Transcendental Dynamism I: A note

20Jan12

Transcendental Dynamism breaks and re-integrates Real-Materiality-Sense-Intelligence with transcendence and immanence modalities and trans-modalities between the different regimes of being. Immanence, as a mode of philosophy, explores thought and materiality on one plane, whereas transcendence admits the artificiality of separating thought and being. In order to understand the various uses of transcendence and immanence – I believe that Laruelle (and Brassier’s reading of Laruelle) are the most helpful in this sense.

In his excellent post from some time back Reid introduced several key concepts of non-philosophy. In regards to the problem of realist thinking Reid writes:

“The two options open to such a philosopher are not good ones: 1) either thought, and hence philosophical activity are not of this world, transcendent to it, and therefore fall beyond explanation of the world (and this has never been a comfortable philosophical position), or 2) thought, and hence philosophical activity, are of this world, they are objects like any other, and therefore a meta-philosophical theory that takes philosophy as object is possible, or even required.”

The relation between immanence and transcendence is complicated by the transcendence utilized or absorbed by immanence as well as whether or not transcendence is de-transcendentalized by being constitutive. Or as Reid puts it: “we must distinguish between the a priori conditions that are thought by concepts as immanent transcendentals, and the transcendental immanence that synthesizes concept and object.” The philosophical decision is that which separates an artificial unity (posing as the One or the unified real) and then recombines it through mental synthesis. For Laruelle the One is a radical immanence that cannot be divided or decided against in any way.

Leibniz’s strange two headed philosophy emerges – the two heads being that of mental substance and physical substance which emanate from God being kept together, or at least harmonized, by divine acts. But if the divine is excised then what becomes of the harmony, and if nature replaces god, how can the mental and the physical be reconciled – or must they me addressed in terms of Schelling’s double series, in terms of the manifest and the scientific? Is any sense of unity, any kind of traction in the flow of the emanating One merely synthetic? Can one have an intensive topology or a universal spatium in which singularities can operate?

De Landa struggles this as well as in his realist accounts of science he attempts to erase metaphor without given a strong account of the place of metaphysical speculation, one that is hard to square with Deleuze’s empiricism without things becoming too close to a kind of human exceptionalism. I think Schelling’s actants from the First Outline (and perhaps Whitehead’s Actual Occasions) are what one should look to here.

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2 Responses to “Transcendental Dynamism I: A note”

  1. I have not read Reid’s post but It is very obvious that the option 1) that he poses is not ‘a good one’ for a philosopher that aims realist thinking. Realism is not at all a philosophical problem. The very stake for the philosopher that aims realist thinking is to confront the fact implied in option 1) and extract and create from it ideas and conceptualizations of what philosophical activity -ie, thought, is actually transcendent to. We can think that it is precisely because it is not a comfortable philosophical position that option 1) must be taken without implying any distinctions. Afterwards is left to realize that option 2) was not really a plausible option after all, but the consequence of adopting the position implied by option 1).


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