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"One World": Logical and Ethical Implications of Holism


Gord Barentsen
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I've been invited to give a paper presenting my dissertation research at "Holism: Possibilities and Problems," an international interdisciplinary conference at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, UK.  The balance of conference participants is equally weighted across Jungian and Deleuzian studies.

 

From the About page:

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The aim of this project is to determine the logical and ethical implications of holism. Across many areas of contemporary culture we hear the concept of holism being invoked, as in holistic science, holistic spirituality, holistic healthcare, and holistic education. While there are different varieties of holism, each case implies a perspective in which the whole of a system is considered to be more important than the sum of its parts.

This project aims to determine the logical and ethical implications of holism.

For those of you who are interested, the conference website is here:

https://oneworldprojectholism.wordpress.com/

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When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book? -- Lichtenberg

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/20/2016 at 9:29 AM, chacheng said:

what is your dissertation research??

Ok, you asked for it! :P

Seriously, though, this might not make so much sense unless you're in to theory and Romanticism, but essentially what I do is develop a model of Romantic personhood ("subjectivity") that critiques the predominant model which prevails in Romantic (and other) criticism.  What I'm basically arguing (to make a longer story short) is that this predominant model is based on a combination of Freudian psychoanalysis and deconstruction, and I'm saying that Jung is actually a much better fit for developing a model of the human being which fits with the whole of Romantic philosophy and thought on what the person is.

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When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book? -- Lichtenberg

 

 

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Well ladies and gents, I'm off overseas.  Sorry for the delay in replying to this - been frantic getting things ready, checking and re-checking etc.

For those of you who are curious, the original proposal for my conference paper is below.  I'll post the actual conference paper later.

 

A Whole Made of Holes: Interrogating Holism via Jung and Schelling

This paper interrogates the idea of an ethical holism by articulating the theoretical countertransferences between Jungian thought and the Naturphilosophie of German philosopher Friedrich Schelling, which offers crucial insight into Jung’s embattled attempts to articulate the psyche-Nature relationship.  I begin with Schelling, who conceives Nature’s products as composed from an infinite matrix of “dynamic atoms,” mutually entangled points of intensity called actants.  Paradoxically singular yet entangled in each other, objects in Nature are “inhibitions” of this infinite actantial productivity.  Nature desires the whole of a final, absolute product, but this whole is made (im)possible by the infinite productivity which both constitutes and dissipates this horizon of totality.

I then articulate the remarkable isomorphism between the actants’ dynamism and Jung’s mature formulation of the archetype.  Indeed, what I call Jung’s “therapeutics of presence” (archetypes concretized for the sake of a linearized therapy) is troubled by the open energic economy of his metapsychology, which entangles archetypes with each other like Schelling’s actants.  Thus, this therapeutics’ teleological individuation attempts to contain an unruly purposiveness whose fluidity resists congelation into an overarching whole, which thus remains promissory.

I end with the question: can we ethicize this “whole made of holes,” a totality ostensibly more than the sum of its parts but nevertheless destabilized by its constituent seethe of nonmolar intensities?  And if we cannot escape ethics in the symbolic order, must we not look to its (Derridean) dangerous supplement?  I suggest that John Caputo’s “poetics of obligation,” a species of morality and decision irreducible to the ethical, offers a way of authentically addressing the open economy of Being articulated by both Schelling and Jung.

 

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When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book? -- Lichtenberg

 

 

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I'm sitting here at the Essex Business School as registration is wrapping up. Just beat a torrential downpour on the way in...what, in England?  😁

I've always loved this country, and not just because of the Romantic poets - friendly people, lots of greenery and a nice temperate climate.   I'll post more in the Holism Conference blog tonight (i don't know how some people can write a mile a minute on mobile screens!) - stay tuned in the blog for more!

When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book? -- Lichtenberg

 

 

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