Dialectics Beyond Dialectics by Malgorzata Kowalska, Cain Elliott, Jan Burzynski

By Malgorzata Kowalska, Cain Elliott, Jan Burzynski

<I>Dialectics past Dialectics </I>is a learn of up to date French philosophy from Bataille to Derrida. It analyses, at the first point of generalization, the decomposition of Hegelianism understood as <I>philosophy of totality</I>. Many French philosophers of the 20<SUP>th</SUP> century deconstruct Hegelian dialectics and harshly criticize the very suggestion of totality as both harmful or very unlikely. The thesis of the booklet is that, on doing so, they don't quite holiday with dialectics, yet remodel it. at the moment point of generalization, the problem of the publication is modernity and the thesis is that alterations of dialectics show adjustments of contemporary recognition which - regardless of hasty declarations at the <I>end of modernity </I>- nonetheless continues to be ours.

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Totality is the totality of relations occurring between phenomena and determinate of their meaning (which is precisely their place within totality). But what does the “totality of relations” mean? When, and under what conditions, do relations produce a totality? Can it be produced by only certain kinds of relations? After all, difference and rupture are also relations in the logical sense. It seems, however, that totality in the strong sense can exist only insofar as the difference is relative, that is, insofar as there is no real rupture, and the “work of difference” is ultimately subordinated to both global identity and continuity.

But such growth, as Bataille argues, cannot be unlimited. And what marks its limit is the moment when the amount of produced goods exceeds the ability of further accumulation or, conversely, when an excessively high level of accumulation blocks further production. In both of these cases the excess energy, which cannot be used to stimulate the growth of the system, is bound to escape and be lost. ” For the principle of the general economy is not accumulation, but the excess of energy – not production, but consumption.

In that sense, a peaceful relation to the Other, and moreover, the sense of an indefensible responsibility for the Other, are not linked to any objective context; they are “facts” belonging to a different order. Therefore against Hegel, Lévinas claims that individuals cannot be judged by history, but it is history that can, and indeed 46 Specters of Totality should, be judged by individuals who transcend it in ethical relations. On the other hand, the ethical relation is also beyond totality in that it does not itself constitute any kind of totality (unity, synthesis or some higher identity).

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