: - as he revealingly put it, Reason had to give back to Nature the order that the latter had supplied with its regularity. Although reason is inconceivable without human intuition to provide it with the material content of its conceptual categories, this human intuition in turn could not become aware of its content (it could not con-ceive or com-prehend or grasp

it) without the mediation of the Schematismus of the intellect and, in turn, of the logico-mathematical rules of Pure Reason. Kant regresses back into Cartesian dualism by simply positing the finitude of the per-cipient subject and the noumenality, the incomprehensibility of the per-ceived Object, of Being in its totality. This is the kernel of what we may call (with Merleau-Ponty) the transcendental attitude. Kant distinguishes two moments (momenta) of experience, one being the constitutive (perception) and the other the regulative (concepts or theory). This separation (or chorismos) of perception and the perceived, of the percipi and the esse, already pre-supposes a dualism of perceiving Subject and perceived Object. The act of perception is founded on the logical presupposition that there is a thing that is to be perceived the Object. And the logical requirement of the act of perceiving is that there be an entity, a Subject, that does the perceiving. Whereas Descartes had placed the Ego or the Soul at the summit of philosophy, Kant preferred to appoint the logico-mathematical powers of human thought. It is the very ec-sistence of logico-mathematical id-entities that are within life and the world, within experience, and yet are independent of experience for their truth or validity it is this a priori ec-sistence of logico-mathematical rules or laws that confirms the ec-sistence of two separate yet inextricable aspects of human existence: the constitutive principle of experience and the regulative principle of theory, the awareness or intuition of the res or thingsand the cognitive ability to link these things according to cognitive rules. There exists therefore both a faculty that links or con-nects ideas between themselves, and a faculty that links or connects these ideas with things, and an entity that pro-duces these ideas (the Sub-ject) as well as the things (that are ordered and connected) in themselves! Here Being is seen as pre-sence, as a fixed entity: what is forgotten is that the only fixity is that of the degree zero of being, which is its being-for-others, its perceptibility and not some kind of nothing-ness (Heidegger), as even Merleau-Ponty ends up mistaking it:
Les choses et le monde visibles, d'ailleurs, sont-ils autrement faits? Ils sont toujours derrire ce que j'en vois, en horizon, et ce qu'on appelle visibilit est cette transcendance mme. Nulle chose, nul ct de la chose ne se montre qu'en cachant activement les autres, en les dnonant dans l'acte de les masquer. Voir, c'est par principe voir plus qu'on ne voit, c'est accder un tre de latence. L'invisible est le relief et la profondeur du visible, et pas plus que lui le visible ne comporte de positivit pure. (Signes, p26, my emphases.)

Merleau-Ponty, like Heidegger and Husserl and Hegel before them, continues to approach the question of being in its verticality, its

transcendence and so betrays his own enterprise. (Arendt speaks of depth [or true being] and surfaces [or mere appearances] to distinguish between transcendence and immanence [see LotM, p26 and p30 on the value of the surface]. Negri adopts this term, too in his writings on Spinoza.) Had he turned to the immanentists, he would have understood more fully what he himself sustains below when he substitutes visible et invisible for etre et neant the impossibility of Being ec-sisting in its totality, as pre-sence that would render the pre-sent (the nunc stans) meaningless, as un etre sans restriction; - and therefore the futility or irrelevance of transcendentalism:
Dimensionnalit, ouverture n'auraient plus de sens. Labsolument ouvert s'appliquerait compltement sur un tre sans restriction, et, faute d'une autre dimension dont elle ait se distinguer, ce que nous appelions la verticalit , - le prsent - ne voudrait plus rien dire. Plutt que de l'tre et du nant, il vaudrait mieux parler du visible et de l'invisible, en rptant qu'ils ne sont pas contradictoires. On dit invisible comme on dit immobile: non pour ce qui est tranger au mouvement, mais pour ce qui s'y maintient fixe. C'est le point ou le degr zro de visibilit, l'ouverture d'une dimension du visible. Un zro tous gards, un tre sans restriction ne sont pas considrer. Quand je parle du nant, il y a dj de ltre, ce nant ne nantise donc pas pour de bon, et cet tre n'est pas identique soi, sans question. (Signes, p27.)

The limit of Merleau-Pontys phenomenology of perception can be sensed in his failure to appreciate how the notion of becoming in Nietzsches version of the concept does not leave the sensible, time and history untouched but trans-values them quite radically: La philosophie qui dvoile ce chiasma du visible et de l'invisible est tout le contraire d'un survol. Elle s'enfonce dans le sensible, dans le temps, dans l'histoire, vers leurs jointures, elle ne les dpasse pas par des forces qu'elle aurait en propre, elle ne les dpasse que dans leur sens. On rappelait rcemment le mot de Montaigne tout mouvement nous dcouvre. et l'on en tirait avec raison que l'homme n'est qu'en mouvement 6. De mme le monde ne tient, l'tre ne tient qu'en mouvement, c'est ainsi seulement que toutes choses peuvent tre ensemble. La philosophie est la remmoration [anamnesis] de cet tre-l, dont la science ne s'occupe pas, parce qu'elle conoit les rapports de l'tre et de la connaissance comme ceux du gomtral et de ses projections, et qu'elle oublie l'tre d'enveloppement, ce qu'on [Maurice Merleau-Ponty, SIGNES. (1960) 28] pourrait appeler la topologie de l'tre. But Merleau-Pontys interesting notion of invisibility as the degree zero of visibility leads us back to the discussion over Schmitts exception and Hobbess hypothesis and Nietzsches Invariance all of which are border or liminal concepts, as it were, and offer revealing radiographies of the bourgeois transcendental and ontogenetic understanding of human being. Having just stated that quand je parle du nant, il y a dj de ltre, Merleau-Ponty remains

locked in the transcendental attitude that he attempts to supersede because he remains tied to the Heideggerian phenomenological notion of nothing-ness: if being is in motion, if it is a be-coming, then there must also be a non-being that pre-supposes being, which is the space left empty by the pre-sent being understood as a fixity. Similarly, in-visibility has meaning or sense only in the light of visibility (la lueure de letre [p21], an echo of Heideggers Lichtung). Merleau-Ponty has a vice of falling into these delusional dualisms as when he speaks of silence enveloping words, for meaning or sens as letre denveloppement and the Platonic anamnesis (cf. his expressions above, at p.28 of Signes). It is interesting also that Foucault and then Agamben (Homo Sacer) mistake this degree zero for some puerile pre-political state of innocence that has been tainted by statality, by civil society as bourgeois society, as a degeneration or de-secration from zoe to bios. In effect, Agamben et alii erect a naked life as a bulwark against the fiction of citizenship that de-fines the border between the state of legality and that of exception. E em referencia a esta definicao que Foucault, ao final da Vontade de saber, resume o processo atraves do qual, nos limiares da Idade Moderna, a vida natural comep, par sua vez, a ser incluida nos mecanismos enos calculos do poder estatal, e a politica se transforma em biopolitica: "Par milenios, o homem permaneceu o que era para Aristoteles: um animal vivente e, alem disso, capaz de existencia politica; o homem moderno e um animal em cuja politica esta em questao a sua vida de ser vivente." (Foucault, 1976, p. 127) (See pp.3-4 of Eng. Edtn.) Despite his appeals to the authoriality of Hannah Arendt (for he is a master at seeking out associations with authors such as Heidegger and Deleuze), Agamben neglects the cardinal importance that Arendt gave precisely to the concept of citizenship, not as a mark of biopolitical repression, but indeed as the only realistic and real protection of a human being by a human community! There is no reference in Arendt to this primacy of natural life to which Agamben refers (p.4). Little wonder that he should complain (same page) that Arendt establishes no connection between the analyses in HC and in OT! The Nazi concentration camps operated not on the basis that citizenship was denied to the Jews, as Agamben foolishly believes, but precisely on the Nietzschean and later Schmittian notion that society and its ontogeny of thought are fictitious masks that serve to dissemble the nakedness of life as exploitation! Though this debacle may have begun with the progressive emargination of social groups from the protection of citizenship, as Arendt genially showed,

the Nazis never saw Jews as people deprived of citizenship and they never meant thereby to exclude them from any kind of biopolitical statality or statal power. The Nazis quite simply obliterated the very notion of citizenship altogether! In such a way that the Jews became in their eyes the innocent (Unschuldig!) victims of the struggle for life, the war of all against all, - the state of nature that is exactly what Agambens notion of nuda vita and Foucaults earlier Aristotelian one of zoe ineluctably revive! In the Nazi ideology, Jews were merely the representatives of a losing slave morality that were to be dominated by the homologously irresponsible or un-accountable (un-ver-antwort-lich) Nazi Arian bearers of the master morality! To lump together political systems that retain the notion of citizenship with systems like the Nazi state that abolished citizenship completely is to commit a political misjudgement of the worst possible kind! The puerility of Agambens late-romantic Rousseauean reveries is of an almost unbearable naivete something that Nietzsche exposed and ridiculed with the ontogeny of thought which shows, in a manner later rejuvenated by Arendt, the (sit venia verbo!) nakedness (allusion to Agambens nuda vita or naked life) of the violence that the bourgeois transcendental attitude and ontogeny unleashes on beings human because of its equally naked denigration and denial of any phylogenetic inter esse, let alone citizenship! Nietzsche falsely believed to be able to overcome the nihilism of Western thought by exposing its Invariance: in reality, however, he only ended up identifying the ineluctability of exploitation and of the pathos of distance, as well as the instrumentality of the capitalist logicomathematical and scientific order. (Esposito, incidentally, has sought to redefine inter esse as comunitas, with the emphasis on the munere which preserves the social individuality of the esse and shifts the political emphasis from the inter.) 88888888888888888888
Or, si nous chassons de notre esprit l'ide d'un texte original dont notre langage serait la traduction ou la version chiffre, nous verrons que l'ide d'une expression complte fait nonsens, que tout langage est indirect ou allusif, est, si l'on veut, silence. (Signes, p45)

Again, the totality of being, just like the complete expression is a non-sense, says Merleau-Ponty. The parallelism of word and object, of thought and word is therefore also a nonsense:
Il n'est pas davantage de pense qui soit compltement pense et qui ne demande des mots le moyen d'tre prsente elle-mme. Pense et parole s'escomptent l'une l'autre. Elles se substituent continuellement l'une l'autre. Elles sont relais, stimulus l'une pour l'autre. Toute

pense vient des paroles et y retourne, toute parole est ne dans les penses et finit en elles. Il y a entre les hommes et en chacun une incroyable vgtation de paroles dont les penses sont la nervure. - On dira - mais enfin, si la parole est autre chose que bruit ou son, c'est que la pense y dpose une charge de sens -, et le sens lexical ou grammatical d'abord - de sorte qu'il n'y a jamais contact que de la pense avec la pense -. Bien sr, des sons ne sont parlants que pour une pense, cela ne veut pas dire que la parole soit drive ou seconde. Bien sr, le systme mme du langage a sa structure pensable. Mais, quand nous parlons, nous ne la pensons pas comme la pense le linguiste, nous n'y pensons pas mme, nous pensons ce que nous disons. Ce n'est pas seulement que nous ne puissions penser deux choses la fois : on dirait que, pour avoir devant nous un signifi, que ce soit [26] l'mission ou la rception, il faut que nous cessions de nous reprsenter le code et mme le message, que nous nous fassions purs oprateurs de la parole. La parole oprante fait penser et la pense vive trouve magiquement ses mots. Il n'y a pas la pense et le langage, chacun des deux ordres l'examen se ddouble et envoie un rameau dans l'autre. (Signes, p24)

In fact here even the la of la pensee ought to be in cursive because if languages interpenetrate thoughts, then it is foolhardy to postulate the existence of one thought: there are as many thoughts as there are words to articulate and express them. Merleau-Ponty obliquely argues as much when he rightly observes that there cannot be any plausible analytical distinction between synchronic parole and diachronic langue a la Saussure. (See generally Le Phenomene du Langage in Signes, p.85:
L'exprience de la parole n'aurait alors rien nous enseigner sur ltre du langage, elle n'aurait pas de porte ontologique. C'est ce qui est impossible. Ds qu'on distingue, ct de la science objective du langage, une phnomnologie de la parole, on met en route une dialectique par laquelle les deux disciplines entrent en communication. D'abord le point de vue subjectif enveloppe le point de vue objectif ; la synchronie enveloppe la diachronie. Le pass du langage a commenc par tre [ Maurice Merleau-Ponty, SIGNES. (1960) 86] prsent, la srie des faits linguistiques fortuits que la perspective objective met en vidence s'est incorpore un langage qui, chaque moment, tait un systme dou d'une logique interne.

Here once again Merleau-Ponty seems unable to distinguish between human ana-lysis literally, the retrovisual categorization of reality that ends up in the prima philosophia (ontology) and the reality that is the fundament or even the abyss of thought and language and action, in short, of what may be called the point of intuition, the reality of perception. Yet Merleau-Pontys conception of thought remains tied to the intramundane notion of time:

Il n'y aurait rien s'il n'y avait cet abme du soi. Seulement un abme n'est pas rien, il a ses bords, ses entours. On pense toujours quelque chose, sur, selon, d'aprs quelque chose, l'endroit, l'encontre de quelque chose. Mme l'action de penser est prise dans la pousse de ltre. Je ne peux pas penser identiquement la mme chose plus d'un instant. L'ouverture par principe est aussitt comble, comme si la pense ne vivait qu' l'tat naissant. Si elle se maintient, c'est travers - c'est par le glissement qui la jette l'inactuel. Car il y a l'inactuel de l'oubli, mais aussi celui de l'acquis. C'est par le temps que mes penses datent, c'est par lui aussi quelles font date, qu'elles ouvrent un avenir de pense, un cycle, un [Maurice MerleauPonty, SIGNES. (1960) 21] champ, qu'elles font corps ensemble, qu'elles sont une seule pense, qu'elles sont moi. La pense ne troue pas le temps, elle continue le sillage des prcdentes penses, sans mme exercer le pouvoir, qu'elle prsume, de le tracer nouveau, comme nous pourrions, si nous voulions, revoir l'autre versant de la colline : mais quoi bon, puisque la colline est l ? quoi bon m'assurer que ma pense du jour recouvre ma pense d'hier : je le sais bien puisque aujourd'hui je vois plus loin. Si je pense, ce n'est pas que je saute hors du temps dans un monde intelligible, ni que je recre chaque fois la signification partir de rien, c'est que la flche du temps tire tout avec elle, fait que mes penses successives soient, dans un sens second, simultanes, ou du moins qu'elles empitent lgitimement l'une sur l'autre. Je fonctionne ainsi par construction. Je suis install sur une pyramide de temps qui a t moi. Je prends du champ, je m'invente, mais non sans mon quipement temporel, comme je me dplace dans le monde, mais non sans la masse, inconnue de mon corps. Le temps est ce corps de l'esprit dont parlait Valry. Temps et pense sont enchevtrs l'un dans l'autre. La nuit de la pense est habite par une lueur de l'Etre. (Signes, pp20-1)

This is a spatial con-ception of being and time - there cannot be empty space because even emptiness pre-supposes space! And indeed even intra-mundane time is spatialised because it is conceived as a now-sequence of equal intervals unfolding from past to future (cf. Heideggers early essay on time). I do not jump out of time when I think betrays Merleau-Pontys nunc fluens conception of time, as a flowing river in which all being floats. So does his reference to the arrow of time and to time is the body of the spirit in other words, for the spirit, time is its embodiment or corporeality. Yet we know, first, that time is a meaningless concept outside of human intuition (spirit here), and second, that if time is what gives body to the spirit, then it comes into opposition with space: in other words, we still do not know where this spirit is! It is this invisibility of spirit and this spirituality or corporeality of time that relegates us to the illusory dualism of Body and Spirit, of Idea and Thing. These are transcendental notions because they conceive of being as something that can be located in a spatiotemporal continuum. Merleau-Ponty himself acknowledges as much when he meekly suggests that l'tre et [le] nant, il vaudrait mieux parler du visible et de l'invisible, ne sont pas contradictoires. Yet they are! Nothing-ness does not admit of being, unless being is understood transcendentally, in terms of the philosophia perennis, as the suprasensible world of which nothing-ness is only the kingdom of

shadows, of appearances, the negative or reverse of being; or else as possibility or contingency (Heidegger, Sartre), which is certainly not nothing-ness but being in gestation, potentiality or Aristotelian dynamis all of which poses an antinomic dualism that Merleau-Ponty was desperately trying to eschew from the inception. In this antinomic world, nothing-ness also has its being, and Heideggers sophistries come to resemble closely Hegels dialectical teleology (see his discussion of Aristotle in Vol.1 of Nietzsche). It is instructive that Merleau-Pontys ultimate lunge to evade this linguistic trap is to prefer the phrase topology of being which is closer to our notion of place (Ort) and the nunc stans to re-place (!) the old intra-mundane notions of space and time. The fundamentality that Merleau-Ponty is chasing is the materiality or immanence of being.
Dans le texte tardif que nous citions en commenant, Husserl crit que la parole ralise une localisation et une temporalisation d'un sens idal qui, selon son sens d'tre n'est ni local ni temporel, - et il ajoute plus loin que la parole encore objective et ouvre la pluralit des sujets, titre de concept ou de proposition, ce qui n'tait auparavant qu'une formation intrieure un sujet. Il y aurait donc un mouvement par lequel l'existence idale descend dans la localit et la temporalit, - et un mouvement inverse par lequel l'acte de parole ici et maintenant fonde l'idalit du vrai. Ces deux mouvements seraient contradictoires s'ils avaient lieu entre les mmes termes extrmes, et il nous semble ncessaire de concevoir ici un circuit de la rflexion : elle reconnat en premire [121] approxi-mation l'existence idale comme ni locale, ni temporelle, - puis elle s'avise d'une localit et d'une temporalit de la parole que l'on ne peut driver de celles du monde objectif, ni d'ailleurs suspendre un monde des ides, et finalement fait reposer sur la parole le mode d'tre des formations idales. L'existence idale est fonde sur le document, non sans doute comme objet physique, non pas mme comme porteur des significations une une que lui assignent les conventions de la langue dans laquelle il est crit, mais sur lui en tant que, par une transgression intentionnelle encore, il sollicite et fait converger toutes les vies connaissantes et ce titre instaure et restaure un Logos du monde culturel. Le propre d'une philosophie phnomnologique nous parait donc tre de s'tablir titre dfinitif dans l'ordre de la spontanit enseignante qui est inaccessible au psychologisme et l'historicisme, non moins qu'aux mtaphysiques dogmati-ques. Cet ordre, la phnomnologie de la parole est entre toutes apte nous le rvler. Quand je parle ou quand je comprends, j'exprimente la prsence d'autrui en moi ou de moi en autrui, qui est la pierre d'achoppement de la thorie de l'intersubjectivit, la prsence du reprsent qui est la pierre d'achoppement de la thorie du temps, et je comprends enfin ce que veut dire l'nigmatique proposition de Husserl : La subjectivit transcendantale est intersubjectivit. Dans la mesure o ce que je dis a sens, je suis pour moi-mme, quand je parle, un autre autre , et, dans la mesure o je comprends, je ne sais plus qui parle et qui coute. La dernire dmarche philosophique est de reconnatre ce que Kant appelle [Maurice Merleau-Ponty, SIGNES. (1960) 96] l' affinit transcendantale des moments du temps et des temporalits. C'est sans doute ce que Husserl cherche faire quand il reprend le vocabulaire finaliste des mtaphysiques, parlant de monades , entlchies , tlologie . Mais, ces mots sont mis souvent entre guillemets pour signifier qu'il n'entend pas introduire avec eux quelque agent qui de l'extrieur assurerait

la connexion des termes mis en rapport. La finalit au sens dogmatique serait un compromis: elle laisserait face face les termes lier et le principe liant. [122] Or c'est au coeur de mon prsent que je trouve le sens de ceux qui l'ont prcd, que je trouve de quoi comprendre la prsence d'autrui au mme monde, et c'est dans l'exercice mme de la parole que j'apprends comprendre. Il ny a finalit qu'au sens o Heidegger la dfinissait lorsqu'il disait peu prs qu'elle est le tremblement d'une unit expose la contingence et qui se recre infatigablement. Et c'est la mme spontanit, non-dlibre, inpuisable, que Sartre faisait allusion quand il disait que nous sommes condamns la libert .
888888888888888888888 Merleau-Ponty, to my knowledge the only philosopher who not only tried to give an account of the organic structure of human existence but also tried in all earnest to embark upon a philosophy of the flesh, was still misled by the old identification of mind and soul when he defined the mind as the other side of the body since there is a body of the mind and a mind of the body and a chiasm between them. Precisely the lack of such chiasmata or crossings over is the crux of mental phenomena and Merleau-Ponty himself, in a different context, recognized the lack with great clarity. Thought, he writes, is fundamental because it is not borne by anything, but not fundamental as if with it one reached a foundation upon which one ought to base oneself and stay. As matter of principle, fundamental thought is bottomless. It is, if you wish, an abyss. But what is true of the mind is not true of the soul and vice versa. The soul, though perhaps much darker than the mind will ever manage to be, is not bottomless; it does indeed overflow into the body; it encroaches upon it, is hidden in it and at the same time needs it, terminates in it, is anchored in it (LotM, p33, this last quotation is from Augustine, De Civitate Dei).

This is not the first time that we pick on Arendt for her stubborn attachment to this distinction between mindand soul. There is indeed a distinction to be made between emotional thought and abstract thought but both modes of thinking are just aspects of mental life that are different only in their content, not in their fundamentality or their ontological status. And this is what MerleauPonty is saying but Arendt cannot comprehend because of her attachment, again, to the distinction between cognitive thought which is oriented to truth-as-certainty (logico-mathematics and scientific regularities) and thinking proper, which for her includes meaning but which in effect ends up referring to logico-deductive and formal-rational, in short, abstract thought. Only in this regard does her own thought differ from Kants basic distinction between the thinking ego, whose eminent faculties are the understanding and reason, and the soul or the self. Kant ends up reducing all thinking to cognitive thought or thought directed at certainty and truth. Arendt instead categorises this as only a branch of abstract thought, of which meaning forms the greater part. But as we will see, Arendt bases her entire argument on the otherness of thinking its being in the world and yet apart from it precisely and ontologically on the truth-status of logico-mathematical abstract thinking or reasoning on Kants notions of intellect and reason. Although she agrees that

thought is an abyss, it is fundamental, because it is only through thought that we are able to pose the most fundamental questions of existence and reality, she fails to understand thereby that from the ontological standpoint even abstract thought still constitutes an emotional aspect of the life of the mind - however cool or impassive or dis-interested it may appear - of which its intellectuality is only a part or subset thereof. Mental activity, whether intellectual or emotional, is one and the same: the problem is that too often we con-fuse, as clearly does Arendt, the focus or mode of thought with its real referent, with its object (which, as we will see in our critique of Heideggers Kantbuch, is no ob-ject at all) as if emotive thought dealt with the soul and intellectual thought dealt instead with the mind as pure activity, and then split itself again into rational and meaningful activities. Contrary to what Arendt believes, both intellectual and emotive thought have repercussions on the body and to this extent Merleau-Ponty is quite right to insist on the mind of the body and vice versa, rather than just the soul of the body and vice versa, and their chiasmata, their crossings-over. The stumbling block for Arendt is a distinction that she makes and that Merleau-Ponty does not tackle whilst Nietzsche certainly did and, by so doing, made one of his greatest discoveries, what we have called Nietzsches Invariance, which is that cognitive thought (logicomathematics) and reflective thought, both of which make up abstract or intellectual thought, are not separate from other modes of thinking and that indeed thought and body cannot be separated the way Arendt earnestly wishes they could! The mind has a life also in this sense or meaning, what Arendt calls the sixth sense (pp49-50): - that it cannot be separated from life, even in its most abysmal or fundamental intuitive or rational cognitive or abstract functions. Arendt clearly mistakes what Merleau-Ponty means by fundamental: thought is not borne by any thing not because it is in opposition to or contrast with the world of things because, as Arendt herself points out, thinking beings are not just in the world but also of the world. Rather, thought is fundamental because it is only through thought that we can intuit the nature of reality. But this intuition tells us precisely what Arendt (and Heidegger, then Kant, as we are about to see) refuses to acknowledge: - that thought is immanent in life and the world, that it cannot abstract from the latter, even in its most intellectual modes and functions and operations. This is what Nietzsche, first among philosophers, discovered. And here we come to self-evident truths. Arendts The Life of the Mind is quite evidently hinged on the misconception that Kant operated a dichotomy or an opposition a

Platonic chorismos between things in themselves (the Ideas) and mere appearances, between the (true) world and its effects. Yet this is not correct because Kant emphatically elevates those mere appearances to ineluctable a-spects of the thing in itself so that no real ultimate opposition exists between the two which is what Arendt herself is advancing here. Where the opposition relevant to Arendts criticism of Kant arises is not between appearances and things in themselves but rather between pure intuition and thing, between perception and reflection, between perception and knowledge, between knowledge and reason, between idea and object whence transcendental idealism -, and finally between Subject and Object. This is why Schopenhauer could celebrate in the distinction between appearance and thing in itself.Kants greatest discovery because he could see immediately that in fact there cannot be any dualism between perception and knowledge and that therefore the real dichotomy was to be located between the Understanding or Intellect and its representations on one side and the Will, the true thing in itself, on the other with the two making up the world: hence, the world as will and representation (or Idea). Heidegger has enucleated and illustrated, with characteristic didactic and analytical brilliance, this important aspect of Kantian metaphysics: for Kant there is no opposition whatsoever between things in themselves and appearances nor are the latter caused by the former; rather, for the Koenigsberger, appearances are the necessary manifestation of things as beings-in-the-world open to perception by the thinking ego of human beings (Heidegger calls them things for us in What is a thing? At about p5) who then (and here comes causality) orders them into concepts or constructions from which deductions (synthetic a priori statements) can be made by pure reason. It is not the case that for Kant appearances are mere and therefore false events (Geschehen) that need to be interpreted in the light of the things that cause them. Arendts miscomprehension can be gleaned when she summarises Kants position as follows:
His notion of a thing in itself, something which is but does not appear although it causes appearances, can beexplained on the grounds of the theological tradition, (LotM, p40). Kant was carried away by his great desire tomake it overwhelmingly plausible that there undoubtedly is something distinct from the world which contains the ground for the order of the world, and therefore is itself of a higher order, (p42).

Yet Kant says precisely what Arendt seems to be saying: - that the thing in itself does appear; in fact, it can do nothing else but appear to human beings who can never com-prehend it fully. Arendt herself comes close to grasping Kants admittedly intricate ontologicoepistemological position when she observes: -

The theological bias [in Kant] enters here in the word mere representations, as if he had forgotten his own central thesis: We assert that the conditions of the possibility of experience in general are likewise conditions of the possibility of the experience of the objects of experience, and that for this reason they have objective validity in a synthetic a priori statement. (LotM, p.41)

In fact, Kant has not forgotten his own central thesis and, for him, both the possibility of experience and that of the experience of the objects of experience actually coincide because things in themselves that become objects of experience are known to us that is, are things in themselves for us when they are not things in themselves of a higher order whose ec-sistence (they are not nothing) is required by Pure Reason. What is of a higher order for Kant is not at all the thing in itself but rather the Pure Reason which contains the ground [not the cause!] for the order of the world. The difference between the thinking ego and other things in themselves is that the former is the faculty that can give order [Sinngebende] to the worldmade up of other things in themselves, which are named so because they are not knowable in themselves and not because they do not appear! Unlike Plato or Mach, Kant does not sanctify the lofty philosopher or scientist who rises above the apparent world. Quite to the contrary, and this is a point that Arendt keenly appreciates (p41), Kant bases himself precisely on this world of appearances from which that of noumena can be deduced thanks to the intellect and reason. Perception is the construction from which reason can derive its synthetic deductions. By failing to understand this subtle yet essential point of the Kantian critique, Arendt cannot undo and re-erect her own phenomenology of the flesh on proper ontological foundations; for the simple reason that her privileging of appearances or phenomena over things in themselves or noumena or qualitates occultae remains firmly bound to the transcendental attitude, just as Merleau-Pontys exaltation or elevation of perception from secondary (the effect of things or objects) to primary (the dis-closure of the object that presupposes its partial invisibility or nothing-ness) is tightly chained to this philosophical framework. Arendt amply demonstrates and corroborates this conclusion when describing her own understanding of the difference between thinking ego and the self:
The thinking ego is indeed Kants thing in itself: it does not appear to others and unlike the self of self-awareness it does not appear to itself, and yet it is not nothing. The thinking ego is sheer activity and therefore ageless, sexless, without qualities and without a life storyFor the thinking ego is not the self (pp42-3).

And here is the crux. The crucial characteristic of the transcendental attitude rests not on the distinction between the true world and the

apparent world, but rather on the conception of human intuition as ordering the world, on the separation between the intuitive and the conceptual tasks of the mind. This is what Merleau-Ponty was attempting to circumvent with the topology of being, yet failed to achieve because of that and yet it is not nothing! Heideggers explication of this Kantian expression in What is a Thing? (at p5) genially and instructively distinguishes between two kinds of things in themselves: - those that appear to us [things for us] and those that do not, such as God and the thinking ego. Arendt fails to make this distinction and so believes that all Kantian things in themselves are the same and that her distinction of Being and Appearance applies to Kant and that Kant reduced the thinking ego and all thinking to pure reason ! So long as chiasmata are possible between body and soul, immanence is assured. But it is when the mind comes into play as sheer activity, when the ageless, sexless, thinking ego without qualities fails to appear, and yet it is not nothing and like God it is not a thing for us - when this fundament or abyss is considered mystically, then we have trans-scendence, the op-position of Subjet and Object a theo-logy. This is the underpinning of Schopenhauers (then Nietzsches) devastating critique of Kants transcendentalism. Arendt speaks of
the paradoxical condition of a living being that, though itself part of the world of appearances, is in possession of a faculty, the ability to think, that permits the mind to withdraw from the world without ever being able to leave it or transcend it, (LotM, p43).

Yet so long as Arendt keeps speaking of the world of appearances, she will be stuck with this paradoxical condition for the simple reason that she exalts, like Kant and even Heidegger, the primacy or primordiality or purity, the sheer activity the transcendence! - of thought and intuition over their materiality or sensuousness or immanence. For to say that thought can withdraw from the world because of its abstract and inescapable (a reference again to logico-mathematical thought) character or quality is effectively equivalent to saying that thought trans-scends life and the world! The life of the mind then becomes an impossible chiasmus, indeed an oxymoron. An illustration of this misconception can be gleaned from Arendts critical comments on P.F. Strawsons presumption, characteristic of the Oxford analytical school, in a passage she quotes from one of his essays on Kant:
It is indeed an old belief that reason is something essentially out of time and yet in us. Doubtless it has its ground in the fact thatwe grasp [mathematical and logical] truths. Butone [who] grasps timeless truths [need not] himself be timeless, (Strawson quoted on p45).

What neither Strawson nor Arendt understand, and this is the reason why they are entangled in this paradoxical condition, is that mathematical and logical truths are neither true nor timeless! The prism that distorts the entire Western ontological traditions view of reality is precisely this notion of self-evident truths. This is the prism, the illusion, that Nietzsches Invariance smashes mercilessly to smithereens. For a truth to ec-sist it must be com-prehensible (Heidegger uses the term umgreifen early in the Kantbuch) and therefore, unlike the Kantian and Schopenhauerian thing in itself, within time: it must be intra-temporal and intra-mundane. But then it cannot possibly be time-less! A timeless truth does not ec-sist: it is either a tautology or else it is a practical tool, an instrument, and as such neither true nor false, just as the world is neither true nor apparent. Yet so long as Arendt keeps speaking of the world of appearances, she will be stuck with this paradoxical condition for the simple reason that she exalts, like Kant and even Heidegger, the primacy or primordiality or purity, the sheer activity the transcendence! - of thought and intuition over their materiality or sensuousness or immanence. For to say that thought can withdraw from the world because of its abstract and inescapable (a reference again to logico-mathematical thought) character or quality is effectively equivalent to saying that thought trans-scends life and the world, however much Arendt may eschew this conclusion! Tertium non datur: unless Arendt can enlighten us about the ontological status of the mind, she has no grounds to back the assertion that the mind [can] withdraw from the world without ever being able to leave it or transcend it. The life of the mind then becomes an impossible chiasmus, indeed an oxy-moron. An illustration of this miscomprehension can be gleaned from Arendts critical comments on P.F. Strawsons presumption, characteristic of the Oxford analytical school, in a passage she quotes from one of his essays on Kant:
It is indeed an old belief that reason is something essentially out of time and yet in us. Doubtless it has its ground in the fact thatwe grasp [mathematical and logical] truths. Butone [who] grasps timeless truths [need not] himself be timeless, (Strawson quoted on p45).

What neither Strawson nor Arendt understand, and this is the reason why they are entangled in this paradoxical condition, is that mathematical and logical truths are neither true nor timeless because both notions are transcendental and therefore antinomical. It is simply not possible for someone who is not timeless to be able to grasp timeless truths that are, by definition, out of time unless one posits the transcendence of reason and its timeless truths! But that would be tantamount to allowing that there ec-sist entities of

thought or reason that are out of time even though those entities are thoughts originating in the mind of a thinker who is not timeless! The notions of truth and timelessness require precisely that comprehensive being or grasping-from-the-knower [Jasperss Umgreifende or Heideggers Totalitat] or totality or being-in-itself - not for us, that belongs to what is not and yet it is not nothing (cf. Kantbuch, pp18-22) - that directly contra-dicts both their ec-sistence (either in space-time or in place) and the finitude of the knower! The prism that distorts the entire Western ontological traditions view of reality is precisely this notion of self-evident truths as comprehensive being or totality or being-in-itself. This is the prism, the illusion, that Nietzsches Invariance smashes mercilessly to smithereens. For a truth to ec-sist it must be com-prehensible (Heidegger uses the term umgreifen early in the Kantbuch, at par.5, p20) and therefore, unlike the Kantian and Schopenhauerian thing in itself, within time: it must be intra-temporal and intra-mundane. But then it cannot possibly be time-less! A timeless truth does not ecsist: it is either a tautology or else it is a practical tool, an instrument, and as such neither true nor false, just as the world is neither true nor apparent. As Heideggers discussion in par.5 of the Kantbuch reveals (at p19 especially), the whole notion of comprehensive grasping or totality, indeed the entire Kantian effort to tie intuition to thinking and then both to knowledge, has to do with the communicability of intuition.
Knowledge [and therefore thinking] is primarily intuition, i.e., a representing that immediately represents the being itself. However, if finite intuition is now to be knowledge, then it must be able to make the being itself as revealed accessible with respect to both what and how it is for everyone at all times. Finite, intuiting creatures must be able to share in the specific intuition of beings. First of all, however, finite intuition as intuition always remains bound to the specifically intuited particulars. The intuited is only a known being if everyone can make it understandable to oneself and to others and can thereby communicate it.

The whole pyramidal structure from perception to conception, from intuition to the intellect and reason, from conduction to deduction, has no other aim than to explain how it is possible for human beings to share perceptions as knowledge! It is this crystallisation of symbolic interaction, that Nietzsche shattered by exposing its con-ventionality. And it is instructive to see how Benedetto Croce deals with this critique in the Logica. Having already tersely lampooned the aestheticist critique of pure concepts which denies their validity and existence in favour of sensuous experience and activity such as the artistic, and then the mystical critique which, like Wittgenstein, insists that what is truly worthwhile is what cannot be spoken of, Croce then turns to the

arbitrary or empiricist critique (which surely must count Nietzsche among its proponents):
Ce (essi dicono) qualcosa di la dalla mera rappresentazione, e questo qualcosa e un atto di volonta, che soddisfa lesigenza delluniversale con lelaborare le rappresentazioni singole in schemi generali o simboli, privi di realta ma comodi, finti ma utili, (Logica, p10).

Croce does not accept that concepts are conventions or, as he prefers to call them on behalf of the critics, fictions. As proof of the erroneity of this critique, Croce enlists the tu quoque; in other words, this arbitrarist critique of logic and pure concepts is itself a logical argument based on concepts and therefore it is either equally false like all logic, or else it must claim validity on logical grounds, and thence confirm the validity of its concepts, and therefore the validity of conceptual reality in any case (see Logica, p12). What Croce fails to grasp is that, so far as Nietzsche is concerned, the crystallization critique does not deny the reality of concepts; indeed, if anything, it highlights and warns against their efficacity. But this efficacity is made possible not by their transcendental or pure status as timeless truths, for instance but rather by their immanent status, by their instrumental character as an act of will. Not the innateness of these concepts, but their instrumentality is what matters not Augustines in interiore homine habitat veritas (cited and discussed by Merleau-Ponty in Phenom.ofPerception, at p.xi) but the content of the act of perception is what constitutes life and the world for us. Earlier, Croce had emphasized the active side of concepts as human representations of intuited reality privileging yet again the spiritual nature of concepts as dependent on intuition and experience yet separate from it.
Il soddisfacimento e dato dalla forma non piu meramente rappresentativa ma logica del conoscere, e si effettua in perpetuo, a ogni istante della vita dello spirito, (p13).

Now, again, Croce draws a stark contrast between the two positions, his idealism and what he calls scetticismo logico (p8):
La conoscenza logica e qualcosa di la dalla semplice rappresentazione: questa e individualita e molteplicita, quella luniversalita dellindividualita, lunita della molteplicita; luna intuizione, laltra concetto; conoscere logicamente e conoscere luniversale o concetto. La negazione della logicita importa laffermazione che non vi ha altra conoscenza se non quella rappresentativa (o sensibile come anche si suole dire), e che la conoscenza universale o concettuale e unillusione: di la dalla semplice rappresentazione non vi sarebbe nulla di conoscibile, (pp7-8).

But this contrast is almost palpably fictitious, opposing high-sounding concepts in what is almost a play of words, and simply fails to tell us why and how concepts and representations differ ontologically. Croce ends up rehashing the Kantian Schematismus with the pure concepts

of beauty, finality, quantity and quality and so forth whose content is furnished by fictional concepts such as universals (nouns) and abstract concepts like those of mathematics (cf. Logica, ch.2 at p18). But in fact, as we have tried to show here invoking the aid of MerleauPontys phenomenology of perception, neither of Croces presuppositions of logical activity, that is, intuition and language (see pp5-6 of Logica), is such that logical activity can be separated ontologically from them. Croce insists that a concept must be expressible whence the essentiality of language to it, no less than intuition or representation:
Se questo carattere dellespressivita ecomune al concetto e alla rappresentazione, proprio del concetto e quello delluniversalita, ossia della trascendenza rispetto alle singole rappresentazioni, onde nessuna.e mai in grado di adeguare il concetto. Tra lindividuale e luniversale non e ammissibile nulla di intermedio o di misto: o il singolo o il tutto (Logica, pp.26-7).

We have here once again the Platonic chorismos, the Scholastic adaequatio, the Kantian noumenon, and the Fichtean hiatus irrationalem in other words, that antinomy that requires a leap (trans-scendence) from experience to thought. Except that what Croce believes to identify as a particular is already and immanently identical with a universal: not only is a concrete experience already a universal, but so is a universal abstraction also a concrete experience! Both are representations (cf. Croces contrary argument on pp.28-9). This is the basis of Schopenhauers critique of Kants separation of intuition from understanding and again from pure reason, in the sense that the Kantian universal is toto genere different from the particular and cannot therefore represent it separately in an ontological sense! Croces own categorization of these notions is at p.42 of the Logica:
La profonda diversita tra concetti e pseudoconcetti [identified with lidea platonica on p.41] suggeri (nel tempo in cui si solevano rappresentare le forme o gradi dello spirito come facolta) la distinzione tra due facolta logiche, che si dissero Intelletto (o anche Intelletto astratto) e Ragione: alla prima delle quali si assegno lufficio di elaborare cio che ora chiamiamo pseudoconcetti, e alla seconda i concetti puri.

Evident is Croces obstinacy in seeking to differentiate, however vainly, thought from perception or representation or intuition: - an effort that must remain vain because no onto-logical priority can be given to thought over matter and because indeed no thought is possible without perception and vice versa. A world without thought would be a world without life, and a world without life would not be a world at all! That is not to say that thought takes precedence ontologically over the world because it is essential to the world; the two are co-naturate, Deus sive Natura. For universals and particulars, for abstract thought and concrete intuition, to be able to

enter into a practical real relation with each other, they must participate (Nicholas of Cusas methexis) in the same immanent reality! Indeed, it seems obvious to us that perception and thought are immanently connected: methexis replaces chorismos. Here is MerleauPonty:
The true Cogito does not define the subjects existence in terms of the thought he has of existing and furthermore does not convert the indubitability of thought about the world, nor finally does it replace the world itself by the world as meaning. On the contrary it recognizes my thought itself as an inalienable fact, and does away with any kind of idealism in revealing me as 'being-in-the-world'. (PoP, p.xiii). To seek the essence of perception is to declare that perception is, not presumed true, but defined as access to truth. So, if I now wanted, according to idealistic principles, to base this defacto self-evident truth, this irresistible belief, on some absolute self-evident truth, that is, on the absolute clarity which my thoughts have for me; if I tried to find in myself a creative thought which bodied forth the framework of the world or illumined it through and through, I should once more prove unfaithful to my experience of the world, and should be looking for what makes that experience possible instead of looking for what it is. The self-evidence of perception is not adequate thought or apodeictic self-evidence. The world is not what I think but what I live through [m.e.]. I am open to the world, I have no doubt that I am in communication with it, but I do not possess it; it is inexhaustible. 'There is a world', or rather: 'There is the world'; I can never completely account for this ever-reiterated assertion in my life. This facticity of the world is what constitutes the Weltlichkeit der Welt, what causes the world to be the world; just as the facticity of the cogito is not an imperfection in itself, but rather what assures me of my existence, (PoP, pp.xvi-xvii).

Merleau-Ponty reiterates here the Nietzschean vivo ergo cogito, with the peccadillos that he refers to the self-evident truth of perception (what is truth if, as he immediately yet unwittingly corrects himself, it is not backed by some absolute self-evident truth?) and then the obvious reference to the I, the Husserlian transcendental ego or subject. 88888888888888888888888888888

THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE FLESH: Hannah Arendt and Nietzsches Invariance


Reality in a world of appearances is first of all characterized by standing still and remaining the same long enough to become an object for acknowledgement and recognition by a subject. Husserls basic and greatest discovery takes up in exhaustive detail the intentionality of all acts of consciousness (Life of the Mind, p46).

As we have seen, Arendts critique of the Cartesian cogito moves correctly from the observation that thinking shows merely that there are thoughts (p49). But from this conclusion Arendt does not, unlike Nietzsche (again, p49), proceed as she must to question the entire notion of a subject, of a thinking ego, and therefore also of Husserls transcendental ego and its intentionality. For what can it mean to say that reality is characterised by standing still and remaining the same long enough to become and object for a subject? No matter how hard it may try, thought will never be able to stand still and remain the same long enough (!) to be able to identify an object and a subject, but only to perceive or intuit that there is a thereness, an ever-present or present-ment (pressentiment or sixth sense or Aquinass sensus communis) of reality. This is so for the devastatingly simple reason that all that thought can ever be conscious or aware of is the pre-sent, which is neither the past, because even memories are present, nor quite evidently the future which is a present pro-jection. Instead, Arendt stops at the conclusion that thinking con-firms the existence of a reality, of a world from which even the most meditative or abstract thought can withdraw and yet one that it can never quite leave. Presumably, one ought to infer from this withdrawing without leaving that Arendt has relinquished the notion of the transcendence of thought but in fact she has not, as she herself demonstrates with the following observation:
Whatever thinking can reach and whatever it may achieve, it is precisely reality as given to common sense, in its sheer thereness, that remains forever beyond its grasp.Thought processes, unlike common sense, can be physically located in the brain, but nevertheless transcend all biological data, be they functional or morphological(LotM, pp51-2).

Yet again, in her preoccupation or haste to offer thinking a privileged place in ontology, Arendt forgets that common sense and thinking are one and the same thing, that they are located neither in the brain nor in any other organ (cf. Arendts objection to the early Wittgensteinian notion of language is part of our organism at p52) as every philosopher from Hegel to Merleau-Ponty (in Signes or the Reader) whom Arendt expressly acknowledges and agrees with contra Kant (pp48-9) would tell her. On this specific point, Arendt misconstrues Merleau-Pontys charge against Descartes of seeking to distill and then isolate thought from perception for the simple reason that for Merleau-Ponty perception and thought just like perception and language cannot be separated as Arendt attempts to do here by elevating thought (though strangely not language) to a higher transcendental level from (mere?) biological data be they functional or morphological!

The reason why Arendt is so persistent, even obdurate, in this transcendental attitude is that she thoroughly misconceives the entire nature or ontological status of abstract thought that is, of thought that pretends or presumes to ab-stract from and therefore to transcend the world, as Descartess meditations or Husserls epoche (suspension) were meant to do, albeit in different ways.
Kants famous distinction between Vernunft and Verstand, between a faculty of speculative thought and the ability to know arising out of sense experience,. has consequences more far-reaching.than he himself recognized.Although he insisted on the inability of reason to arrive at knowledge, especially with respect to God, Freedom, and Immortality to him the highest objects of thought he could not part altogether with the conviction that the final aim of thinking, as of knowledge, is truth and cognition; he thus uses, throughout the Critiques, the term Vernunftererkenntnis, knowledge arising out of pure reason, a construction that ought to have been a contradiction in terms for him, (LotM, pp62-3).

Reprising Heideggers (and even earlier, Nietzsches) critique of the exhaustion of Western philosophy in the erroneous identification of truth with certainty or cognition or knowledge, Arendt demonstrates incontrovertibly just how little she has grasped the real problematic of Western philosophy and of the Kantial critique in particular. Arendt cannot understand that if indeed Kant had chosen to con-fine pure reason to the sphere of sheer activity, that is to say of pure thought, of pure concepts (Croce), he would then have had to concede the sheer conventionality of pure reason and its abstract thought its naked instrumentality and cognitive emptiness (intuition without concepts is blind; concepts without intuition are empty). Arendt seeks here to elide and elude and avoid the entire problem of the ordo et connexio rerum idearumque! A pure reason that remains sheer activity, abstract thought with no empirical nexus to reality, perception and intuition such a pure reason would end up being a mere ghost and, in its formal logico-mathematical aspect, a welter of total, complete and abject tautologies. Arendt herself intelligently identifies this Kantian quandary when she quotes him writing that
[for the sake of mere speculative reason alone] we should hardly have undertaken the labor of transcendental investigations.since whatever discoveries might be made in regard to these matters, we should not be able to make use of them in any helpful manner in concreto (p65).

The problem for Kant as for all Western philosophy has been always, and quite justifiably, to discover the nexus rerum, the purposive unity of things, the link between objective reality and subjective knowledge of that reality. To negate or deny that such a link ec-sists means effectively that one must then either discard the content of abstract thought or else to jettison the scientificity of all knowledge!

Arendt has simply failed to comprehend this crucial predicament that has been the bane of Western metaphysics and science. Instead, she curiously and naively believes that Kant could easily have abandoned the confusion involved in reconciling thought and experience.
But Kant does not insist on this side of the matter [the irrelevance of reason to cognition and knowledge], because he is afraid that his ideas might then turn out to be empty thought-things (leere Gedankendinge) It is perhaps for the same reason that he equates what we have here called meaning with Purpose and even Intention (Zweck and Absicht): The highest formal unity which rests solely on concepts of reason, is the purposive unity of things. The speculative interest of reason makes it necessary to regard all order in the world as if it had originated in the [intention] of a supreme reason, (LotM, pp64-5). Right in the midst of the passages quoted above occurs the sentence that stands in the greatest possible contrast to his own equation of reason with Purpose: Pure reason is in fact occupied with nothing but itself. It can have no other vocation, (LotM, p65).

What Arendt fails to understand is something that Kant knew all too well, and that is that unless the truths of pure reason can be intimately con-nected to the regularities found in nature, then they can lay no claim to truth at all and, worst of all, neither can the scientific truths or verities that Arendt espouses, because there would then be nothing at all in those empirical regularities that could lend them the status of scientific truths. Science would then be exposed for what it is: - sheer instrumentality. Arendt is aware of this difficulty, which is why, on one hand, she attempts to preserve the word truth for scientific discoveries of a finite and paradigmatic (she cites Kuhn) nature; whilst on the other hand she seeks to avoid the word truth, preferring meaning, for the sheer activity of abstract thought, preserving thus its formal and non-purposive quality. Weber does the same with his Zweck-rationalitat, which is in fact non-purposive in the sense that it is instrumental and not teleological, and yet Weber, unlike Arendt, intelligently and perspicaciously acknowledges the technical-purposive instrumentality of this instrumental reason without dignifying it with a patina of spirituality or transcendence as Arendt does!
Thinking, no doubt, plays an enormous role in any scientific enterprise, but it is the role of a means to an end; the end is determined by a decision about what is worthwhile knowing, and this decision cannot be scientific, (LotM, p54).

This is pure Weber: but whereas Weber perceives that thinking is pure instrumentality, a means to an end, it is Zweck-rationalitat rather than Wert-rationalitat, Arendt steadfastly refuses the purposivity of this notion of thinking or reason, clinging instead to a romantic notion of meaning. Weber sees the purpose in reason and leaves

it at that, at its technicality which he confuses with scientificity rather than instrumentality. Arendt instead is looking for something more in thinking wishing to rescue it from, and to give it a content or transcendence over and above its, (sterile) purity. So here is the crux: what can it mean for Arendt, more than for Kant who obviously was ambivalent about the idea, to say with Kant that pure reason is occupied with nothing but itself and can have no other vocation? Arendt obviously seeks simultaneously to preserve the purity (non-instrumentality and non-purposiveness) of reason, and to avoid the sterility of such neutrality its tautologous quality by emphasizing its meaningfulness, and finally to redeem the spiritual side of thinking not its faith, pace Kant, but its meaning-fulness.
[Kant] never became fully aware of having liberated reason and thinking, of having justified this faculty and its activity even though they could not boast of any positive results. As we have seen, he stated that he had found it necessary to deny knowledge to make room for faith, but all he had denied was knowledge of things that are unknowable, and he had not made room for faith but for thought , (LotM, p63).

Yet whilst Arendt resists every notion that thinking is confined to its content whether as reason or intellect -, at the same time she intuits that if the ontological status of thinking is defined by thinking the unknowable, such a spiritual notion will reduce both the ontological status of thinking and its content or subject-matter to abstract, ghostly-ghastly sterility and insubstantiality as well as irrelevancy: - which is quite precisely why Kant had said that by rescuing reason for cognition he had also rescued faith, that is, what lies beyond the materiality or instrumentality or purposivity of thinking that is necessarily required by the unity of things, the nexus or connexio between cognition and world! Arendt is still shackled to the notion that thinking transcends the world even though she seeks to avoid the idealistic implications of this position by redefining thought as withdrawing from the world without ever leaving it! What Arendt has failed to do is to fulfill the original goal of her reflections on the life of the mind that philosophy of the flesh that, as was Merleau-Pontys great intuition, does not distinguish between thinking and its content, perception and its object, thought and the senses, thought and language, and treats them instead as immanently connected (see quotation from his PoP in next section.) Here is Arendt again emphasizing the gap between thinking and cognition or certainty or truth:
There are no truths beyond and above factual truths: all scientific truths are factual truthsand only factual statements are scientifically verifiable.Knowing certainly aims at truth, even if this truth, as in the sciences, is never an abiding truth but a provisional verity that we expect to exchange against

other, more accurate verities as knowledge progresses. To expect truth to come from thinking signifies that we mistake the need to think with the urge to know.In this sense, reason is the a priori condition of the intellect and of cognition; it is because reason and intellect are so connected.that the philosophers have always been tempted to accept the criterion of truth so valid for science and everyday life as applicable to their own extraordinary business as well, (LotM, pp61-2).

The difficulty is evident: the only test for verities is truth; if we renounce the notion of truth we are left not with verities, but with nothing at all except either con-venience or con-vention, which are the nemesis of scientific endeavor (cf. Mach, EuI). Furthermore, the criterion of truth and error is in fact just as applicable to thinking as it is to factual truths: contrary to what Arendt thinks, the opposite of factual truth can be error and not just the deliberate lie (p59) because factual truth can be as aleatory or falsifiable as factual untruth! The terrifying reality is that Arendt has abolished the notion of truth, much as Nietzsche and Weber did, without being able to replace it with a meaningful one of thinking. When she does attempt to infuse thinking with meaning, the result is as revealing as it is fallimentary and fallacious. 888888888888888888888888888888
By drawing a distinguishing line between truth and meaning, between knowing and thinking, and by insisting on its importance, I do not wish to deny that thinkings quest for meaning and knowledges quest for truth are connected. By posing the unanswerable questions of meaning, men establish themselves as question-asking beings. Behind all the cognitive questions for which men find answers, there lurk the unanswerable ones that seem entirely idle and have always been denounced as such. It is more than likely that men, if they were ever to lose the appetitefor meaning we call thinking and cease to ask unanswerable questions, would lose not only the ability to produceworks of art but also the capacity to ask all the answerable questions upon which every civilization is founded. In this sense reason is the a priori condition of the intellect and of cognition; it is because reason and intellect are so connected.that the philosophers have always been tempted to accept the criterion of truth so valid for science and everyday life as applicable to their own rather extraordinary business as well, (LotM, pp61-2).

Here we reach the final stage of our critique of Arendts notion of mind and thinking. For it is becoming easier to discern where she has gone wrong. The problem is that Arendt seeks, on one hand, to draw a firm ontological line between thinking and meaning on one side and truth and cognition or knowledge on the other side. But then, on the other hand, she wishes to posit meaning rather than truth as the spiritual objective of thinking because and here is the crunch she confuses truth with certainty (!) which is precisely the conceptual and practical-political mistake that Nietzsche first and then Heidegger had exposed! Arendt believes that truth, by which she means factual truth, is something that, though never attainable in its

totality, can be ascertained nevertheless either in science or in logico-mathematics as a matter of fact! So much so that, as we saw above, for her the opposite of factual truth is not error but the deliberate lie! Arendt herself puts this point, and her own con-fusion of the concepts of truth-as-meaning and truth-as-fact or certainty, beyond all doubt when she states: Truth is what we are compelled to admit by the nature either of our senses or of our brain (p61). In other words, not only are we compelled to admit logicomathematical truths by virtue of the nature of our brains a psychologism, this, that had already been exposed as fallacious by Frege and Wittgenstein -, but also we are compelled to admit what Arendt calls factual truth by virtue of the nature of our senses which begs the question of how our senses can ever know that what they perceive is truly the truth! Arendt here is failing to distinguish between the truth of the philosophia perennis and what Nietzsche unmasked instead as the Will to Truth. By so doing, and by identifying scientific truth and logico-mathematical truth with truth itself (despite her untenable distinguo between truth and verities which we exposed earlier above), Arendt is in reality and in effect relegating her own notion of thinking-as-meaning to the ethereal sphere of transcendental irrelevancy. If indeed we were to agree that the task and essence of thought was merely to pose unanswerable questions, we would at one and the same time fulfill Hegels demand that philosophy be something more than the handmaiden of the sciences and consign it to the status, not of sheer activity, as Arendt calls it, but of sheer futility! For activity as abstract and immaterial or transcendent as the one Arendt envisages for the task of human thought, far from challenging the operari of the sciences and of logico-mathematics and denouncing it under capitalism as Will to Truth, serves only to confirm its ontological and epistemological superiority as factual truth to which Arendts quest for meaning is a pallid and powerless reply the very embodiment of Nietzsches Wille zur Ohnmacht (Will to Powerlessness)! Ultimately, Arendts confusion of these concepts thinking and knowing, meaning and truth condemns her to that very transcendental attitude that Kant himself could not escape, though he valiantly confronted it, and that his German Idealist epigones turned into a cult of consciousness.
What undermined Kants greatest discovery, the distinction between knowledge, which uses thinking as a means to an end, and thinking itself as it arises out of the very nature of reason and is done for its own sake, was that he constantly compared the two with each other, (LotM, p64).

In fact, as we are arguing and demonstrating here, far from undermining his philosophy, Kants constant effort to establish the

connection between thinking and knowing is what elevates his work to the status of critique, however limited and imperfect it may have remained. It is because thinking is not done for its own sake, it is because of its immanence and materiality its instrumentality! that knowing in the sense of science or logico-mathematics will not and cannot reach the status of truth but must remain a will to truth that we must confront critically if we do not wish to remain its ideological victims. Happily, these points are summarized for us by Merleau-Ponty in Phenomenology of Perception:
Once more, reflectioneven the second-order reflection of science obscures what we thought was clear. We believed we knew what feeling, seeing and hearing were, and now these words raise problems. We are invited to go back to the experiences to which they refer in order to redefine them. The traditional notion of sensation was not a concept born of reflection, but a late product of thought directed towards objects, the last element in the representation of the world, the furthest removed from its original source, and therefore the most unclear. Inevitably science, in its general eff'ort towards objectification, evolved a picture of the human organism as a physical system undergoing stimuli which were themselves identified by their physico-chemical properties, and tried to reconstitute actual perception* on this basis, and to close the circle of scientific knowledge by discovering the laws governing the production of knowledge itself, by establishing an objective science of subjectivity.* But it is also inevitable that this attempt should fail. If wc return to the objective investigations themselves, we first of all discover that the conditions external to the sensory field do not govern it part for part, and that they exert an effect only to the extent of making possible a basic patternwhich is what Gcstalt theory makes clear. Then we see that within the organism the structure depends on variables such as the biological meaning of the situation, which are no longer physical variables, with the result that the whole eludes the well-known instruments of physico-mathematical analysis, and opens the way to another type of intelligibility.^ If we now turn back, as is done here, towards perceptual experience, we notice that science succeeds in constructing only a semblance of subjectivity: it introduces sensations which are things, just where experience shows that there are meaningful patterns; it forces the phenomenal universe into categories which make sense only in the universe of science. It requires that two perceived lines, like two real lines, should be equal or unequal, that a perceived crystal should have a definite number of sides,^ without realizing that the perceived, by its nature, admits of the ambiguous, the shifting, and is shaped by its context. (pp10-1)

But let us deal now with Arendts claim that logico-mathematical truths are irresistible just like factual truths in science because

we are compelled to admit them.by the nature of our brains and of our senses, respectively.
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The notion of axiomatic mathematical truth as despotic was not lost on the earliest theoreticians of the doctrine of the Ab-solutist State the statolatrists in Renaissance Europe. Yet again, it was Hannah Arendt who came closest to intuiting the complex problematic of logico-mathematical id-entities or laws and the theorization of absolute power in On Revolution:
There is perhaps nothing surprising in that the Age of Enlightenment should have become aware of the compelling nature of axiomatic or self-evident truth, whose paradigmatic example, since Plato, has been the kind of statements with which we are confronted in mathematics. Le Mercier de la Riviere was perfectly right when he wrote: 'Euclide est un veritable despote et les verites geometriques qu'il nous a transmises sont des lois veritablement despotiques. Leur despotisme legal et le despotisme personnel de ce Legislateur n'en font qu'un, celui de la force irresistible de l'evidence';26 and Grotius, more than a hundred years earlier, had already insisted that 'even God cannot cause that two times two should not make four'. (Whatever the theological and philosophic implications of Grotius's for-mula might be, its political intention was clearly to bind and Foundation II:Novus Ordo Saeclorum 193 limit the sovereign will of an absolute prince who claimed to incarnate divine omnipotence on earth, by declaring that even God's power was not without limitations. This must have appeared of great theoretical and practical relevance to the political thinkers of the seventeenth century for the simple rea-son that divine power, being by definition the power of One, could appear on earth only as superhuman strength, that is, strength multiplied and made irresistible by the means of violence. In our context, it is important to note that only mathematical laws were thought to be sufficiently irresistible to check the power of despots.) The fallacy of this position was not only to equate this compelling evidence with right reason the dictamen rationis or a veritable dictate of reason - but to believe that these mathematical 'laws' were of the same nature as the laws of a community, or that the former could somehow inspire the latter. Jefferson must have been dimly aware of this, for otherwise he would not have indulged in the somewhat incongruous phrase, 'We hold these truths to be selfevident', but would have said: These truths are self-evident, namely, they possess a power to compel which is as irresistible as despotic power, they are not held by us but we are held by them; they stand in no need of agreement. He knew very well that the statement 'All men are created equal' could not possibly possess the same power to compel as the statement that two times two make four, for the former is indeed a statement of reason and even a reasoned statement which stands in need of agreement, unless one assumes that human reason is divinely informed to recognize certain truths as self-evident; the latter, on the contrary, is rooted in the physical structure of the human brain, and therefore is 'irresistible'. (pp.192-3)

Arendt observes that divine laws and the laws of ethics and of States in short, all values differ from those of mathematics because the latter describe the constitution of the mind and therefore cannot be resisted, whereas the former, however reasonable they might seem, require agreement unless one appeals to a mystical intuitus originarius. Arendt, however, fails to comprehend the

enormity of the problem she has dimly perceived, which is the reason why she is unable to enucleate it with the ruthless clairvoyance that Nietzsche applied to it. When Mercier calls Euclid a despot he is equiparating the legislative power of his geometrical axioms to the ab-solute power of despots in that both kinds of power effectually do not admit of questioning or agreement! Grotius, by contrast, is placing mathematical axioms above the power of Sovereigns and of God himself (!) but in so doing he too is equi-parating the two powers in the sense that mathematical axioms in their universality offer a guarantee of truth and validity that even the power of Sovereigns and of God, in its ab-soluteness, cannot proffer. The significant feature that escapes Arendt is that both Mercier and Grotius interpret the truth of mathematical axioms as a Value as an ab-solute truth, one that requires no de-monstration that can stand as the ultimate, ab-solute guarantee of all human universal values, of that inter esse that is threatened by the arbitrariness implicit in the ab-soluteness (the unanswerability, the unaccountability, the irresponsibility) of any and all political or divine power! And because Arendt does not grasp the profound significance of this equiparation, she is then unable to penetrate the next, the ultimate and most devastating conclusion one that she eludes, or that eludes her, when she attributes the self-evidence of mathematical truths to the physical structure of the human brain (a psychologism already refuted by Wittgenstein and Husserl before him). Arendt seeks to keep separate and distinguish the logical necessity or irresistibility or irrefutability of logicomathematics (as a power of the human brain) from the political necessity of human coercion. Yet, the devastating conclusion that Nietzsche was first to outline as the conclusion or com-pletion or ful-filment (in the sense of exhaustion, of fully-ending, Heideggers Voll-endung) of the Western metaphysical Ratio-Ordo is that it is precisely because human beings can conceive of logico-mathematical identities that we have ultimate proof of the complete valuelessness of life and the world! It is the very arbitrariness and con-ventionality of logico-mathematical id-entities that confirms ineluctably the futility of all Truths and Values! Far from being the ultimate and ab-solute guarantee of the presence and reality of Reason and Order, of universality, in the human world, either as a hypostatic truth or as a power of the human brain, logicomathematical identities constitute the evidence of the ultimate instrumentality of human action, of the ability of human beings to reify

and crystallise their perceptive and thinking reality, and therefore they represent also the ultimate value-lessness, the ultimate un-reality of all values and truths and verities, of all Truth! This is what Nietzsche meant by the trans-valuation of all values! Arendt completely fails to see that both logico-mathematical and juridical-ethical laws are con-ventional (Nietzsche and Wittgenstein), and that therefore they too require agreement (!) just like juridical-ethical and behavioural laws, which can also be given ab-solute logico-mathematical axiomatic form, as in game theory, and can then become a fate (in Wittgensteinian language games), which is the opposite of what truth is supposed to be! So, in fact, selfevident truths (Jefferson), whether logico-mathematical or practical, are not truths at all (thus, the Jeffersonian we hold can be applied to the former as well as the latter): indeed, the required ab-soluteness of all ultimate values and truths demonstrates that there can be no such value or truth except for truth-as-value. Differently put, truth can ec-sist as value but not as the actual correspondence of concept with its object (the Scholastic adaequatio rei et intellectus). Far from being the ultimate protection against political arbitrariness, it is the very fact that the axiomatic rules of mathematics and logic can never acquire the status of absolute ultimate truth and value that reveals their ineluctable con-ventionality and therefore the utter value-lessness of life and the world, which in turn is due to the im-possibility of truth! It is for this precise and quite understandable reason that Mercier and Grotius both feel tempted to equiparate logico-mathematical necessity and political coercion because logico-mathematical necessity is the ultimate instance of the ability of human beings to transmute a symbolic con-vention into political coercion (indeed into irrefutable truth!) and vice versa. This is the secret of the Rationalisierung! (It will be recalled that in George Orwells 1984 the main character Winston Smith seeks refuge from the pervasiveness of Big Brothers totalitarian power in the truth of the statement two plus two makes four no matter what Big Brother says. What Smith fails to perceive is that it is precisely the ability of human beings to devise logico-mathematical identities that exhibits the ultimate futility of truth as a value and that demonstrates instead its utter instrumentality, and therefore the possibility of Big Brothers ab-solute power.)

Differently put, mathematical id-entities and logical axioms demonstrate both the ultimate attempt and the ultimate inability of the human mind to con-ceive of truth and value as objective entities and represent therefore the ultimate de-monstration of their un-reality. According to Nietzsches invariance, if truth existed we could not think of it , we could not con-ceive of it, we could not grasp or detect it: it would be removed to the status of Leibnizs intuitus originarius, what Arendt calls above [a] human reason divinely informed to recognize certain truths as self-evident - which is why Nietzsche could satirize that the higher a truth becomes, the less truthful it grows because it becomes more intuitive and therefore less provable and more de-monstrable! In other words, the ontological status of truth is invariant, makes no dif-ference, has no real material and practical impact on human affairs except for its impact as a belief, as a faith, as a will to truth! (This argument as applied to Leibnitz is in Heideggers Metaphysical Foundations of Logic.) Mathematical id-entities and logical axioms are borderline concepts (Schmitt, Politische Theologie); they de-monstrate (in the Wittgensteinian sense of showing, pointing to but never explaining meaningfully or proving!) both the ultimate attempt and the ultimate inability of the human mind to con-ceive of truth and value as objective entities: they represent therefore not only the ultimate demonstration of the un-reality of truth and values but also and most terrifying of all the possibility of turning human arbitrariness into a science and a logic. This is the Will to Truth. Arendt came frighteningly close to this terrifying conclusion when she wrote in On Revolution: Whatever the theological and philosophic implications of Grotius's formula might be, its political intention was clearly to bind and Foundation II:Novus Ordo Saeclorum 193 limit the sovereign will of an absolute prince who claimed to incarnate divine omnipotence on earth, by declaring that even God's power was not without limitations. This must have appeared of great theoretical and practical relevance to the political thinkers of the seventeenth century for the simple reason that divine power, being by definition the power of One, could appear on earth only as superhuman strength, that is, strength multiplied and made irresistible by the means of violence. In our context, it is important to note that only mathematical laws were thought to be sufficiently irresistible to check the power of despots.) The fallacy of this position was not only to equate this compelling evidence with right reason the dictamen rationis or a veritable dictate of reason - but to believe that these mathematical 'laws' were of the same nature as the laws of a community, or that the former could somehow inspire the latter.

To echo Arendt by way of confutation, the fallacy of her position is failing to equate mathematical laws with right reason and to

believe that these mathematical laws are not of the same nature as the laws of a community, or that the former cannot somehow inspire the enforcement of the latter! Even the most irresistible laws (Arendt), the laws of logico-mathematics, are just as con-ventional as the laws of a community: indeed, it is the ultimate con-ventionality of even logico-mathematical laws that demonstrates how all laws, including moral and juridical ones, are ultimately con-ventional and therefore political. This is what Mercier, more explicitly, and Grotius, implicitly, meant to say in the quotations that Arendt selected (which she reproposes in The Life of the Mind). It is the fact (understood in the Vichian and Nietzschean sense of verum ipsum factum, meaning that the truth is what human beings actu-ally do, from the Latin actus, act, and facere, to do) that human beings can mis-take logico-mathematical con-ventions (agreements) for irresistible truths that evinces definitively the con-ventionality of all truths and all laws their legal character, and therefore their lack of legitimacy, their dependency on some authority that is not and cannot be ab-solute (not requiring further proof). (On the antinomy of legality and legitimacy the reference is to Carl Schmitts homonymous work. We will examine the homology of Nietzsches Invariance and Schmitts notion of decision auf Nichts gestellt [made out of nothing] later.)

Rowthorn email: "In a nutshell, my quest, provoked by your early work, was to answer this question (put in Kantian form): given that "value" is not and cannot be an "objective" entity, contrary to what Marx sought to prove with his "socially necessary labour time", how is it possible for the capitalist economy to function, that is, to reproduce and even expand the wage relation? (This is the classic question of economics that Hayek brought back to the centre of economic analysis - broadly put, how is a market economy "co-ordinated"? how is "the social synthesis" possible?) The important hint was in your genial link or nexus between "conflict" and "inflation": yet many questions remained unanswered. The task was not to determine how to measure inflation but rather to understand the far deeper "meaning" of inflation as a "measure" of social conflict, - put differently, to establish what the institutional and instrumental use of inflation as a monetary category could be. But above all, the hardest task remained to explain how it was possible for a "mathematical" relationship between two obviously fictitious notions - that of "price" and that of "value" or "quantities" (cf. the title of Hayek's "Prices and Production") - to be "effectual", that is, to serve as the "rule of thumb" for the conduct, regulation and expanded reproduction of the wage relation (let us remember that "profit" is meaningless without its "negation" - money wages). Once we have established, with Nietzsche, that there is no "scientific truth", the question then assumes Weberian overtones, revolving around how it is possible for the "rationalisation" [Weber] of social reality to occur. To answer this question I had to revise Marx's own approach to the content and methodology of what we call "science" - including especially this thing called "economic science".

And that is what I have done in the works on Nietzsche (mainly in Part One, section 2 of "The Ontogeny of Thought") and Weber (mainly Part 3 dedicated to his methodology of social science). They are admittedly difficult works - because the subject-matter is difficult, involving a level of abstraction that would have tested even Marx himself, but one for which Nietzsche was far better equipped. So I am sending you now the draft chapters of the Nietzschebuch that I would be quite pleased for you to pass on to David. There is a whole universe of learning here; my greatest reward in life has been to have earned the financial freedom to be able to commit it to writing! Once this analysis is understood, the musings of a Joan Robinson on "History versus Equilibrium" begin to sound like the kind of philosophical dualistic puzzles that keep undergraduates amused. The whole "intention" of neoclassical analysis was never to comprehend the capitalist economy as a "historical" reality, to reveal its "truth". The aim and practice of equilibrium analysis was never "to capture" or "photograph" a reality of any description. (Weber made this pellucid in the quotations I give in Part Three of the 'Weberbuch'.) Nor should neoclassical theory be confused as an "ideology" that somehow "distorts" this (fanciful notion of) "reality" (what Robinson and Lawson and others would call "history" or "the ontic"). A million times no! The power of neoclassical theory, and of equilibrium as the core aspect of it, is that it expresses "the will to power" of the bourgeoisie: it describes and understands life and the world NOT as it "should" or "ought" to be, least of all "as it is" - but rather as it MUST be for the bourgeoisie to be able to control the society of capital, to command living labour. In short, neoclassical theory is a pure instrument. Put in Weber's own analytical framework, it is the purest expression of the "value-free rationality" that displays entirely the "freedom" of the bourgeoisie, subject to their will to power! That is what Weber called "the politics of responsibility" opposed to the moralising "politics of conviction" espoused and represented by the Sozialismus. For Weber (and I accept this) "ideology" belongs to the Sozialismus, not to the "rationality" of the bourgeoisie! Equilibrium theory and game theory with their "equilibria" are the bluntest "value-free" expressions of this will to power - the will to exploit and dominate - because they allow that "mathematisation" or rationalisation of social life that makes the reproduction of the society of capital dependent on the survival of the wage relation as its dominant institution. Here "rationality" and "freedom" are seen not as "positive values", as "ultimate truths" shared by and common to all human beings; they are seen instead "negatively" in terms of "choosing what conflict and strife among human beings make us choose"! (Just to exemplify the total in-comprehension of this point by academic economists, this is from Prof. Harris's [Stanford] review of Robinson's "History v. Equilibrium": Though critical of the concept and uses of equilibrium, Robinson was not a Luddite. She was too diligent and penetrating an analyst to dismiss the advantages, albeit recognized to be quite limited, of using the equilibrium concept as a tool for analytical purposes. She herself used the device to great effect in her own work. She viewed it, at times, as a thought experiment, useful for solving analytical puzzles, even to the point of recognizing a perverse pleasure in this practice [1956, p. 147, n. 3].

Obviously, had Robinson truly recognised the significance of equilibrium analysis as a project of command over living labour she could never have used it "as a tool for analytical purposes" because the usefulness of neoclassical equilibrium theory does not lie in the "analysis", which is "meaningless" as Hayek first and then Myrdal [and Tony Lawson, da ultimo] showed, but in the "purpose", which is the mathesis of capitalist "command"! As Weber would put it, economic theory is not an end but a means, a tool; its rationality is not a Wert-rationalitat but a Zweck-rationalitat.) This aspect of capitalist reality is entirely absent from Capitalism, Conflict and Inflation. The book valiantly and lucidly enucleates and explains the complex institutional interaction between the "phenomenon" of inflation and its "role" as the "measure" as well as a mediation of class antagonism as the product of a "trade-off" between money wages and unemployment levels. But it does not answer the basic question of how it is possible, not just institutionally but above all epistemologically, even ontologically (!), for inflation as a cognitive notion to serve as a "measure" of class conflict - as a tool (!) for the analysis of conflict. For inflation to be a "measure" of conflict, the bourgeoisie has to ensure that "conflict" remains within the institutional bounds that can be measured by inflation. Above all (and this is the most important point of all) "conflict" must be of such a "nature" that it is capable of being measured and mediated by the "phenomenon" of inflation.This in turn requires the elimination of all "values" other than the simple and blunt function of capitalist command over living labour represented by its political subordination to dead labour through the institutional form of the money-wage. Keynes's 'General Theory' is all here! This is his greatest discovery: - the money wage as the fundamental "unit" of measurement of social conflict in the society of capital; the centrality of the working class in that historical stage of capitalism - a "centrality" that the working class and Keynesianism (!) are clearly losing and "ex-hausting" as the social conflict generated by the wage relation poses new "systemic risks" to the rule of capital. From the epistemological angle, we must come to another realisation. Neoclassical analysis works on mathematical identities (equilibria). As Keynes would say, "one of two things": either the two sides of a mathematical equation are absolutely identical, in which case they cancel each other out (they "say" absolutely nothing Wittgenstein); or else they are not identical (Nietzsche), in which case the "equation" is impossible. Yet it is the very ability of human beings to perform mathematical calculations and to treat them as "valid" that displays the full "value-lessness" of life and the world for Nietzsche (and for me), and that annihilates all notions of "truth", scientific or otherwise. I call this "Nietzsche's Invariance" (as in matrix algebra). (A literary example: you will recall that Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984 believes that it is "the truth" of the statement "two plus two makes four" that "saves" him from the arbitrariness of Big Brother's totalitarian power. What Nietzsche and I argue here instead - but so did Wittgenstein! - is that it is precisely our ability to conceive of mathematical identities that is the supreme proof that the "power" of Big Brother is possible!) Put in other words, if "truth" actually ex-isted it would not be "detectable" by us - because all criteria for "truth" need themselves to be "truthful" (a regressio ad infinitum). (Thomas Jefferson intuited the difficulty when he wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." But if "these truths" are "selfevident", why do we need "to hold them to be so"? The same applies to "mathematical and logical truths" - cf. Godel.) Don Patinkin also came very close to this pivotal point in the philosophy of mathematics, language and science. His response or objection was that mathematical equations "save time" in computation! But Wittgenstein will reply

(maybe aiming his poker at him!): What does "time" have to do with mathematics and logic? Patinkin says that "time is a device to stop everything from happening at once". But Nietzsche will reply (almost his exact words): who tells you that everything does not happen at once? If mathematical and logical identities "say" anything, it is precisely that "all the powers of the universe are drawing to their own conclusion". (These conclusions were reached but inchoately as early as Nicholas of Cusa in the 1400s and then taken up by Leibnitz - and of course by Russell in his discussion of Leibnitz's "pantheism". None of them went as far as Nietzsche in confronting them "fearlessly" [I am referring to the book of the 'Gaya Scienza' called "We, the Fearless Ones"].)"]

Kants transcendental idealism spawned a response that Kant himself would not have approved of in the speculative apotheosis of dialecticians like Fichte, Schelling and then Hegel, the German Idealist philosophers that followed took his transcendental dialectic and turned it into a new type of Logic! To Kants formal logic, Hegel and others substituted a method of dialectical reasoning whereby human thought, identified as self-consciousness, was no longer op-posed to any Ob-ject be it Nature or the Thing in itself that was not generated by thought itself the Hegelian Idea or the Fichtean I (Ich or Ego) that doubled up also as an empirical I! The nihilism of post-Kantian German Idealism consists precisely in the fact that Nature is abolished or superseded as a logical moment in the unfolding of the Idea. (The word nihilism itself was first used by Jacobi in this context in a letter on Fichte.) The fact that Marx inverted the Hegelian dialectic serves only to show how much he flirted with it, how dependent he was on it: and certain post-modernist critics have been right to speak of the KapitalGeist, of the teleology implicit in the Marxian critique. There is even a strong dose of Darwinian evolutionism (Nietzsche intuited provocatively that Darwin is unthinkable without Hegel) and Newtonian determinism in his critique of political economy. Now, these are ingredients, this is a forma mentis that we must eschew and expel from our own theoretical-practical framework. And to deepen this process I have chosen to follow, as intimated above, Arendts discussion of this knot of problems in The Life of the Mind. In explaining rapidly above the double genitive meaning of this phrase that life has a mind and that the mind has a life we meant to agree wholeheartedly with Arendts critique of the Cartesian solipsistic cogito, and particularly with Arendts invocation of Nietzsches strictures in this regard. Where we differ from Arendt, however, is in the manner she tackles Kant and about how she wishes to proceed therefrom.

For our purposes, and to elucidate the problematic that we are confronting, we need to describe and overcome what may be called (again with Merleau-Ponty, Reader, p.24) the transcendental attitude, - an attitude that has afflicted Western thought from its inception and that consists in positing a whole of which perception is a part that cannot com-prehend (um-greifen) that whole. But herein lies its error to wit, in the fact that the transcendental attitude expressly denies the possibility of immanence and invokes logic to postulate the primacy of categories or rules that order and explain our perception of life and the world and it does so for the simple reason that transcendentalism falsely conceives of life and the world, of reality, as if it constituted a whole! This, if you like, is the proton pseudon (the first and fundamental error) of transcendentalism: - the logical requirement, that is, that phenomena, or mere appearances, must somehow depend or be caused by some reality, some thing that lies behind, or beneath or beyond the phenomenon. Yet only a moments reflection on this dualism required by logical thought will show us that no logic could ever lay down the necessity of its own rules! No mathematics could ever be or represent the necessity of its own id-entities or of its axioms! And this is perhaps the most universal corollary of Nietzsches Invariance: - the fact that for a truth, logico-mathematical or ethical or empirical, to be self-evident, it would have to be so self-evident that it would simply be impossible to detect! But an undetectable truth is no truth at all because it would amount to the identity of idea (Subject) and thing (Object), an identity so complete and total that it would not be possible for the Subject to be aware or conscious of it. As Nietzsche showed most devastatingly for the delusions of Western thought, consciousness does not require or necessitate the existence of a subject and an object, either logically or in terms of common sense although in terms of common sense that is exactly what has happened historically, that is, this false and illusory requirement has led to the development of logical rules of reasoning that require precisely such a dualism. The fact remains, however, that consciousness or perception does not require the ecsistence of a Subject or self-consciousness and, therefore, not even of an Object that is necessarily required by that Subject. This is a thesis that directly contradicts Arendts summary of Cartesian solipsism and Nietzsches opposition to it. Nietzsche does not object to the cogito merely because it shows only that there are cogitations. He also does two things for which Arendt gives him no credit whatsoever: he shows that there is a non sequitur from I think to I am to egoity; and above all, as Arendt who cites Merleau-Ponty agrees (p49), he shows that the experience of reality comes before that of I think or the thought of perception (vivo ergo cogito), and second again, the

most important thing that Arendt leaves out that there is absolutely no difference between abstract thought and any other kind of thought or emotion! (This last notion is evinced when Nietzsche describes dreams as thoughts from the same book of human experience.) Not only, says Nietzsche, does thought never really manage to leave the world, but it also never manages, pace Arendt, to withdraw from the world! This is Arendts real stumbling block; the source of all her paradoxes. Which does not prevent her from realizing the instrumental role of science; but it also induces her into re-iterating the fallacies that lead straight and lend support to scientific reasoning. Had Arendt reflected more deeply on the Marxian Gattungswesen instead of enlisting it only as evidence for the sensus communis, she would have realized that the notion of man as thought made flesh is a mystery the always mysterious, never fully elucidated incarnation of the thinking capability (p47) only when considered abstractly, as man, and if we ignore the fundamentality of thought that MerleauPonty indicated and that she herself was seeking and that both could only describe as a chiasmus. (See LotM, pp46-7.) The meaning of fundamentality is what we are pursuing. In one of the passages quoted above (from PoP), Merleau-Ponty stresses the primacy of this sense of reality or Arendts sensus communis above all intellectualizations of perception and therefore of thought something with which Nietzsche with his ontogeny of thought would agree implicitly. So the problem to be explored is not the intentionality of science the fact that its direction is a matter of praxis and not of pure scientificity or methodology. Much rather, the paramount problem is the real subsumption of the scientific praxis both in terms of direction and in terms of the sample universe that it has already con-ditioned if not determined! Scientific praxis both reacts to and acts upon the existing world in such a way that its own research is determined or conditioned in large part by its accumulated praxis. Human beings have now trans-formed their environment to so large an extent that no scientific research can properly be labeled dis-interested even before we realize that it cannot be such in any case! If we return to the problem of inflation and other economic categories, for instance, we will see that as Arendt herself points out intelligently in HC these can be given a meaningful and measurable role as a box of tools (Robinson, Schumpeter) only once the social environment (institutions) has been pre-determined by a certain praxis of political power! (Contrast this devastating insight with the idiotic platitudes of the New Institutional Economics.) Yet Arendt never develops this penetrating conception in LotM, confining herself

instead to observing that scientific truth is guided by the research choices of scientists and to the fact that this has changed the attitude of scientists to their findings as one of verities (infinitely perfectible in the chain of progress) rather than truths (final and certain), (LotM, pp55-6). Here the problem is that Arendt speaks of science in general and fails to understand its subsumption to social relations of production. It is this unwarranted, fallacious separation of scientific research from social relations that leads her to the equally fallacious separation of the interested use of what she calls scientific common sense and the dis-interested use of sheer thinking which, through its critical capacity, alone is capable of providing safeguards against the tendency of scientific research to force the non-appearing to appear in its quest for infinite cognition or knowledge (p56). Again, like Plato and Mach and Heidegger and myriads of other thinkers, Arendt draws the now well-established confrontation of philosophers against sophists a banality that Nietzsche denounced (in ToI). Unlike Nietzsche and Weber, however, she has failed to integrate this will to truth in the broader sociopolitical context of the real subsumption of science and technology by the capitalist social relations of production. Once more, the thought of Nicholas of Cusa can assist us in this regard by bringing into focus the problem we are confronting. En cambio para Nicols de Cusa las ideas no constituyen, como para el neoplatonismo, fuerzas creadoras, pues l reclama un [62] sujeto concreto como centro y punto de partida de toda verdadera accin creadora. Ahora bien, segn el Cusano, ese sujeto slo puede darse en el espritu del hombre. De este punto de vista resulta, sobre todo, un nuevo giro de la teora del conocimiento. Todo conocer autntico y verdadero no puede versar sobre una mera copia de la realidad, sino que debe representar siempre una direccin determinada de la accin espiritual. La necesidad que reclamamos para la ciencia y que vemos particularmente en la matemtica reconoce por causa esa libre actividad. El espritu slo logra verdadero conocimiento cuando no copia la existencia exterior, sino cuando se explica a s mismo, cuando se explica su propia esencia. En s mismo encuentra el espritu el concepto primordial y el principio del punto, del cual, por conveniente repeticin, hace nacer la lnea, el plano y, finalmente, lo totalidad del mundo de los cuerpos; en s mismo encuentra el espritu del hombre el concepto primordial del ahora, partiendo del cual se despliega para l la infinitud de la sucesin temporal. As como estn implcitas en el espritu humano las formas fundamentales de la intuicin tiempo y espacio, tambin lo est el concepto de nmero y magnitud y todas las categoras lgicas y matemticas. En el desarrollo de esas categoras el espritu crea la aritmtica, la geometra, la msica y la astronoma. De modo que a la postre todo lo lgico, tanto los diez predicamentos como los cinco universales, se resuelve en esa fuerza fundamental del espritu. stas son las condiciones de toda discretio, de toda agrupacin de la multiplicidad segn especies y clases y de toda reduccin de lo emprico cambiante a leyes rigurosamente determinadas60. En [63] esta fundamentacin

de las ciencias revlase la fuerza creadora del alma racional en sus dos momentos fundamentales: por un lado el espritu, al desplegarse, est dentro de lo temporal, pero por otro est, sin embargo, por encima del tiempo considerado como simple sucesin, porque el espritu, que es origen y creador de la ciencia, no est en el tiempo, antes bien, el tiempo est en l. El espritu, en virtud de su fuerza de discernimiento, es capaz de crear perodos de tiempo y divisiones temporales, de delimitar horas, meses, aos. Again we see Nicholass insistence on the notion of Subject and the human spirit as the source of the intuition of time and space and in the creation of ideas and concepts that are expressions of human freedom and that above all bestow values that seek to unite opposites (Nature and Reason), to oscillate between chorismos and methexis, and even to intuit the divine or thr totality from the consciousness of finitude. What is truly novel and most insightful in the thought of Nicholas of Cusa as explicated by Cassirer, however, is the intuition that human science and logico-mathematics itself, far from being pro-ducts or ef-fects of the per-ception by humans of an objective reality that lies beyond our ability to com-prehend and that yet lends itself to being described as truth or error far from this, Nicholas finally intuits as Nietzsche will do much later that science and logico-mathematics may be an expression of human activity aimed in a pre-determined or deliberate direction[determinada direccion]! The necessity of science and mathematics displays in reality- not the truth! - but only the discretion, the arbitrariness of human action, its de-liberation, its valuelessness or, as Nietzsche would say, its extra-moral sense! The apex of human arbitrium, of human discretion, is the all too human ability to decree the necessity of logicomathematical or scientific laws that are then traduced into laws of logico-mathematical and scientific necessity! That is why Nietzsche claims with profound intuition that human beings find in nature, in the world, what they had already hidden in it. Far from being necessary, such deliberate or discretionary action is auf Nichts gestellt originating from the void or nothingness (Nichts) in exactly the same way in which Carl Schmitt will challenge the vicious circle of legality and legitimacy and the ultimate foundation of sovereignty and the State on the decision on the exception. Schmitt, like Donoso Cortes before him, acutely identifies the similarity of the state of exception or dictatorship that suspends the legal and constitutional order with the status of miracles, which suspend the physical order! Nicholas of Cusa himself had anticipated Nietzsche with his notion of conjecture (cf. his De Conjectura), which is the hypothesis behind

the convention, where the convention (axioms, for instance) crystallizes human action so that hypotheses (modes of conduct toward the cosmos) can be made about life and the world. La experiencia brinda un conocimiento autntico, pero ciertamente tal conocimiento no es en s exacto y lmpido, pues, por ms que progrese, nunca alcanzar lo absoluto; siempre tendr una meta y un fin relativos; en esa esfera no reina la verdadera exactitud, la precisin, la praecisio, sino que por grande que sea la exactitud de una afirmacin o de una medicin, siempre puede y debe ser superada por otra an ms exacta. As, pues, todo nuestro conocimiento emprico queda reducido a mera conjetura; es clculo, es hiptesis que desde un principio se reduce a admitir que puede ser superado por clculos mejores y ms precisos. En esta idea de conjetura, de conjectura, quedan inmediatamente comprendidos, y de tal manera que se confunden en una sola nocin, dos pensamientos distintos: el pensamiento de la eterna alteridad entre idea y apariencia y el pensamiento de la participacin de la apariencia en la idea. La definicin que Nicols de Cusa da del conocimiento emprico descansa en ese encadenamiento de alteridad y participacin: conjectura est positiva assertio in alteritate veritatem uti est participans27. De este modo tenemos ante nosotros, junto a la teologa negativa, una doctrina positiva de la experiencia; ambas corrientes no slo no se oponen entre s, sino que ms bien representan, desde dos ngulos distintos, una y la misma concepcin fundamental del conocimiento. La verdad una, inalcanzable en su ser absoluto, slo se nos presenta en la esfera de la alteridad; mas por otro lado no es posible que pensemos alteridad alguna que de algn modo no se refiera a la unidad y que no tenga en ella parte28. [41] Debemos, pues, renunciar a toda identidad, a toda compenetracin de una esfera en la otra, a todo intento de suprimir el dualismo; pero precisamente esa actitud confiere a nuestro conocimiento su relativa legitimidad y su relativa verdad. Esto ensea, y digmoslo a la manera kantiana, que nuestro conocimiento, aunque tenga lmites que nunca podr franquear, dentro de la esfera de su propio actuar no reconoce en cambio la menor limitacin, en la alteridad misma, libre y sin impedimentos de ninguna clase, puede y debe explayarse en todos los sentidos. (Cassirer, par.41.) [Euclid. Extra-temporal time and extra-mundanity] It is clear from the above that scientific language (logicomathematics) is the instrument that dis-covers regularities in life and the world but these do not belong to, are not properties of, life and the world; rather, they are dictated by the ability of certain experiences to be described in and by that language. And this language is not simply an inert and impartial tool; it is much rather the expression of a certain attitude toward life and the world. Not only Nicholas of Cusa, but especially his scientific inventors like Galileo, Leonardo and then Kepler and Leibnitz understood that what they were dis-covering was quite similar to the Platonic anamnesis in that the laws of nature, although independent of the mind were

nothing other than the extension and application to life and the world of a harmony that was already located in the human spirit and was now re-called or re-collected by human reason (see Cassirer quotation below at [79] re Leonardo and Galileo and Kepler). Olschki [81] ha mostrado en forma insuperable en su Geschichte der neusprachlichen wissenschaftlichen Literatur cmo ambos problemas se compenetran y complementan mutuamente y, por lo tanto, cmo slo es posible resolverlos por la consideracin simultnea de uno y otro. Desligarse del latn medieval y construir y desarrollar paulatinamente el volgare como forma independiente de la expresin cientfica eran condiciones previas del libre desenvolvimiento del pensamiento cientfico y de su ideal metodolgico. Y aqu se prueba una vez ms la verdad y la profundidad de la concepcin de Humboldt segn la cual el lenguaje no se limita a seguir y a acompaar al pensamiento sino que constituye un momento esencial de la formacin del pensamiento mismo. En el caso del latn escolstico y el italiano moderno, las diferencias que presentan ambas lenguas no son por cierto meras disparidades de sonidos y signos; expresan respectivamente una cosmovisin distinta. De suerte que aun en este caso la lengua no se limita a servir de mero receptculo o continente de la nueva cosmovisin sino que adems contribuye con su propia formacin y estructura a engendrarla. El pensamiento tcnico y lingstico del Renacimiento se orienta en la misma direccin94. Aun en este aspecto cosa que a primera vista resulta sorprendente tambin Nicols de Cusa se haba anticipado ya a su tiempo. En efecto, en su filosofa da una nueva significacin al espritu tcnico, al espritu del inventor y le asigna una dignidad tambin del todo nueva. Cuando expone y propugna su concepcin general de la ciencia, cuando explica que toda ciencia no es sino el desarrollo y la explicacin de lo que yace encerrado y complicado en la natural esencia del espritu, no slo se refiere por cierto a los conceptos fundamentales de la lgica, de la matemtica y de las ciencias exactas de la naturaleza, sino tambin a los elementos de la ciencia tcnica y de la creacin tcnica. As como el espritu desarrolla el concepto de espacio partiendo del principio del punto que el mismo espritu encierra, as como desarrolla; la nocin de tiempo partiendo del simple ahora y la de nmero partiendo de la unidad, as tambin un bosquejo o plan ideal debe preceder a toda accin del espritu sobre la naturaleza. Todas las artes y oficios reconocen su raz en un bosquejo de esa ndole. Junto a los predicamentos de la lgica, junto a los conceptos de la geometra y de la aritmtica, de la msica y de la astronoma, deben citarse tambin como testi-[82]-monios de la autonoma y de la eternidad del espritu las conquistas tcnicas; hay que citar la lira de Orfeo y el astrolabio de Ptolomeo95. Y aunque el espritu no permanezca sencillamente en s mismo cuando aplica su propia fuerza creadora, cuando volvindose a una materia sensible la configura y transforma, ello no significa empero que pierda algo de su naturaleza y esencia, pues stas siempre son, puramente intelectuales. En efecto, aun en este sentido el camino hacia arriba y hacia abajo es el mismo, pues el intelecto slo desciende a lo sensible para elevar hasta s el mundo de los sentidos. Su accin sobre un mundo material, aparentemente contrario, constituye precisamente la condicin para que pueda reconocer y realizar su propia forma, para que pueda pasar de su ser potencial a su ser actual96. Henos aqu ante un

punto que nos explica con gran claridad cmo precisamente del idealismo de Nicols de Cusa resulta un efecto fuertemente realista, cmo el renovador de la doctrina platnica de la anamnesis pudo convertirse en gua de los grandes empiristas, de los fundadores de la moderna ciencia experimental, pues tampoco para ellos existe la menor oposicin entre apriorismo y empirismo, ya que en la experiencia no buscan sino la necesidad, la razn misma. Cuando Leonardo se vuelve hacia la experiencia, lo hace para demostrar en ella misma la eterna e inmutable legalidad de la razn. Ms que la experiencia misma, el verdadero objeto de Leonardo es alcanzar los principios racionales, las ragioni que en ella se ocultan y en cierto modo se materializan. Y l mismo manifiesta que la naturaleza est llena de tales razones que nunca se encuentran en la experiencia (la natura piena d'infinite ragioni che non furono mai in isperienza97). No es otro el camino que sigue Galileo cuando, sintindose campen de la legitimidad de la experiencia, sostiene que slo el espritu es capaz de crear la verdadera, la necesaria ciencia partiendo de s mismo (da per s). Por lo que se [83] desprende del sentido general del pensamiento de los espritus directores que la guiaron, se comprende cmo la nueva ciencia de la naturaleza, al liberarse de la Escolstica, no necesit romper el vnculo que la mantena unida a la filosofa antigua y al intento de renovarla, y cmo, por el contrario, hubo de hacerlo an ms ceido. The importance of this attitude or view cannot be overemphasised. The earliest and greatest representatives of modern science and technology, as well as the greatest modern exponents of logico-mathematics, had no doubts or qualms about the fact that their discoveries were really an un-covering of the truth, of the laws of nature. The necessity of these laws lay for them not principally in the independent phenomena of nature that they sought to rationalize, but rather in the instrument that they adopted to describe them! It goes without saying that science thereby was interested only (!) in what could be described and encapsulated in mathematical formulae! Put in other words, science does not dis-cover the world but rather orders it in terms of the instrumental needs of the scientist and the inventor indeed, the scientist as inventor! -, needs that are now expressed through a new instrumental language, that of logicomathematics, which, as Cassirer superbly reminds us, is an essential moment of the development of theories. The earliest scientists and inventors of the bourgeois era came very close to identifying the implicit nihilism of the transcendental attitude: what stopped them from recognizing it was the very transcendentalism that they espoused with regard to the supremacy of the human spirit or Reason, of the divinity of the Subject as opposed to the created world of nature, the Object. Pero si lo espiritual en s permanece inaccesible para nosotros, y si de ningn modo podemos comprenderlo sino como imagen sensible, como smbolo, sin embargo podemos pretender que por lo menos la imagen sensible misma no implique nada

dudoso ni confuso, pues el camino que conduce a lo incierto slo puede pasar a travs de lo cierto y lo seguro86. La novedad de esta concepcin consiste en establecer que por los smbolos mediante los cuales podemos concebir lo divino se alcanza no slo la plenitude y la fuerza de lo sensible, sino que de ellos se obtiene, sobre todo, precisin y seguridad teorticas. De modo que as la naturaleza de la relacin entre el mundo y Dios, entre lo finito y lo infinito, experimenta una enrgica transformacin. Para la esfera del pensamiento mstico, cualquier aspecto o sector del ser puede convertirse sin ms en punto de enlace de esa relacin, pues en cada caso particular se puede reconocer la huella de Dios. l mismo se presenta a nuestra vista en el esplendor de lo finito. El propio Nicols de Cusa repite tambin esta expresin87, slo que la aplica a una nueva relacin universal. En efecto, para l la naturaleza no constituye slo el reflejo del ser de Dios y de la fuerza divina; es adems un libro que Dios escribi con su propia mano88. Estamos an aqu en terreno firmemente religioso, pero a [77] la vez tambin y digmoslo con Schelling hemos pasado al libre, al abierto campo de la ciencia objetiva, pues el sentido del libro de la naturaleza no puede ser desentraado ni el hombre puede apropiarse de l por el solo sentimiento subjetivo o por el puro sentimiento mstico; para descifrar ese libro es preciso examinarlo, es preciso recorrerlo palabra por palabra, carcter por carcter. Ya el mundo no poda ser por ms tiempo, frente al hombre, un mero jeroglfico de Dios, un signo sagrado; demandaba una interpretacin sistemtica. Segn la direccin que se tome, esa interpretacin lleva, ya a una nueva metafsica, ya a una nueva concepcin de las ciencias exactas de la naturaleza. La filosofa de la naturaleza del Renacimiento ech a andar por el primero de estos caminos. Partiendo del pensamiento capital de que la naturaleza es el libro de Dios, lo va modificando sin cesar con nuevas variaciones. Sobre este fundamento Campanella construye ntegramente su doctrina del conocimiento y toda su metafsica. Para l, conocer no es otra cosa que leer los caracteres de la escritura divina en el libro de la naturaleza: intelligere no significa sino intus legere. El mundo es la estatua, el templo viviente y el cdice de Dios en el cual l ha asentado y ha inscripto cosas de infinita dignidad que albergaba en su espritu. Feliz es aquel que lee en ese libro y de l aprende las condiciones de las cosas, sin imaginarlas segn su propio arbitrio o segn las opiniones ajenas.89 Para expresar esta idea Campanella se vale de un parangn que, como tal, por cierto no constituye ninguna novedad al contrario, es fcil encontrarlo a travs de Nicols de Cusa en la filosofa de la Edad Media e inclusive en San Agustn y Santo Toms, pero que con todo expresa un sentido nuevo y especfico de la naturaleza; resulta significativo, empero, que las frases citadas se encuentren al final de un tratado que lleva por ttulo De sensu rerum et magia. En efecto, el vnculo que mantiene unida a la naturaleza consigo misma en lo ntimo y que la enlaza con el hombre por otro lado, est enteramente pensado como vnculo de carcter mgico y mstico. El hombre slo puede comprender la naturaleza introduciendo inmediatamente en ella la propia vida. Los lmites que establece su sentido de la [78] vida, los confines del sentimiento inmediato de la naturaleza representan por lo tanto, al mismo tiempo, los lmites de su conocimiento de ella.

La otra forma de la interpretacin de los signos de la naturaleza est representada por aquella tendencia de la ciencia natural que partiendo de Nicols de Cusa contina a travs de Leonardo de Vinci en Galileo y Kepler. Los representantes de esta direccin no se contentan con la energa metafrica de los signos materiales en los cuales leemos la estructura espiritual del universo; antes bien, exigen que esos signos formen un sistema concluso en s mismo, un complejo conexo y universal. El sentido de la naturaleza no debe sentirse slo en forma mstica; es preciso pensarlo como sentido lgico. Ahora bien, esta exigencia slo puede satisfacerse por medio de las matemticas, pues frente a la arbitrariedad e inseguridad de las opiniones nicamente ellas establecen una unidad de medida necesaria e inequvoca. De ah que para Leonardo la matemtica constituy la lnea divisoria entre sofstica y ciencia. Aquel que infiere injurias a su suprema certeza sustenta su espritu con la confusin. Mientras se aferra a las palabras aisladas, cae en la vaguedad y en la ambigedad propias de la palabra sin ms, y se ve as enredado en una pura logomaquia90. Solamente la matemtica, al fijar las significaciones de las palabras y al subordinar a reglas determinadas sus relaciones, es capaz de sealar una meta a esas controversias, pues de esta suerte, en lugar de presentar una mera yuxtaposicin de palabras, los pensamientos y proposiciones se disponen ante nosotros en una severa concatenacin sintctica. Galileo lleva estas consideraciones hasta sus ltimas consecuencias; para l aun las mismas percepciones sensibles particulares, por ms que se nos den con gran intensidad y energa, no son ms que puros nombres que en s mismos nada significan, que no entraan ningn contenido de significacin objetivo y determinado91. Una significacin de tal ndole slo se da cuando el espritu humano refiere el contenido de la percepcin a una de esas formas bsicas del conocimiento cuyo arquetipo encierra el espritu mismo. nicamente en virtud de esa relacin y de ese nexo el libro de la naturaleza se torna legible y comprensible [79] para el hombre. De este modo, partiendo del pensamiento bsico de la certeza indestructible (incorruptibilis certitudo) que enunciara Nicols de Cusa a saber: de todos los smbolos que el espritu del hombre necesita y es capaz de crear, slo los signos matemticos poseen tal certeza; de este modo, pues, llegamos en la sucesin histrica directa a esa clebre y capital enunciacin normativa que seala la meta y la singularidad de la investigacin de Galileo.

This is a point of the greatest importance that can be derived from, but is not made explicit in Heideggers Kantbuch, his lamentably muchneglected sequel to Being and Time. Indeed, the opposite is the case because Heidegger, as we shall see, remains chained to the transcendental attitude that we are de-structing here. In the tradition of the negatives Denken, Heidegger seeks to re-found metaphysics through a punctilious critical review of Kants epistemology which, he claims, was always intended as a meta-physics, though an ultimately flawed one. The flaw lies precisely in what we are discussing here: the Kantian pre-requisite of a separation (chorismos or gap, hiatus)

between noumenon and phenomenon between which he coveted a bridge (Ubergang) through the mediation of per-ception and conception by the Understanding or Intellect and its constitutive Schematismus that is ultimately regulated by Pure Reason. Kants logic the Analytic that is founded on the Aesthetic is so formal, so much the product not of experience itself but of Kantian moral formalism, the Sollen, that it invited the recriminations of Schopenhauer. Above all, it inspired the dialectical idealism of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, in whose direction Nietzsche poured his atrabilious ridicule for what he lampooned as cunning theology. Of course, Marxian philosophy sprang from these transcendental, indeed theo-logical, loins - so much so that in Marx the valiant attempt at immanence is always threatened by the teleological tendency of his critique, which is what prompted R H Tawney to immortalize him as the last of the Schoolmen. Now, we agree with Kant that for a sequence of homogeneous concepts or events it is impossible to be described consistently and coherently by individual elements that are dependent on that sequence for their meaning. And we agree with Heidegger that Leibnitzs Principle of Sufficient Reason is flawed in that the criterion of what makes a reason to be sufficient needs to be made explicit given that what is is only an aspect or moment of becoming. But this does not apply to the materiality of our perception of life and the world which, whilst it does not com-prehend life and the world, yet at the same time is a part of it without which the very notion of life and the world, of totality, would have no meaning whatsoever. The notions of Totality and Truth can ec-sist as notions only because there is no such thing or being as totality or truth. Hegels dialectic of self-consciousness seeks to overcome the dualism of Kantian formal logic by introducing an evolutionary dimension that is historical only as a moment in the extrinsication of the Idea. Hegel supersedes Cartesian and Kantian transcendental idealism by radicalizing the Subject in effect by making the Subject objectify itself. This is the Eskamotage to which all post-Hegelians (from Feuerbach to Bruno Bauer to Marx) and the negatives Denken (from Schopenhauer to Heidegger) objected with varying degrees of relevance and success, and then tried to supplant with their own teleologies. Our aim here is to overcome the transcendental attitude (MerleauPonty) by exposing its fallacies and antinomies; and then to pursue a return to immanence. Indeed, the point we are making is that once we understand properly the character and content of our perception of life and the world its full immanence and materiality -, the very notion of totality (Kants Thing in itself, Schopenhauers qualitas occulta,

Heideggers Totalitat or Jasperss Um-greifende) becomes contradictory. This is a conclusion that Nietzsche reached originally and that we have styled (partially, because as we have seen there are important corollaries to it) Nietzsches Invariance and one that even Merleau-Ponty has articulated with great acumen and indeedperceptiveness. In a nutshell, philosophy has always perceived that human consciousness is consciousness of some thing, and therefore it is only a partial perspective on life and the world because it is only a part of it. Yet at the same time consciousness attempts to comprehend the world: to de-fine it, to en-compass it and to encapsulate it which it cannot do because life and the world are greater than consciousness. This greater that without which consciousness cannot aspire to or claim totality can be called the qualitas occulta, the whatness or quidditas of the world, its essence, its sub-stance (what stands under the world), that which subtends the world in its totality. Yet it is precisely this con-ception of life and the world as an ob-ject (that) that constitutes a quantity, a whole (totality, part, greater) that is the proton pseudos, the fundamental fallacy of this Welt-anschauung, of this view or perspective of the world! Starting with Kant, and continuing particularly with Schopenhauer and the negatives Denken, philosophy has renounced the task of comprehending life and the world understood as a whole, as a totality. Utterly mis-conceived and mistaken, therefore, must remain for us Jasperss attempt to interpret Nietzsches critique in the perspective of totality, of the Um-greifende. It is exactly this totality as well as the Schopenhauerian powerless [ohn-machtig] illusion of renouncing it [!] that Nietzsche shatters forever. This renunciation or Entsagung represents the attempt by the bourgeoisie to eschew every totality, every inter esse or common being of humanity, preferring instead to highlight the ineluctable conflict, the strife and struggle, the Eris that characterizes relations between human beings as in-dividuals that is, not in their species-conscious being or Gattungswesen (Marx) or phylo-genetic shared traits, but rather in their onto-genetic idiosyncrasies (Nietzsche). But whereas the bourgeoisie always relegates the construction of a humanized society to the unreachable horizon of utopian dreams, to the empyrean of the human spirit, the better to underline the futility of all attempts to overturn the established order of things, Nietzsche pitilessly de-structs precisely this bourgeois U-topia, this opium of the masses, this kingdom of shadows this true world as well as the apparent world because these two worlds have meaning only in their opposition! By overcoming their opposition, Nietzsche was able to dispose of both worlds and to enter a wholly new dimension of the human perception of reality. It is thus that Nietzsche overcame both

the Hegelian spiritualization (Vergeistigung) and the Weberian disenchantment (Ent-zauberung, Ent-seelung) which are still products of the transcendental attitude and whose progeny is nihilism itself. The peculiar praxis of the bourgeoisie resides precisely in this: - that whilst it posits the dualism of idea and reality, of subject and object, of soul and form, so as to interiorize or spiritualise life and the world to reduce all praxis to Utopia -, at the same time the bourgeoisie renounces and denounces this U-topia (literally, no place) as inter esse, whilst it still traduces, exalts and elevates it as in-dividuality, as (private) inter-est for its own purposes, the better to seize on the effectuality of its instrumental praxis by constructing an entire technico-scientific reality around it. The problem is to show how it is possible for this instrumental praxis to become scientific, how this praxis can be crystallised (a term that Marx then Nietzsche and Simmel and Weber used) to become an objective reality a reification. Part of the answer is that the bourgeoisie narrows, restricts and reduces the scope and sphere of human action to such an extent that its science becomes a selffulfilling prophecy! Contrary to what both Marx and Lukacs (or Weber with the homologous concept of Rationalisierung) believed, it is quite impossible indeed, contra-dictory for reification (or the fetishism of commodities) to be a necessary illusion in a scientific or mechanistic sense because what distinguishes reification (or Nietzsches Verinnerlichung, that is, the interiorisation of social values) is precisely its arbitrariness, its utter contingency. The necessity of the illusion consists not in any scientific inevitability or logical inexorability, not in any automatism, but precisely in its arbitrariness (!), in its ec-sistence as a sheer ex-ercise of naked power, co-ercion and co-action made possible by the very instrumentality of the science or the will to truth that mathesis allows! In other words, it is exactly and precisely the ab-straction from life and the world that mathesis allows that permits the so-called rationalization of the world. The iron necessity of the illusion that reification represents is given by and made possible by the reduction of power relationships, of violence, to the status of mere ciphers, of mathesis. This is the truth (intended as the out-come, the success or effectuality [Er-folg], of the will to truth) of Nietzsches Invariance! Contrary to an almost universal belief, it is precisely (!) the precision of the mathematical exakte Kalkulation(Webers phrase) that enables, not the dis-covery of truth, but instead the en-forcement, the coaction of violent strategies! The limit of the Weberian Rationalisierung, re-cast in Marxist garb as reification by Lukacs, is that it hypostatizes reification itself (!) because it presents it either as the outcome of

Zweck-rationalitat (Weber) - which, as we have shown in the Weberbuch, is an im-possible operation if we adopt Webers notion of technical rationality, the product of a flawed (Simmelian) formalism. Or else it presents it (Marx-Lukacs) as the quantification of labourtime again a task that is either contra-dictory because human labour cannot be quantified; or else it is self-defeating because it admits what it seeks to condemn, - that labour time is quantifiable as socially necessary labour time and that therefore all that is wrong with reification is the theft of labour time as surplus value extraction. In effect, Marx-Lukacs concede the possibility of the quantification of human living labour, shifting the emphasis of exploitation from the social relation of alienated labour the violent reduction of human living labour to dead labour - in the process of production to that of distribution of the social product. Interestingly, whereas the former notion (of alienated labour) points to a broader political scope of capitalist exploitation, the latter (the moralistic notion of theft of labour time) becomes frankly "reductionist" and scientistic in effect reifying living labour and the notion of production in a technical-scientistic sense in terms of the reproduction of society, as well as moralistic in the sense denounced by Nietzsche. This is exactly what Habermas seeks to expose with his neo-Kantian metacritique of Marx; and yet simultaneously it is the problem he elides and thus con-serves by spiritualizing or idealizing it through the notion of reflection! By op-posing reflection as theoretical action to labour understood as instrumental action, Habermas regresses to that dualism of Nature and Reason that Merleau-Ponty so elegantly indicts in our opening quotation.