Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Dialectic for Leftists

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:21 PM

“The dialectic is the play that the last instance opens up
between itself and other ‘instances’, but this dialectic is
materialist: it is not played out up in the air, it is played out
in the play opened up by the last instance, which is material.”

— Louis Althusser, as quoted by Christopher Bray at

See also Althusser in this  journal.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Secular Space

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:30 AM

This morning's previous post, on sacred space,
linked to "Positively White Cube Revisited,"
an article by one Simon Sheikh.

Sheikh writes well, but he seems to be a disciple
of the damned Marxist lunatic Louis Althusser.

As Pynchon put it in Gravity's Rainbow ,
"For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross."

In this case, a video starring Sheikh on the exhibition "All That Fits"
suggests, by its filming date (May 27, 2011),  a Maltese  cross.

"The stuff that dreams are made of." — Bogart

IMAGE- 'Maltese Falcon' clip uploaded Oct. 25, 2012

(See also Oct. 25, 2012.)

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:25 AM

Suggested by a recent review of a
book by Richard Kearney:

The World,  the Flesh, and the Devil.

Talk amongst yourselves.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Specific and Robust

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM

The New York Times  version of the philosophers' stone:

IMAGE-- The Philosophers' Stone, according to The New York Times-- Intro to a column by Prof. Gary Gutting of Notre Dame

In the Times 's latest sermon from THE STONE, Gary Gutting, a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame, discusses

"…the specific and robust claims of Judaism, Christianity and Islam about how God is concretely and continually involved in our existence."

A search shows that Gutting's phrase "specific and robust" has many echoes in biotechnology, and a few in software development. The latter is of more interest to me than the former. (The poetically inclined might say that Professor Gutting's line of work is  a sort of software development.)

"As a developer, you need a specific and robust set of development tools in the smallest and simplest package possible."

EasyEclipse web page

Here are two notes on related material:

Specific— The Pit:

See a search for "harrowing of Hell" in this journal.

("…right through hell there is a path…." –Malcolm Lowry)

Robust— The Pendulum:

See a search for "Foucault's Pendulum" in this journal.

(“Others say it is a stone that posseses mysterious powers…. often depicted as a dazzling light.  It’s a symbol representing power, a source of immense energy.  It nourishes, heals, wounds, blinds, strikes down…. Some have thought of it as the philosopher’s stone of the alchemists….”

Foucault’s Pendulum )

Those puzzled by why the NY Times  would seek the opinions of a professor at a Catholic university may consult Gutting's home page.

He is an expert on the gay Communist Michel Foucault, a student of Althusser.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Monday January 26, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 PM

The Subject Par Excellence

The previous entry connected the mad Marxist Althusser with Mount Sinai; this connection is not as whimsical as it may seem.

From Althusser's "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" (La Pensée, 1970):

" 'And the Lord spoke to Moses and said to him, "I am that I am".'

God thus defines himself as the Subject par excellence, he who is through himself and for himself ('I am that I am'), and he who interpellates [Althusser's jargon for "hails"] his subject, the individual subjected to him by his very interpellation, i.e. the individual named Moses."

This is from page 179 of Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays.

The connection of the Althusser disciple Sprinker with the Trinity in Taking Lucifer Seriously is also not as whimsical as it may seem.

See Althusser's note (p. 180, op. cit.) stating that

"The dogma of the Trinity is precisely the theory of the duplication of the Subject (the Father) into a subject (the Son) and of their mirror-connexion (the Holy Spirit)."

Monday January 26, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:11 PM

Language Game

More on "selving," a word coined by the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.  (See Saturday's Taking Lucifer Seriously.)

"… through the calibrated truths of temporal discipline such as timetabling, serialization, and the imposition of clock-time, the subject is accorded a moment to speak in."

Dr. Sally R. Munt,

Intelligibility, Identity, and Selfhood:
A Reconsideration of
Spatio-Temporal Models

The "moment to speak in" of today's previous entry, 11:29 AM, is a reference to the date 11/29 of last year's entry

Command at Mount Sinai.

That entry contains, in turn, a reference to the journal Subaltern Studies.  According to a review of Reading Subaltern Studies,

"… the Subaltern Studies collective drew upon the Althusser who questioned the primacy of the subject…."

Munt also has something to say on "the primacy of the subject" —

"Poststructuralism, following particularly Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan, has ensured that 'the subject' is a cardinal category of contemporary thought; in any number of disciplines, it is one of the first concepts we teach to our undergraduates. But are we best served by continuing to insist on the intellectual primacy of the 'subject,' formulated as it has been within the negative paradigm of subjectivity as subjection?"

How about objectivity as objection?

I, for one, object strongly to "the Althusser who questioned the primacy of the subject."

This Althusser, a French Marxist philosopher by whom the late Michael Sprinker (Taking Lucifer Seriously) was strongly influenced, murdered his wife in 1980 and died ten years later in a lunatic asylum.

For details, see

The Future Lasts a Long Time.


For details of Althusser's philosophy, see the oeuvre of Michael Sprinker.

For another notable French tribute to Marxism, click on the picture at left.

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