Saturday, January 12, 2008

double language

there's already a lot going on this week. surprisingly, it has to do--in part, at least--with things i don't really have much context for. "Not knowing many things about a thing"--this type of knowledge is also always a pardon begged in relation to knowledge. It makes me wonder if we should ever hope to resolve such a thing. this lack of context is surprising because i thought that these things were continuities of things i had already been working with. like Spinoza, for example. But what were last year questions of ideology and the individual put to Hegel, are this year questions of belief, theology and the relation to the political put to Spinoza. Looking back at my notes, I find much of it unintelligible. what did make sense to me was Balibar's explication of the "double truth" as a strategy for speaking the universal. well, it did not actually make SO much sense in terms of speaking the universal, except that i think it is similar to Badiou's notion that the separation of spheres for science, art, love, and politics would allow non-interference between them. Spinoza is also similar to Wittgenstein, who wrote two dissimilar theoretical pieces during his life. So Balibar brings this question of authorship into the circle of things that there is to say about how Spinoza might be able to speak the universal. He concludes that the Political-Theological Tractatus is, minimally, a certain disguise of the author's opinions.

One of the things i very much like about the idea that the Political-Theological Tractatus is disguised in some way, or cryptic, in others, is that Balibar eschews the somewhat normed idea that censorship functions to hide those "real" or "true" elements that otherwise would not allow the text to get past the censor. Instead, he proposes that the genre of the tractatus is such that basic philosophical ideas fall under the cover of imaginative representations immediately accessible to the common ideas. With this style, Balibar concludes, "truth is not accessible in the same way." Similar to the "double truth" of the Spinozan and Wittgensteinian doctrines, language itself becomes doubled, and the prolbem with language is once again how to transform ideas to representations and truths to opinions (held by many). So it is, language.

Picture: from The History of Egypt, "The Occupations of Ani in the Elysian Fields" followed by text " the Great Hall of the Double Truth, who have no falsehood in your bosoms, but who live on Truth in Aûnû, and feed your hearts upon it before the Lord God who dwelleth in his solar disc."

No comments: