In this series of dialogues, Derrida discusses and elaborates on some of the central themes of his work, such as the problems of genesis, justice, authorship and death. Combining autobiographical reflection with philosophical enquiry, Derrida illuminates the ideas that have characterized his thought from its beginning to the present day. If there is one feature that links these contributions, it is the theme of singularity - the uniqueness of the individual, the resistance of existence to philosophy, the temporality of the (...) singular and exceptional moment, and the problem of exemplarity. The second half of this book contains an essay by Maurizio Ferraris, in which he explores the questions of indication, time and the inscription of the transcendental in the empirical. A work of outstanding philosophy and scholarship, the essay is developed in close proximity to Derrida and in dialogue with figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Kant, Hegel and Heidegger. It thereby provides a useful introduction to the philosophy of one of Italy's most prominent philosophers as well as an excellent complement to Derrida's own ideas. A Taste for the Secret consists of material that has never before appeared in English. It will be of interest to second-year undergraduates, graduate students and academics in philosophy, modern languages, literature, literary theory and the humanities generally. (shrink)
In this article I defend two theses. The first is that the centrality of recording in the social world is manifested through the production of documents, a phenomenon which has been present since the earliest phases of society and which has undergone an exponential growth through the technological developments of the last decades. The second is that the centrality of documents leads to a view of normativity according to which human beings are primarily passive receptors of rules manifested through documents. (...) We are not intentional producers of values. The latter, as I shall suggest in my conclusion, should be viewed as being ‘socially dependent’ rather than ‘socially constructed’. (shrink)
An analysis of the history and social role of mobile phones today is followed by a proposal of a philosophical theory of objects, which is meant to be complementary to Searle's 'collective intentionality', that places writing at the basis of social reality.
ABSTRACTIn this paper, I assume that, if knowledge does not refer to something other than itself, the words ‘subject’, ‘object’, ‘epistemology’, ‘ontology’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘reflection’ would be meaningless. I define the transcendental fallacy as involving faith in the existence of a spirit independent from matter, capable of producing representations and things. In terms of matter and memory, the fact that the past is repeated by matter is even more important than the fact that it is recalled by memory, because without (...) matter there would be no memory and no ability to remember. I remind the reader that only individuals exist and that the first character of individuals is that they are external with respect to others. Finally, I consider how epistemology should be considered in terms of Pentecostal meaning and emergent meaning: Pentecostal meaning follows the path Meaning → Expression → Inscription. Emergent meaning goes from Inscription → Expression → Meaning. (shrink)
Maurizio Ferraris | : L’une des réponses au paradoxe de la fiction consiste à dire que les émotions que nous éprouvons face aux oeuvres de fiction ne sont pas véritables. Mais qu’est-ce que pleurer ou rire pour de vrai ? En fait, presque toutes les formes de rire ou de larmes, et de réactions émotionnelles, sont compatibles avec la fiction, y compris celles qui sont des émotions vraies. Ce qui pose problème dans le paradoxe est la prémisse selon laquelle nos (...) croyances au sujet de la fiction doivent être vraies ou fausses. | : One of the answers to the paradox of fiction consists in claiming that the emotions that we feel about fictions are not genuine emotions. But what is it to laugh or to cry genuinely? In fact, almost all kinds of laughter and of cry are compatible with fictions, including genuine ones. What is wrong in the paradox of fiction is the premise according to which our beliefs about fictions have to be true or false. (shrink)
A philosophical exchange broadly inspired by the characters of Berkeley’s Three Dialogues. Hylas is the realist philosopher: the view he stands up for reflects a robust metaphysic that is reassuringly close to common sense, grounded on the twofold persuasion that the world comes structured into entities of various kinds and at various levels and that it is the task of philosophy, if not of science generally, to “bring to light” that structure. Philonous, by contrast, is the anti-realist philosopher (though not (...) necessarily an idealist): his metaphysic is stark, arid, dishearteningly bone-dry, and stems from the conviction that a great deal of the structure that we are used to attribute to the world out there lies, on closer inspection, in our head, in our “organizing practices”, in the complex system of concepts and categories that unrerlie our representation of experience and our need to represent it that way. (shrink)
Il vero punto, nel confronto tra realisti e postmodernisti, non è ovviamente l’affermazione o negazione dell’esistenza del mondo esterno, ma il costruzionismo: quanto incidono gli schemi concettuali nella costruzione della realtà naturale e sociale? Infatti nessun realista negherebbe che l’IVA dipenda da schemi concettuali . Quello che il realista si chiede è, appunto, fin dove si spinge l’azione degli schemi concettuali, ed è qui che si manifesta il dissidio tra realisti e postmodernisti. Questi ultimi sono molto più generosi nella lista (...) delle parti di realtà che sono socialmente costruite, al punto da affermare, in taluni casi, che noi non abbiamo mai accesso a un mondo "là fuori”, ma solo con ciò che viene costruito dai nostri schemi concettuali.The actual issue at stake, in the confrontation between realists and postmodernists, is not whether you should accept or deny the existence of the external world, but the scope of constructionism: how far conceptual schemes bear on the construction of natural and social reality? Indeed, no realist would deny that the VAT depends on our conceptual schemes, which does not mean that it is purely subjective: you don’t decide whether you have to pay the VAT, it depends on where the purchase takes places. The realist just asks where the sphere of influence of conceptual schemes stops, and here the disagreement with the postmodernists begins. The latter are much more generous in listing the parts of reality that they consider socially constructed, up to maintaining that we do not have any access to the world “out there”, but only to what our conceptual schemes construct. (shrink)
In this essay I try to give some overall statements in order to show that new realism is to be understood as a kind of positive philosophy. Against constructivism, I argue that there is a prevalence of the objects themselves on our understanding of them because reality offers a resistance to our attempt to grasp it depending on its level of dependence from our own understanding, which is different in the case of natural objects, ideal object and social object . (...) This negativity leads to an ontological necessity of facticity . In the second part of this paper I will describe – through the exposition of three key concepts of new realism, i.e. “unamendability”, “interaction” and “affordance” – an ascending path for which the negative and the resistance turn into positivity. (shrink)
In this essay I try to give some overall statements in order to show that new realism is to be understood as a kind of positive philosophy. Against constructivism, I argue that there is a prevalence of the objects themselves on our understanding of them because reality offers a resistance to our attempt to grasp it depending on its level of dependence from our own understanding, which is different in the case of natural objects, ideal object and social object. This (...) negativity leads to an ontological necessity of facticity. In the second part of this paper I will describe – through the exposition of three key concepts of new realism, i.e. “unamendability”, “interaction” and “affordance” – an ascending path for which the negative and the resistance turn into positivity. (shrink)
This is a sequel to our dialogue "Che cosa c'è e che cos'è (2003), focusing on the interplay between what there is and what there could be—between actuality and possibility—from the perspective of Hylas (here: the realist philosopher) and from the perspective of Philonous (here: the conventionalist anti-realist).
Perhaps the most relevant aspect of the ongoing philosophical transformation is the splitting of binomial speculation-idealism. Indeed, one can be both realist and speculative. The paper aims to show it through a definition of negative, positive, and speculative Realism and emphasises the speculative concept of hysteresis, i.e. the survival of effects to their own causes. Indeed, it is the fundamental principle at the basis of what exists, what we do, what we know, and finally of teleology.
The essay concerns the notion of realism and its relationship with the notion of perception. The ontological meaning of aesthetics as aisthesis is in fact in the non-amendable nature of perception. From this non-amendability the essay outlines four traces through which aisthesis leads to realism: “nonconceptual content”, “object”, “naivety”, “ontology”.
Many elements of Derrida's “psychoanalytic” philosophy support the view that for most of his career he remained a philosopher-son: the disruptive attitude toward a systematic style, the tendency to exaggerate, the fervor—so like that of Heidegger, Freud, and especially Nietzsche—with which he repeatedly stages confrontations with his father-masters. However, Derrida never claimed, with the postmoderns, that every kind of reality is socially and historically constructed. His “mistake” is rather to have confused ideal objects, such as geometrical shapes and theorems, with (...) social objects, such as promises, contracts, and bills; for ideal objects do not depend on their embeddedness in a trace-structure as contracts and marriages undoubtedly do. The “Husserlian” theme of the centrality of writing becomes a powerful tool when applied to social reality: inscriptions are the ground of an enormous ontology that everywhere surrounds us. Derrida's achievement resides in his denunciation of the unconscious denigration of this ground and in his having foreseen the coming of our present “era of writing.”. (shrink)
Presenting legal and philosophical essays on money, this book explores the conditions according to which an object like a piece of paper, or an electronic signal, has come to be seen as having a value. Money plays a crucial role in the regulation of social relationships and their normative determination. It is thus integral to the very nature of the "social," and the question of how society is kept together by a network of agreements, conventions, exchanges, and codes. All of (...) which must be traced down. The technologies of money discussed here by Searle, Ferraris, and Condello show how we conceive the category of the social at the intersection of individual and collective intentionality, documentality, and materiality. All of these dimensions, as the introduction to this volume demonstrates, are of vital importance for legal theory and for a whole set of legal concepts that are crucial in reflections on the relationship between law, philosophy, and society. (shrink)
Objects come in three kinds: physical objects that exist in space and in time, and are independent from subjects knowing them, even though they may have built them, as for artifacts ; ideal objects that exist outside of space and time, and are independent from the subjects knowing them, but which, after having been discovered, can be socialized; social objects, that do not exist as such in space, since their physical presence is limited to the inscription, but last in time, (...) and whose existence depends on the subjects who know, or at least can use, them and who, in certain cases, have constituted them. This latter circumstance display us the fact that social objects, for which construction is necessary, depends on social acts, whose inscription constitutes the object. As I show through the law Object = Inscribed Act, social objects consist in the recording of acts that encompass at least two people, and are characterized by being inscribed, on a physical substrate what so ever, from marble to neurons, passing through paper and computers. If all this is true, then a theory of social objects develops naturally into a theory of the document, understood as an inquire centered on the definition of what I call “documentality”, namely the properties that constitute, in each case, the necessary and sufficient conditions to be a social object. At last, there is no society if there are no documents, and documents are records with a particular social value. (shrink)