Re: serialization of the group
> First of all, to lay out our philosophical differences, I am veryfar from seeing Sartre as merely a precursor to structuralism. After
all the critiques of structuralism that have made of structuralism by
such figures as Derrida, Lyotard, Deleuze, the late Foucault and
others, Sartre may even be read as being post-structuralist avant la
Well, I think it is a good thing to have differences, sometimes I
find some users of this forum think too much alike, to the point that
their sayings become quite interchangeable, like the serial output of
Second, dear user (or machine, who knows?), I cant follow you where
you're going here. It seems like you never read anything, and your
frame of mind is programmed to jump to the same conclusions, no
matter what. I didnt say Sartre was a precursor of structuralism, I
wrote "structuralism" in quotation marks, saying that we conveniently
group under such heading the different works of very different
thinkers, at different periods of time. So much so, that our need for
differentiation doesnt go any further than pre-fixing "structuralism"
with a "post" for what seems to us to not quite fall under the same
rubric. It doesnt matter that, as the term clearly indicates, "post-
structuralism" is then merely "structuralism" AFTER "structuralism".
("Do you believe in life after love?"...)
Hence, it would never cross my mind to call Sartre a precursor
of "structuralism", and even less, as you do in a nonsensical coinage
of terms, "post-structuralist avant la lettre", a.k.a "ante-post-
I was simply trying to say that I am rather not interested in
fleshing out a new conception of history from the Critique, for what
Sartre does in this book is, in my opinion, the prefiguration of a
work that much more systematically and radically is going to be done
by other thinkers. In a metaphorical way, I would say, why go to the
rehearsal when I can play and replay the show as many times as I want.
But if your interest is in going back to the Critique to find out a
new conception of social and historical structures, be my guest. I
dont know what the results will be, but I can assure you beforehand
of the originality of your attempt.
> As far as your second point is concerned, the notion thatthinking, especially philosophical thinking, has no consequences for
history, ethics or any other everyday matter seems to me silly at
best. This is merely another form of the Positivism Sartre critiqued
so heavily in his writings - that conservative ideology that reduces
everything back to the status quo and makes the subject into a thing.
Silly of me, of course, to have thought that. But you cannot, without
committing a basic logical fallacy, call me both silly and
positivistic. For positivism is exactly the attempt to catch
philosophy into the nets of positive sciences, with real and palpable
applications in everyday life; positivism wants to strike any
silliness, any madness, any playfull approach, any poetry, whatever
it judges as "irrational", out of philosophy.
At the end of my message, I said that what seems as the most
inconsequential in the domain of thinking may be of the uttermost
importance, meaning that we cannot judge the historical consequences
of thinking by resorting to the same cliches as you do, especially in
the last sentence of your message.
But, hey, I want at least to deserve the name, and so I'm waiting
for the POSITIVE results of your research into the Critique. Keep me
- The quote below is pretty clear as to the profound relation between
Sartre's philosophy and violence. The cogito, the generalized cogito,
is a crime (did I hear Nietzsche somewhere?...):
La situation veut que la vraie morale humaine prenne naissance dans
cet acte isolé, purement individuel, de violence purement négative.
Tentons de le comprendre dans son ambigüité et de légitimer cette
violence. en réalisant la liberté terroriste et négative de la pure
conscience du monde par consomption du monde en face de la
conscience, l'esclave réalise dans l'instant qui précède la mort
cette conscience de soi que le stoïcisme, le scepticisme et le doute
cartésien n'atteignent que dans la fuite et dans l'abstrait. La
destruction et le crime sont les conduites concrètes corrélatives du
doute méthodique. [dans le crime] la conscience s'affirme dans sa
solitude terroriste. Tout crime est toujours un peu un cogito.
(Sartre, Cahier 418)
What the heck, I'm giving it a try at translation:
"The situation requires that the true human ethics is born out of
this isolated act [the terrorist one], purely individual, of a purely
negative violence. Let us try to understand it in its ambiguity and
to legitimize this violence. ... by accomplishing the terrorist and
negative freedom of the pure consciousness of the world, the slave
attains in the instant right before his death to that self-
consciousness that stoicism, scepticism and cartesian doubt attain to
only in flight and in the abstract. ... Destruction and crime are the
concrete behaviour correlative to methodical doubt. [in the crime]
consciousness affirms itself in its terrorist solitude. All crime is
always a bit of a cogito."
Do I agree with this? Oh, not only that, I think these are some of
the best lines ever writen in philosophy.