Ray Brassier (American University of Beirut)
American University Beirut, Building 37
Thursday, 11 September 2014, 11.30 AM-01.00 PM
For Fredric Jameson, systematic philosophy is an avatar of theology as a discourse tending towards the fusion of reasons and causes, explanation and justification. This is what renders philosophy an apologia for the status quo at best, or a rationalization of oppression at worse. Thus, classical philosophy’s pretention to truth is ideological. Justification is always suspect. Indeed, the philosophical demand for justification is a more insidious instance of oppression. This is the genealogical move. Genealogy is the skeptical exacerbation of critique: the point at which it becomes suspicious of its own residual rationalism (Nietzsche against Marx and Freud). Where Enlightenment disenchanted the world through reason (and in a sense both Marx and Freud radicalize Enlightenment to the extent that they engage in theoretical description and explanation which critically delimits the purview of reason), genealogy is disillusionment with reason. I want to argue that the globalization of genealogical disillusionment turns into a more insidious ideological enchantment: genealogy’s indiscriminate reduction of reasons to causes unwittingly reinstates the theological fusion of rationalization and causation in the form of what Jameson calls ‘practice’.
Discussant: Bodhisattva Kar (University of Cape-Town)
The public lecture is part of the Summer Academy “Language, Science and Aesthetics – Articulations of Subjectivity and Objectivity in the Modern Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia”, which takes place from 11 - 19 September 2014 in Beirut.
It is jointly organized by Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB) and Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin.