Open Questions

Peter Lewis


Part One: The Extension of Man: what now constitutes the human?

For the inaugural issue of /seconds we called for verbal, aural, and visual contributions from our editorial and advisory board, proposing that they might also recommend a second contributor, setting up various levels of dialogue and, in so doing, presenting a contemporary task for thinking. The internet technology by which this conversation is initiated, carried and extended may affect or be affected by the process of reproducing, conversing with or 'using' that technology itself. The invitation to contribute was also open to be declined in favour absolutely of another's 'voice' (in any form that 'voicing' may be thought of). Further tangential responses might also arise from an outside or unexpected source at another time, before or beyond the first publication date, emphasizing the conundrum inherent in the first /seconds. This in turn may precipitate a 'relay' for the second publication. The second /seconds (and all of the subsequent /seconds) will in diverse and unpredictable ways derive and extend from this. It will be up to each individual contributor - and reader - as to how they imagine these 'extensions', literally and in their reproductive temporality, as a celebratory kind of shared time and an individuation of the collective work of the project.

At issue could be an old yet timely question: "What explains the fact that (for example) a clone of me is not an instance of me, but an instance of human nature?", a question prompted by the theologian-philosopher Duns Scotus (c 1265 –1308) concerning the individual who had argued with the Church the case for an 'immaculate conception' of Christ, and whose work, seen through the shattered glass of history, now anticipates contemporary genetic theories of reproduction.1

John Frankenheimer's 1962 sci-fi film 'Seconds' had posed the question of the delimiting of an individual's existence, freedom and self-destruction: the 'as if' person already lives 'willingly' by proxy, by trusting himself, depressed in body and soul, to society and the medical corporation. As already cynical, the subject–commodity, the 'individual', is therefore nothing but to be used, secondary on one hand only to the limitations of imagination but on the other entirely to functionality. The film's question of buying into a new personal freedom and identity, and of attempting to distinguish oneself from a depersonalised life, is exalted through the promise of extreme cosmetic surgery. The contemporary potential for genetic tampering is, arguably, an 'extreme' form of the cosmetic surgery of identity, whereas, for example, karaoke is at its other technologically 'soft' end, providing only background effects for personality transfer. Frankenheimer anticipates the human desire for the concrete realisation of flesh and blood re-modeling as the manifest idea of freedom by technological means, performed from within individual alienation. You don't need deep meditation, nor an education here. Just cash. In the most generalised sense, Frankenheimer tests the category of 'human nature'. A later film, 'The Boys from Brazil' (1978, directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, with a screenplay by Ira Levin) furthers the polemic. In this, Schaffner tests the limits and dangers of making hard 'concrete' facts from apocalyptic narratives, registered in the common fear of the Nazi rebirth, by imagining the medical cloning of 100 potential embryonic Adolf Hitlers. Here we are presented with a re-take on Jean Paul Sartre's short story, 'Childhood of a Leader'.2 Philosophy ceases to exist at the point where we 'identify' with the young, cloned AH, as the boy, Bobby, who has just killed the Nazi geneticist, Dr Josef Mengele in revenge for the murder of his own 'father' at the close of the film, as he photographs the corpse. Is this the existential extension of a man? Is this act good or evil? Is Bobby's delight in technology, the magic of seeing the image of the corpse emerge in his photographic developing tray, enlightened false consciousness, if he himself is a supreme product and proof of the domination of technology?

We are reminded by Andreas Huyssen, in his foreword to Peter Sloterdijk's 'Critique of Cynical Reason', that: "domination through instrumental or cynical reason can never be total, and that the masochism of refusal or melancholy about the irrevocable loss of happiness (that was the double heritage of Critical Theory), has today lost its offensive potential and in fact re-enforces the enlightened false consciousness it should help to dismantle." 3 Looking for example at what happened in Serbia's 'Return of the Repressed' war of naming nations, territories and subjects in terms of mass death and revenge, Adorno's radical pessimism doesn't look so out of place and negative, just cynical; Life left without a Self. So what's new, he says. But Sloterdijk speaks of life as having no name, no self, and he exploits what he 'names' as without name, the self-conscious Nobody, who attaches names and identities only through its social birth, as remaining the living source of freedom. He interprets the famous passage in Homer's 'Odyssey' where Odysseus, in a lightning flash of foresight, answers the Cyclops' request for his name by saying: 'Nobody is my name'. This ruse saves the lives of Odysseus and his companions because the blinded Cyclops fails to get help from his peers when he tells them: 'Friends, nobody slays me with cunning', thus causing them to walk away laughing and to ignore his predicament. Rather than seeing Odysseus's denial of his identity as a fatal step in the constitution of Western subjectivity, Sloterdijk emphasizes the positive aspect of physical survival, in the conscious body, unike Adorno, where identity is based on self-denial, and in a Brechtian move he praises the discovery of 'nobodiness' in a moment of danger as a welcome expansion of subjectivity.

"The utopia of conscious life was and remains a world in which we all have the right to be Odysseus and to let the Nobody live….. The living Nobody, in spite of the horror of socialization, remembers the energetic paradises beneath the personalities. Its life soil is the mentally alert body, which we should call not nobody but yesbody, and which is able to develop in the course of individuation from an areflexive 'narcissism' to a reflected 'self-discovery in the world cosmos'. In this Nobody, the last enlightenment, as critique of the illusion of privacy and egoism, comes to an end."_ 4

Rather like the psychedelic effect of a drug, the 'thing' induced as the thought 'I am' is no longer affirmed in the dimension of the new, as an individual self-consciousness illuminated by thinking on many levels and inferences, both in self-doubt and self-affirmation. The individual is also no longer 'me', but entirely negated as an instance of 'human-nature'. The alienated heroes of both Frankenheimer's and Schaffner's films could be imagined to think and inevitably delude themselves that they are alive by proxy of the idea of the 'human', to say: "I don't want to be the old 'me' as defined by the (given) idea, but 'me' as a yet to be constituted thing. I am finally freed from the ambiguity of 'me' by technological means." What appears in the mirror of the self is no longer the world, its nearness and unfamiliarity, but our fractured cynicism. We are not facing our image through the glass of a tired existential notion of the individual against society, the outsider against the group, the margin against the centre, nor through nostalgia for the protest strategies of the collective, now incapacitated and reduced to a kind of single, 'individual self-identical body. 5

In the liner notes of Donny Hathaway's last album, 'Extension of a Man' (1973), the poet Nikki Giovanni writes of a man in the terms of the beautiful; "I must confess, I did wonder how a man could be extended, since men are born and not made. But then I listened...and I knew." Giovanni is not referring specifically to anything theological in the aesthetics of gospel lyrics found in Hathaway's work per se, but evokes alternatively Alexander Graham Bell's invention, the telephone, as a foundational extension to the voice of man, and ends invoking history through Alexander the Great only to distinguish Hathaway's work as a truer extension of man, by not enforcing presence, like Alexander, by the conquest of territory. 'Extension of a Man' also included what has become Hathaway's most well known composition, "Someday We'll All Be Free."

"Alexander Graham Bell's grandfather fell in love with a deaf lady. He later married her and they lived happily ever after. You may, rightly, be asking yourself what that has to do with Donny Hathaway. But wait. Haste makes waste. If Grandfather Bell had married a woman who could hear his regular voice he may never have become interested in speech and elocution. If Grandfather Bell had not become interested in speech and elocution, Father Bell may never have become a frustrated actor. If Father Bell had not become a frustrated actor then little Alexander may never have become interested in extending the human voice and the telephone may not have been invented. Oh yes. Say what you will about the bugs and abuses, but if the phone had not been a success, Alexander may never have found the time and money to anticipate the phonograph. All Bell needed was a groove and he would have beat Edison out by three years. Donny Hathaway has his groove. Of course we all know the wheel was invented in Africa, but our strong natural voices could carry so well we had no need of amplification. A warm weather people cannot be expected to invent an indoor toy. Give unto Caesar... I must confess, however, that I did wonder how a man could be extended, since men are born and not made. But then I listened to "I Love The Lord; He Heard My Cry" and I knew. Donny, like a python on a sultry day, wraps himself around and crawls all up inside then takes you away, "Flying Easy". A man extends himself when he shares his dreams, and we extend ourselves when we receive them. All of life, I think, is about extending the options to include happiness, as we extend our options to exclude pain. Donny Hathaway is a restless artist who, unlike Alexander the Great coming to the end of the known world, refused to cry that there were no new worlds to conquer. Donny Hathaway extended himself into a new 'Extensions of a Man'. And we are happy that he did."6

The interdependence of the ideas of human extension without recourse to the domination of physical territory, and of electronic transmission as the technological component of the communication of art, without leaving behind the ideal of freedom, is indeed an extension of man by way of the poetic and human.

"I'm one of you. … You're one of me?" 7

Freud in his later writings argues that the death drive, the instinct to return to the state of quiescence that preceded our birth, explains why we are drawn to repeat painful or traumatic events. We uncover in this, and in horror simultaneously conceal again, the built-in logic of the ending of 'messy' human pluralities. There is at this end-game point perhaps only one surviving alternative, the civilising clone of 'me' that betrays the instance of desiring, continuous 'human nature': to be cynical, like Andy Warhol, the ideal contemporary machine, an 'as if' personality, transparent, living 'by proxy', refusing to be anybody's fool or serve any master, and refusing to be 'human' in the metaphysical terms of the self-conscious 'animal'. Being 'beyond nature' is neither true nor false consciousness. Warhol preserves the (de)civilising project of art as fulfilling dangerous human desires. His contradiction as a 'nobody' is close to the edge of the body's mortality and limits, through drugs, decadence and disease.

It is unduly puritanical to assert the impossibility of both having and eating one's cake, but not unreasonable to want also not to have an injunction from above to 'enjoy' it. As the paternalistic teacher blandly dictates from a remote and scratchy recording in the American cartoon 'Ren and Stimpy': "I don't think you're happy enough children", before rallying them into the sing-along song, "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!"………

Hello, boys and girls. This is a song about being happy! That's right! It's the Happy Happy Joy Joy song! Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy ………

If you ain't the grandaddy of all liars! The little critters of nature... They don't know that they're ugly! That's very funny, a fly marrying a bumblebee! I told you I'd shoot! But you didn't believe me! Why didn't you believe me?! Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy ……

This is Utopia. This is Armageddon. This is the U.S. of A. This is now. Is this, or not, a sign of certainty in televisual future shock, one without any final, redemptive interpretation, more and more the fodder for poetic injustice? As William Burroughs said of the American flag, if it were to be dipped in heroin, he would suck it.

"We shall not ever return to a pre-capitalist human nature, yet a reminder of its alternative needs, expectations and codes may renew our sense of our nature's range of possibilities." So suggests Dave Beech in a recent article 'Art's Debunker's',8 where the question that he (via E.P Thompson) raises is: could such a reminder "even prepare us for a time when both capitalist and state communist needs and expectations may decompose, and human nature may be made over in a new form?" A number of questions operate here as a mere journalistic task or as an opportunity to be seized to shape down one's automatic, utopian, affective 'human' responses, and offer up the potential of an independence in shared instances, where the instantiation of the individual is something too utopian and beyond all conceptualising. Nearness, the human facility for poetry through conversation, is ostensibly the better tool for the human need to be 'at home' in the world, if it had not already all but faded away. "What is this nearness that surrounds us...?"9

Part Two: Speechless: stuttering in the face of the corrosive spectacle; rebels, effects without causes, signs without interpreters

The extension of man by way of the poetic and human alluded to earlier in the context of the music of Donny Hathaway is something that Hans-Georg Gadamer would also articulate in his book 'The Relevance of the Beautiful'. "Why does the understanding of what art is today present a task for thinking?" asks Gadamer.10 Gadamer died in Heidelberg in 2002 at the age of 102. In his early work, he developed the insight that it is not only time and culture but, more importantly, language that determines human understanding. For Gadamer, interpretation never simply recovers an 'original' meaning insofar as all understandings are conditioned by historical and cultural 'situatedness' in ways that may not be made fully transparent, either to the author or to the later interpreter. Hermeneutics cannot be an objective method for recovering an original meaning unchanged from the past, but rather is a philosophical strategy.

'The Relevance of the Beautiful', the title of Gadamer's book, prompts an involuntary reminder of the soap opera 'The Bold and the Beautiful',11 set in the glamorous fashion scene of Los Angeles, the story of the wealthy and powerful Forrester family headed by Eric Forrester. His company, Forrester Creations, is the leader in the industry. The flamboyant Sally Spectra owns the rival fashion house and attempts to give the Forresters a run for their money. (Continuing the chain of unintentional resonance in titles might in turn suggest the 1952 Hollywood classic 'The Bad and the Beautiful' directed by Vincent Minnelli.) The TV soap opera from the 80s, 'The Bold and the Beautiful' itself also featured as 'a task for thinking' in an Italian film of the 90s, 'Dear Diary' (directed by Nanni Moretti, 1993). The film concerns Moretti's friend, Gerardo, living hermetically on the island of Lipari where he has studied James Joyce's 'Ulysses' for 18 years. Gerardo is an intellectual morally opposed to what he sees as the dangerous sentimentality of television narrative. According to Hans Magnus Enzensberger12 , says Gerardo, television is of no cultural value. Nanni and Gerardo decide to take the ferry to another island, Salina, and Gerardo cannot help but sit and watch the TV on the ferry, and yet again later at his friend's house. They continue to Stromboli, where Gerardo hails television 'Quam Juvat!', begging Nanni to ask a group of American tourists he spots at the top of the smouldering volcano to tell him what happens in the next episode of 'The Bold and the Beautiful' ( just called 'Beautiful' in Italy). They return to Panarea, then finally, Alicudi, the most remote from civilisation and people. Gerardo discusses television yet again, now speaking with vitriol against Enzensberger. He compares 'The Bold and the Beautiful' to Homer's Odyssey, and writes a letter to the Pope pleading for him not to forbid soap operas because of their conversational 'human' value. When told there is no television on the island he escapes to return to civilisation, attacking Karl Popper and Enzensberger again with vitriol.

Gerardo both transgresses and embraces theory by investing more in its authority, as a condition of his identity, and by his very interest in the analysis of the story's commonality, to the extent of suffering a painful withdrawal when marooned on an island without any television network. His deprivation reflects on the pathos of folding (squeezing) popular culture into theoretical authorisation. One could re-write Gadamer's question based upon Gerardo's recuperation of the popular, as the received idea of professionalism set up by Moretti in his own film to announce something all too human:_ what is it today that makes the business of truth so uneasy, so appealing?_

It is of more than incidental importance in this chain of interconnections that Gadamer has been one of the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist's many interviewees. The relationship of Gerardo to 'The Bold and the Beautiful', and of Obrist to his 'Interviews',13 lies in both claiming access to the value of truth and fiction irrespectively, through their beloved conversational mode of address. This is uncannily akin to Gadamer's own idea about poetry, that it is a characteristic of its language that it speaks both truth and untruth and points to the open realm of interpretation. "Both poet and interpreter pursue a meaning that points to an open realm…It is characteristic of the language of poetry that it speaks both truth and untruth and points to an open realm of interpretation…but when the shared horizon of interpretation has collapsed, when there is no longer a shared language…then this breakdown will inevitably be reflected in the language of art." 14 There's a bit of Gerardo's insincerity in all of us, and a bit of Hans-Ulrich's narcissism, if we consider ourselves as individuals as instances of 'human nature'. This makes it credible to be 'uncritical' about their and our awkwardness with truth and untruth. However, does the uneasiness ensuing from a refusal to make any ethical judgement about the success and failure of the nexus 'truth and lies' add anything to the question of how we address the 'common' and the 'beautiful' in the instance of our experience of 'human nature'?

Obrist's interview project can be seen as akin to mountaineering the 'flat' synchronicity of the world-wide web. They say that the web user does not read in order to contemplate; reading has become re-oriented. Use-value re-surfaces as a kind of theoretical opportunism posing as practical wisdom. The whole meaning of 'using' becomes re-animated by technology. Everything is re-invented in terms of the re- prefix.

Gadamer's hermeneutic practice itself can well be re-applied to the mediatisation of 'facts' in the concealing and uncovering of pre-judgements via reportage and journalism. A clear thinker and writer, concerned with challenging the extent to which method is a guarantor of truth, he suggests that conversation and dialogue, derived from a basic level of understanding, does not emerge from an inner realm but via a shared practice, historically and culturally situated. He underwrites this observation by according importance to intuition in the formation of poetry, music and art. But it is in the terms of the 'popular' through conversation that we are able to interpret 'taste', 'truth' and 'meaning' or whatever. As interpretations of the tradition of civilisations, and the mythic resonance of distant aesthetic modes of attention, are such conversations not at the same time unavoidably also symptomatic of the contemporary excesses of an immersed language of technological relativity, which makes them inaccessible to any simple interpretation of intent? An ambivalence that allows Obrist's opportunism to skim over the content without cause, in order to privilege solely the effect: the sublation of 'the arbitrary with the beautiful'. He wants us to make the choice, either allow us to contemplate or deny, to continue or to disrupt, but ultimately to hold back in our appeal to an unquestionable sense of ease. If not uneasy about answers, then not uneasy about the questions, as to how responsibility for an ideological position works: interviews bear no heavy theoretical baggage, yet questions invoke their own ghostly reflection as answers, as if everything were already equated. The interviewer is masked, not the interviewee. We all celebrate our reification, as if by proxy. This is possibly as close to the real that ethics gets. There is no magical realm between art and life other than the sign without an interpretation. How might Gadamer anticipate the sense of contempt to be read between the lines in Obrist's questions? An illuminating 'instant karma', both a true and false understanding of the limits of a technology that permits everything so as to include an uncanny congruence of the non-interpretable signs, Obrist's questions and Gadamer's answers?

"I think, then, that the chief task of philosophy is to justify this way of reason and to defend practical and political reason against the domination of technology- based science. That is the point of philosophical hermeneutics. It corrects the peculiar falsehood of modern consciousness: the idolatry of scientific method and the anonymous authority of the sciences and it vindicates again the noblest task of the citizen – decision-making according to one's own responsibility – instead of conceding that task to the expert. In this respect, hermeneutic philosophy is the heir of the older tradition of practical philosophy." 15

Is this then after all, the End? Has Bobby 'won'? However hard we, the critical reader, sneer, it hurts: Does this miracle of thinking come across in the interview itself? (Smirk) Where is the magical realm between art and truth? Here, in the factual (Giggle) revision of aesthetic discontent? Gadamer is forgiving of our cynicism, and his interviewer's shortcomings, the missing silences and pauses even more gapingly apparent in their written transcription. In an interview between Hans Ulrich Obrist and Jimmie Durham at Whitechapel Art Gallery, Durham 'ruined' the interview in a Diogenes style. A video of his performance, presenting himself as a bureaucrat armed with a large stone smashing objects donated by his collaborators, played behind the two men at full volume and distracted the audience during the questions so much that laughter was continuously unleashed. The title of the piece appeared to be something like 'Surely we will be confused', and referred to the workshop he hosted as guest professor at the Fondazione Antonio Ratti in 2004.

The idea for the title '/seconds' came in part from John Frankenheimer's movie, made in 1966 and already referred to. It is a story all about discontinuity and surrogation, yet, as appealing as all apocalyptic narratives are, the film resides fully in our encrypted experience of continuity. We confuse at an unconscious level 'effect' and 'content'. Under the surface, our intuition still holds over time, and even engenders duration. 'Seconds' is about the breakdown of temporality of cognition, of family values, of the 'self', of the work of art, and especially of the body itself and its immanent surface and space. Cinematographer James Wong Howe, who worked with Frankenheimer in 1962 on 'The Manchurian Candidate', engineered the effect, strapping a re-constructed camera to an actor's back to detach the distorted lens onto our sightlines. There is no retrospective gaze available in the film, it ends as shock: unanticipated, resolved as the fulfilment of dread. That was the '60s, luxuriating in the (con)fusion of the symbolic and the real, the bad trip thrill of a death-drive. "Want out of your life? Just pay the fee and we'll fake your death, change your face, and set up a new identity for you."16 What is unsettling about the film as an experience, both for the characters, their actors and the audience, is how Frankenheimer treats the subject of surgery and death and re-birth into another identity as an ordinary consumer product, with no metaphorical or real space outside the facts of medicine and consumerism. The man, played both by John Randolph and then, once 're-born', by Rock Hudson, is seemingly freer in his new life, but finds himself always apologising for his outbursts of joy, always being told "this isn't like you". An expressive gap dominated in both lives.

To transplant film aesthetics and contemporary critique into online 'culture' is to risk the pitfalls of a transaction with the 'worldless world'. This is Edward Said's term connoting a detached intellegensia or artistic community, serving also to critique the supposed utopia of the desktop revolution's privatisation of communication. (More like privation as communication!) The task of thinking by an open forum of invited and commissioned contributors, much like a cosmetic surgeon might work on the body, is to re-shape, to contend with and to be contentious about the materiality and value of the worldwide-web. To say that inconsequential diaries and e-mails, blogs et al, are ways of discerning, marking-out and occupying immediacy, like occupying the streets, or the museums and libraries, is to idealise them without worrying too much about what they actually do, or prevent from doing, or mean, in the long-term. Let those who come after, we say, evaluate, interpret. This second task is the task of /seconds. But so too is the first: the action is the thing, the 'revolution', not deciding whether in the frame of art or politics, yet appealing to both. Such action is of course characterised by uneasy relations and inter-dependencies on the allowances and permissions of mediatory institutions, including the suspect area of 'research' itself where the search for a method is performed only through protocols of the bureaucratic and rational (techno-) scientific. It is not just a Luddite concern that prompts alertness to the dialectical potential of industrial-technological omnipotence confronted by individual impotence.

"I have nothing now, therefore I want everything; I have everything therefore I want nothing", says the mystic. This is not a fatal post-historical condition; just that things happen everywhere at once, in what modern medicine calls 'thin slices'. That is, we can imagine bigger pictures with smaller bits of information at a greater speed, which paradoxically allows us more freedom, and more time, not less. And we know how to work it. In mercurial fashion, the instance of thought emerges as an event, in complexity. Things are, and not, quantifiable at that point, or any other; what emerges will be greater or less than anticipated. The utopian surgeon has conspired unreasonably with the future since the 'society of the spectacle' first kicked in somewhere and sometime in the now universal 1960s. Can a product that anticipates and imagines enlightened false consciousness's pseudo-pragmatism in its death-throes be imagined?

Postscript

Things have moved just far enough away from the axis of the human(e) for new claims and criticisms about technology to be forced through. Gadamer argues for dialogue to bring techno-practices to account, to shatter our pre-judged expectation of technology. In the vertigo of a potential new awareness, we, like Randolph/Hudson's character Arthur Hamilton/Antiochus Tony Wilson in 'Seconds', or Bobby in 'The Boys from Brazil', impact with the concrete examples of their historical predicaments. But if history and the tradition of the beautiful do not belong to us but vice-versa, we ask Gadamer, do we not begin to read our everyday, unbeautiful lives differently; recognising that contemporary life is at least as complex as the unbeautiful that we continue to irrespectively mass-produce? The attempt to throw doubt on the meaning of the' beautiful' draws attention to something lacking in our intelligibility of the notion; that lack is our alterity, something 'unbeautiful' that cannot be synthesised within the world. The made-up term überschönheit,17 derived from sinnlichkeit,18 could help describe the importance of being unintelligible as a discourse aimed toward an excess of beauty. This is not resentment. Whether Hans Ulrich, Gerardo, Giovanni, Bobby or any of us for that matter, we want to believe in something or someone, be it through fiction, discourse, poetry or the technological domination of the senses. It is the vividness of the argument that accords us both difference and integration, disclosed in the individual experience, 'you' and 'me'.

Post-postscript: In praise of idleness

Some students from Leeds Metropolitan University went on a trip to the Big Apple last winter. Freezing weather did not prevent two of them from going in search of the 16-inch Cookie, a mythic culinary delight of New York that could be tracked down only by employing the dilettante charm of naïve flaneurie. But neither had heard of flaneurie, Baudelaire, or Guy Debord for that matter, as they wandered around New York. Dérivé or tourism. Which is more harmful? If either are. But a cookie is also of course a term used in internet computer programming.


Notes

  1. Scotus' theory of Haecceities, in addition to explaining distinction, also explains non-instantiability. To instantiate is to represent an abstraction by a concrete instance. First proposed by John Duns Scotus (1266-1308), a haecceity is a non-qualitative property responsible for individuation. As understood by Scotus, a haecceity is not a bare particular in the sense of something underlying qualities. It is, rather, a non-qualitative property of a substance or thing: it is a "thisness" (a haecceitas, from the Latin haec, meaning "this") as opposed to a "whatness" (a quidditas, from the Latin quid, meaning "what"). Furthermore, substances, in the sort of metaphysics defended by Scotus, are basically collections of really identical properties ("really identical" in a specialized sense explained below), all but one qualitative; the one non-qualitative property is the haecceity. In contrast to more modern accounts of the problem of individuation, Scotus holds that the haecceity explains more than just the distinction of one substance from another. According to Scotus, the fact that individual substances cannot be instantiated also requires explaining. At issue is something like this: what explains the fact that (e.g.) a clone of me is not an instance of me, but an instance of human nature?

  2. Jean Paul Sartre, The Wall, and Other Stories, 1948, New Directions)

  3. Andreas Huyssen, Foreword, xviii The Return of Diogenes as Postmodern Intellectual, in Peter Sloterdijk, 'Critique of Cynical Reason', 1983, Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main

  4. Sloterdijk, 'Critique of Cynical Reason', op cit, chapter 3

  5. It is the individual split within the cynical phenomenon itself, which, Sloterdijk suggests, pits the cynical reason of domination and self-domination against the 'kynic' ( a term taken from the tradition of Greek philosophy found in Diogenes) revolt of self-assertion and self-realization. "It is precisely the moment of a disillusioned enlightenment in cynicism itself that.might make it susceptible to the temptation of cynical self-assertion.. directed primarily at those who still suffer, however subliminally, from enlightened false consciousness." (from the Foreword to Sloterdijk, op cit.) Sloterdijk mobilises the 'kynical' potential of the Diogenes tradition against a prevailing cynicism that had successfully combined enlightenment with resignation and apathy.

  6. Nikki Giovanni, 15 May 1973: sleevenote to Donny Hathaway, "Extensions of a Man"

  7. Dialogue from the film "Scanners", 1981, directed by David Cronenberg.

  8. Art Monthly, issue 283

  9. Hans Georg Gadamer 'On the Contribution of Poetry to the Search for Truth', in Gadamer, op cit, p.115

  10. Gadamer, op cit.

  11. 1987, CBS Network, a spin-off from "The Young and the Restless"

  12. Hans Magnus Enzenberger, "Television and the Politics of Liberation", in 'The New Television: A Public/Private Art', edited by Douglas Davis and Alison Simmons, 1977, Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press. See also Karl Popper's interview "Against Television".

  13. Hans Ulrich Obrist, Interviews Volume One, 2003 Charta

  14. Gadamer, Composition and Interpretation, in Gadamer, op cit. p.73

  15. Gadamer, op cit.

  16. Dialogue from 'Seconds', 1966, directed by John Frankenheimer.

  17. Meaning something like "over-beautiful-ness".

  18. die Sinnlichkeit meaning sensuality, but which can also mean bestiality, animalism or carnality (and refers at least phonically of course to sin).