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 Immunological Spheres of Co-existence

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PostSubject: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:38 am

This thread is going to be about Peter Sloterdijk's trilogy "Spheres".
I will begin with the first installment: "Bubbles".

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According to Sloterdijk, the contemporary age is an age of foam, that is to say, it consists of a multiplicity of people, who rub up against each other with their own private semiologies ( logic, meaning, signs ). The metaphysical age was a globe, or giant bubble, i.e., God ( the omnipresent ) acted as the transcendental signified, who encased the Earth, like a dome. This divine macro-sphere provided a psychological immunization to the Lacanian 'real'; people who were immunized did not feel the cold breath of infinite space and existential nihilism blowing down their necks. But now, since all the grand meta-narratives and transcendental signifieds have been deconstructed, in the contemporary age, we are in a state of existential nakedness, exposed to the Lacanian 'real'. The grand bubble ( cosmic globe ) has popped and now what remains is foam: the sea of semio-spheres, which contain their own idiosyncratic logic and meaning.

"Bubbles" focuses on micro-spheres, which signify dyadic units of intimacy.


Sloterdijk - Bubbles


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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:53 am

I wonder if Spheres is available online in PDF
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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:10 am

Supra-Aryanist wrote:
I wonder if Spheres is available online in PDF

I've checked all over the internet for e-books of this trilogy before, but could not find any.

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A Sloterdijkian 'sphere' is imaginary, symbolic; it doesn't have a tangible existence. And it's always, at the very least, dyadic. Spheres can be multi-polar, but, as just stated, they are always, at least, dual in nature.

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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:01 am

Sloterdijk postulates that we unconsciously strive, as a collective, to re-immunize ourselves with our modern technology.

Sloterdijk wrote:
Nietzsche, the master formulator of the truths one cannot live with, but cannot ignore without intellectual dishonesty, finally articulated what the world as a whole had to accept becoming for the modern entrepreneurs: "a gate to a thousand deserts, empty and cold."
Living in the Modern Age means paying the price for shellessness. The peeled human being acts out its epochal psychosis by replying to external cooling with warming technologies and climate policies - or with climate technologies and warming policies. But now that God's shimmering bubbles, the celestial domes, have burst, who could have the power to create prosthetic husks around those who have been exposed? To oppose the cosmic from infiltrating the human sphere through the open windows of the Enlightenment, modern humanity makes use of a deliberate greenhouse effect: it attempts to balance out its shellessness in space, following the shattering of the celestial domes, through an artificial civilizatory world. This is the final frontier of Euro-American technological titanism.

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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:21 am

Sloterdijk wrote:
Modernity is characterized by the technical production of its immunities and the increasing removal of its safety structures from the traditional theological and cosmological narratives.
Industrial-scale civilization, the Welfare state, the World market and the media sphere: all these large scale projects aim, in a shelless time, for an imitation of the now impossible, imaginary spheric security. Now networks and insurance policies are meant to replace the celestial domes; telecommunication has to re-enact the all-encompassing. The body of humanity seeks to create a new immune constitution in an electronic medial skin. Because the old all-encompassing structure, the heavenly continens firmament, is irretrievably lost, that which is no longer encompassed and no longer contained, the former contentum, must now create its own satisfaction on artificial continents under artificial skies and domes.

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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:40 pm

Quote :
The pre-metaphysical age, from the Paleolithic to the time of Plato. According to Sloterdijk in this epoch there was a semiotics of immanence. Being in the world was a matter of being in the body of the Great Mother. The typical movement was the journey downward into the depths and return. Time is cyclic and space is a commonly shared macrosphere, identified with the body of the mother. The individual is a cell in this organic totality, in the womb of the Great Mother. The artist is a shaman.

Quote :
The metaphysical age, from the time of Plato to that of Heidegger. Each historical period within the metaphysical epoch has a privileged set of “iconotypes” or transcendental signifieds which fix meaning into organized significations. These semiotic systems and their signifieds are regularly de-legitimated and dissolved to make way for those of the next epoch. Being in the world is a matter of being inside the body of the Father. The semiotics is based on transcendence. In the Middle Ages, the typical movement is ascension and voyage in the celestial spheres. Truth is certainty. The artist is a cosmocrator, a creator in the image of God. In the post-Reformation period we have the advent of the age of the world picture. The macrosphere of the heavens dissolves and we are thrown into infinite space. Space is Euclidean, infinite, and three-dimensional. Time is linear. There is no macrosphere. The artist is an optician.

Quote :
The post-metaphysical age, which divides into two epochs: the aperspectival or integral age from Heidegger to World War II and the post-aperspectival age, from the end of WWII till today. In the aperspectival age, a new macrosphere is constituted containing no longer just one perspective, but all perspectives. The world is no longer optical, what we see, but noetic, what we understand and imagine. Truth is multiple and relative to the different perspectives. The culturally specific iconotypes have been replaced by structural archetypes (geometrical or anthropological). Space is an integral hyper-dimensional macrosphere. Time is integrated into space-time. The artist is an archetypologist.

With the advent of the post-aperspectival age the reconstitution of hierarchically organized systems is no longer possible, and we are left with a “midden-heap” of abandoned, isolated, and fragmented signifiers. The artist can no longer presuppose a universal organized semiotic system, and is obliged to select and combine the signifiers of the present and the past, and hybridize them with new signifiers, into idiosyncratic, temporary, partial, multiple organizations, with no universal legitimacy. Truth is no longer just multiple, it is also a matter of degrees – from relativism, it has become quantized. Space is no longer a hyper-dimensional macrosphere, which has been deconstructed and dissolved. Space is an ocean of quantic foam. Time is miniaturized and discontinuous. There is no universal macrosphere, only individual semiospheres. The artist is a monadologist.
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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:46 pm

Sloterdijk mentions something called " the With ", which is just another name for the placenta. It helped to form a bi-polar relationship within the mother, a micro-sphere. This primordial, dyadic relationship continues to haunt the human throughout the course of his life; he seeks to re-construct the conditions of the mother's womb in various ways.

Quote :
Just as according to Aristophanes, contemporary man, in Plato’s Symposium, is the mutilated half of an originally rounded being which is whole; also according to Sloterdijk, humans originally comprised a two-part wholeness this side of the confrontative separation of subject and object. Sloterdijk employs the term Mit (With) to designate this state, which is hard to describe because of its prelinguistic origin. The fetus and its placenta are connected to each other like Orpheus and Eurydice. Every Orpheus is forced to leave his Eurydice. On parting, the latter bestows on him a space, “in which substitutions are possible.” The vacant space that the lost “primal companion” leaves behind in man, becomes the starting point for a consistently renewed search for new companions and new substitute spheres. The Eurydice of the placenta also leaves behind the navel, the bodily trace that points to our original bipolarity, for the Orpheus-like half-human.

For Sloterdijk the problem of the history of mankind begins (as does the problem of Sloterdijk’s version of this history for the reader) with the “excommunication” of this primal companion. Instead of being honoured as the lost half of man, the future of the placenta was either to be utilized by the cosmetics industry, or even, having been turned into granulate, to be used to accelerate combustion in waste incinerators. According to Sloterdijk, a “seamless alliance of silence” has formed, whose aim it is to make humans forget their original companion, the placenta, and to condemn them to an “absence of togetherness” (Mitlosigkeit). At this point, following Sloterdijk’s train of thought, modern individualism enters its hot phase. A “gynecological inquisition” has brought forth the the lonely modern subject. This condition in turn is to have facilitated the formation of totalitarian nations. “The birth of totalitarianism out of the spirit of midwifery? Someone here has apparently taken an overly hot bath in amniotic fluid” (transl. fr. German), as one critic jeered.

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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:48 pm

Apply the above insight to the Modern world and Nihilism.
Cocooning, a return to the womb.
Encasing yourself in subjectivity, as it were.
A protective membrane between you and the outside....swimming in the amniotic fluids of love.

_________________
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μηδέν άγαν


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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:51 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:37 am

Sloterdijk wrote:
Among the outdated and valuable expressions that metaphysics used, in its time, to build subtle bridges between heaven and earth, there is one that still comes to the aid of some contemporaries ---and not only artists and their imitators---when faced with the problem of finding a respectable name for the source of their ideas and inventions: inspiration. Even if the word seems antiquated, and sooner earns its users a smile than recognition, it has not entirely lost its symbolic radiance. It is still vaguely suitable for making the unclearly different, heterotopic origin of those ideas and works which cannot simply be attributed to the application of rules and the technical repetition of familiar searching and finding patterns. Whoever invokes inspiration admits that creative ideas are nontrivial events who occurrence cannot be forced. Its medium is not its master, and its recipient is not its producer. Whether it is genius that whispers the idea to its executor or chance that makes the dice fall as they do, whether it is a rupture in the usual conceptual fabric that leads to the articulation of thoughts never thought before, or whether a productive error results in the new: whatever powers are considered possible transmitters of the inspired idea, the receiver always knows that in a sense, beyond their own efforts, they have housed visitors from elsewhere in their thought. Inspiration---breathing life into something, intuition, the instantaneous appearance of the idea or a gaping open of the new: in former times, when it could still be used without irony, the concept referred to the fact that an informing power superior in nature makes a human consciousness its mouthpiece or sounding board. Heaven, metaphysicians would say, appears a stye earth's informant and gives its sign; something foreign passes through the door of the own and acquires a validity. And although the foreign no longer bears any lofty, concisely metaphysical name today---not Apollo, not Yahwe, not Gabriel, not Krishna, not Xango---the phenomenon of the inspired idea has not disappeared entirely from the enlightened fields of view. Whoever experiences inspired ideas can, even in post-metaphysical or hetero-metaphysical times, understand themselves as a host or matrix for the non-own.

The biblical Genesis account of the creation of Adam is the primal scene of inspiration. Initially, he was just a clay-figurine; but Yahweh decided to breathe, inspire the spirit of life into him. This divine act of inspiration forms a spherological relationship akin to the child, who blows a bubble and seemingly maintains its existence, as a unit in a bi-polar relationship, with the power of his attentiveness.

Sloterdijk wrote:
In the first stage of the work process, as we read, the creator forms Adam---the clay creature taken from the soil, adama---and molds him into a work of art unlike any other that, like all products of artifice, owes its existence to the combination of artistic knowledge and raw material. Craft and earth are equally necessary to erect the image of man in the form of the first statue. Hence, in His initial access, the creator is no more than a potter who enjoys using suitable starting material to form a figure that resembles Himself, the producing master. Whoever wishes to imagine humans as primitive machines finds here an early model of how to create statues, human dolls, golems, robots, and android illusions and the like according to the rules of art. The God of the first phase of human creation embodies a representative of the oldest techno-logical culture, whose main emphasis is on ceramic skills. It was the potters who first discovered that earth is more than simply farmland to be cultivated. The ceramist as an early creator of works or demiurge has the experience to know that the ground which bears fruit can also be raw material for clay vessels to which form, clarity in conjunction with stability, is lent in workshops and ovens. If the Lord of Genesis began the creation of humans as a potter, it was because this creation succeeds most plausibly when it begins as the production of vessels. Being able to make android creatures according to ceramic routines: at the time of the biblical Genesis, this marked the state of art.
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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:38 pm

Quote :
In Bubbles, Sloterdijk contextualizes and develops his theory by looking at how spheres can be perceived through history by analyzing a variety of sources such as art works and mythological stories. In chapter 2 on interfacial spheres of intimacy, Sloterdijk replaces the term intersubjectivity with interfacial greenhouse effects that form the human species. Eye contact is not seen as a vacuum or neutral “in-between” but rather following Plato, the interfacial space is viewed as a force field filled with turbulent tension that constructs the face as being-for-the-other-face. He analyzes two sacral frescos by Giotto where he studied interfacial constellations.



Quote :
The first one depicts the moment where Joachim and Anna meet after they had a vision they were going to be parents of holy Mary. This moment where they are partners in the shared secret of the other is a moment where an interfacial sphere is created. Giotto represents this by placing both faces in a two-poled aureole. With a nice optical trick a third face appears in this two-poled sphere. The visible-invisible face that emerges refers to the new life that will be in Anna’s body. It is however not the face of a child that emerges from the faces of the future parents and resembles grandchild Jesus rather than their child, Mary.



Quote :
The second fresco of Judas’kiss represents a very different interfacial constellation. It presents an antithetical spherical tension. The antagonism between the two is depicted on three levels. The first is metaphysical, distinguishing between god-man and man by using one single aureole. The second is physiognomic, depicting the distinguished versus the vulgar. The third is the spherological gap between the faces. There is an open sphere-creating force in the eyes of Jesus while Judas is unable to enter the sphere. Instead he selfishly tries to steal entrance. The kiss represents the gesture of someone who wants to enter the love space with the attitude of an outsider. There is no possibility for a shared life in their eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:52 pm

Negative Gynecology

Quote :

For Sloterdijk, therefore, phenomenological analysis
has to be preceded by a philosophical gynecology, or what he calls in the first
volume of Sphären, a negative gynecology (1998: 275) that is an analysis of
the process of being ejected from, thrown out of the uterus. We are thus strange
and estranged (verfremdetet) creatures, who must arrive to a world, but who in
arriving it and already abandoning it. We are creatures of distance—not always
at home in the world (see 1993a for a lengthy treatment of this dimension of
neoteny). Still, for Sloterdijk, human existence begins with the unfathomable
pain of being exiled from the maternal womb. We are mangled creatures, who
survive because of the generosity and gratitude of the Other, who welcomes us,
who nourishes us, who gives us an abode and refuge. We are born of someone,
and someone receives us. We are loved and we are lovers. Coming to the world
is a form of coupling; being-with is a being-with-another which forms a couple.
But being born before time means we are always arriving in the world. This
arrival is met with the project of fashioning dwelling. To come to the world is to
build a home. In contrast to Heidegger, for Sloterdijk the Mit-sein is always
being-alongside-others in a dwelling that has been built and in which we are
enclosed. Being-with is always being inside of a dwelling. Dasein‘s neotony and
always dwelling alongside another means that the subject is always in a process
of auto-genesis that is simultaneously a making of worlds. Dasein‘s ex-stasis, its
being always ahead of itself, is simultaneously a worlding, a bringing-forth of
worlds, whether they be poetic, literary, or material and real, such as glasshouses,
palaces, or caves.


-------------

Quote :

'Even Lacan's tragically presumptuous theorem about the mirror stage's formative significance for the ego function cannot overcome its dependence on the cosmetic and ego-technical household inventory of the nineteenth century - much to the detriment of those who were taken in by this psychological mirage'

He argues that in order to prove the valence of psychoanalytic theories in any cultures other than the Western ones we would have to first demonstrate the presence of mirrors (he argues that even until the Modern age few had mirrors and they were cloaked in secrecy – for much of human history S. argues that most of the human race had not seen their own faces [I think he oversimplifies here – e.g. reflection in another’s eyes for example ‘the other thus acts as a personal mirror’ p.200 – but there is certainly something interesting to be said about how the ‘interface’ of mirror technologies opens up new modes of self-encounter – ‘they no longer require completion through the present other, but can complete themselves through themselves so to speak’ p. 20] – says something similar about writing in thought transmission]), and then the emergence of mirror-subjectivities. S. also argues that if we reread the narcissistic mirror-narrative with this intervention in mind, we actually arrive at the stark opposite of narcissism in ‘pre-reflection’ cultures: the visage in the water is not an image of the self, but of another – ‘Looking at the entire history of human faciality, one can say that humans have faces not for themselves, but for the others’ p.192. So through this example we return again to the issues of ontotopology, spherological being and technicity which are of central concern to Sloterdijk’s Spheres
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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:49 am

Quote :
The structural implication of the current earth-encompassing network - with all its eversions into the virtual realm - is thus not so much a globalisation as a foaming. In foam worlds, the individual bubbles are not absorbed into a single integrative hyper-orb, as in the metaphysical conniption of the world, but rather drawn together to form irregular hills.

Referring to a pathology of spheres displays a threefold focus: a politicological one, in so far as foams tend to be ungovernable structures with an inclination towards morphological anarchy; a cognitive one, in so far as the individuals and associations of subjects can no longer produce any complete world, as the idea of the whole world itself, in its characteristic holistic emphasis, unmistakably belongs to the expired age of metaphysical total-inclusion-circles, or monospheres; and a psychological one, in so far as single individuals in foams tend to lose the power to form mental-emotional spaces, and shrink to isolated depressive points transplanted into random surrounds (correctly referred to systematically as their environment). They suffer from the immunodeficiency caused by the deterioration of solidarities - to say nothing, for the moment, of the new immunizations acquired through participation in regenerated sphere creations. For sphere-deficient private persons, their lifespan becomes a sentence of solitary confinement; egos that are extensionless, scarcely active and lacking in participation stare out through the media window into moving landscapes of images. It is typical of the acute mass cultures that the moving images have become far livelier than most of their observers: a reproduction of animism in step with modernity.
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PostSubject: Re: Immunological Spheres of Co-existence Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:53 am

Quote :
Sloterdijk describes this primordial differentiation of figure (the mother's voice) and background (the uterine ambient noise) as the fetus’s first act of subjectivity, or at least as an act that underlies the subjectivity of the fetus:

“Turning a deaf ear and listening are original modes of pre-subjective ability… With this primordial choice between devotion and rejection, the first distinction in communicative behavior comes into force.” (Sphären I, p.512)



Quote :
Heidegger’s insight into the constitutive importance of negativity for the intentional relation between subject and object is surprisingly absent from Sloterdijk’s phenomenology of the sphere-forming relationship between the subject and his significant other. This becomes especially clear, as we have seen, in Sloterdijk’s subjectivist description of the appearance of the mother's voice to the fetus through the active ‘nihilation’ of the ambient noise in the uterus. According to Sloterdijk:
“the field of insignificance [i.e. the background of uterine ambient noise, PS] comes into existence first through the turning away of the ear from the annoying presences of noise; these are thereby “posited” [“gesetzt”] as non-informative or indifferent and are subsequently excluded from wakeful perception.” (Sphären I, 513)

But – to repeat the Heideggerian point – precisely because the fetus’s first hearing of the mother’s voice is the beginning of its intentional subjectivity, this nihilation of “the field of insignificance” cannot be an intentional act by the fetus. The receding into the background of the uterine noise first presents the mother’s voice to the fetus, who is thereby lured into subjectivity, that is, into intentional directedness at the voice. It can therefore not be the case that the “field of insignificance” arises only after the “turning away of the ear” which thereby “posits” the field as “non-informative or indifferent”, as if we were dealing here with a Fichtean “arch-positing” (“Ursetzung”) of Self and non-Self – a Fichtean connotation that is also evoked by Sloterdijk’s use in this context of the terms “primordial choice” (“Urwahl”, p.512) and “primal act of the self” (“Urhandlung des Selbst”, p.513). To be sure, there is no ‘Fichtean fetus’ – the fetus is not some ‘absolute I’ who conjures out of himself by means of negation the very (m)other in which it can come into existence…
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