“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hagglund Nutshell

For some reason I'm talking with some friends today about Martin Hagglund. I thought it would be good for me to summarize my several posts on him here.

In short it all boils down to Hagglund's adherence to the law of noncontradiction. Hagglund argues not that god doesn't exist, or that it's foolish or evil to believe in god, but rather that it's impossible, since it would be believing in a self-contradictory thing.

Now Hagglund also is a Derridean who uses Derrida's concept of trace, applied strictly to temporality, to support the above. Yet the trace is highly self-contradictory. You can't cleave to LNC one moment only to drop it when it's convenient.

Moreover, I still don't see how, if the "trace structure" cashes out as LNC, Derridean time doesn't regress to a mere succession of now-points, which is refuted by Aristotle himself (who asserted LNC first), and Hegel (who holds that things can be self-contradictory).

That's it, in a nutshell.

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