Plural Temporality: Transindividuality and the Aleatory Between Spinoza and Althusser (Historical Materialism Book)

Plural Temporality: Transindividuality and the Aleatory Between Spinoza and Althusser (Historical Materialism Book)

Language: English

Pages: 187

ISBN: 1608464806

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Plural Temporality traces out a dynamic historical relationship between the texts of Spinoza and Althusser. It attempts to understand Spinoza’s thought through Althusser’s insights, and in the process to better interrogate Althusser’s own philosophy. From the fragmentary intuitions Althusser produced about Spinoza throughout his life, Morfino builds a new and comprehensive interpretation of Spinoza’s philosophy. In the later sections of the book, this interpretation is put to work to help to clarify some of the more problematic aspects of the late Althusser’s philosophy, thereby offering new concepts for a materialist position in philosophy and the development of Marxist theory

Studies in critical philosophy

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thought as co-ordinated with, not subordinated to, each other, and so as determining each other, not in one direction 32 chapter 1 to appearances [Erscheinungen] is rendered possible, according to Kant, by the transcendental schema which ‘by means of the transcendental determination of time . . . mediates the subsumption of the appearances under the category’.48 The schema of Wechselwirkung, or of the reciprocal causality of substances in respect of their accidents is, therefore, ‘the

Translated by Jason E. Smith 84 85 Spinoza 2002, Ethics III, pr. 56 and 57, pp. 307–9. In the ‘Preface’ to Être singulier pluriel, Nancy writes: ‘This text does not hide its ambition to redo the entirety of “first philosophy” by giving it a foundation in the “singular plural”. But this is not my ambition: it is necessitated both by the thing itself and by our history’ (Nancy 1996, p. 13). Later, he writes: ‘By its very definition and essence, this “first philosophy” should, like Maldoror’s

mine, there is no real connection between their moments of conscious­ ness and mine. In the higher order, if I direct my understanding toward the other person, I discover that his or her animate body is within my perceptual field: his field is within mine. This reciprocity is what founds the monadic com­ munity, a transcendental intersubjectivity which ‘necessarily bear[s] within itself the same Objective world’.16 To put it simply, we might say that the first order is Cartesian while the second

and because of the individual encounters between rhythms and between particular relations of speed and slowness. One problem does arise, however. When Spinoza excludes the possibility of understanding eternity in terms of the sempiternal in the Explanation to Definition VIII in Part I of the Ethics, he seems to be pointing to a conception of eternity understood as eternal present or absolute simultaneity. The most beautiful piece from a literary point of view imbued with a reading of this sort is

mortal man they regained their natu­ ral right over everything that lay within their power, and every man could decide afresh whether to retain it or to surrender it and transfer it to another. Finding themselves thus placed in this state of nature, they hearkened to Moses, in whom they all placed the greatest confidence, and resolved to transfer their right not to any mortal man, but to God alone. Without much hesitation they all promised, equally and with one voice, to obey God absolutely in

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