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Pereira-Colson dialogue. 1. Pereira to Colson
Translated by Jesse Cohn
Article published on 18 January 2006
last modification on 27 April 2015

by r-c.
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Questions concerning the “Petit Lexique Philosophique de l’Anarchisme de Proudhon à Deleuze”:

Rereading your article on Spinoza having led me to reread your Petit Lexique, I benefit from it to send some questions to you which this work raised for me, hoping that this does not annoy you too much and that you find nevertheless an interest in these perhaps somewhat awkward and naïve questions:

F. Constantini, "Nietzsche"

1) Can one make a thought issuing from Nietzsche compatible with the concept of (social) “justice” issuing from anarchism? Indeed, for Nietzsche, the claim of “justice” is conceived as an effect of ressentiment. (A similar question could be put about the concept of “equality.”) [1]

2) Can one make an anarchist “ethics” utilizing “judgement” and “evaluation,” as you do, compatible with the reading of Spinoza by Deleuze? Indeed, Deleuze in a course affirms that Spinoza’s ethics dispenses with any evaluation and the form of judgement. [See Spinoza, Ontologie-Ethique, Cours à Vincenne, 21/12/1980 - digitized on Webdeleuze]

3) Can one think the “common,” a “collective reason,” while dispensing with the concepts of “justification” and “communication”? Indeed, is it possible to establish a “collective reason” without calling upon the concept of argumentation? Doesn’t your conception of language neglect too much the linguistic turn in philosophy and in particular the neo-pragmatist theories of argumentation? [2]

4) Admittedly, the concepts of “individuality” and “singularity” are important to anarchism; nevertheless, can one completely do without the concept of universality in an internationalist conception of anarchism? Is it not in Spinoza that a kind of universality is set up in the idea that, for example, “Nothing is more useful to man than man”? [3]. Can’t one see the universal as something not given a priori and formally, but as something collectively constructed in practice, therefore concretely? [4]

5) Certainly, libertarian individualism leads to a certain extent to “perspectivism,” to the “point of view”; nevertheless, can a coherent thought, i.e., one compatible with a life in common, do without any concept of truth? Doesn’t Nietzsche’s criticism of the concept of truth indeed result in renouncing the concept of truth as what is disinterested and preexists practice, doesn’t it open the way to a pragmatic conception of truth? Indeed, can one do without the concept of truth without simultaneously making impossible both thought (self-refuting relativism) and life in society?

Thanking you once again for your patience,

Very cordially,

Irene Pereira

Continued

Notes :

[1See for example Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, “Skirmishes of an Untimely Man” § 34, “Christian and Anarchist”

[2See also Bakunin, The Knouto-Germanic Empire: “I cannot claim to be truly free myself except when my freedom [. . .] mirrored by the equally free consciousness of everyone, is reflected back to me by universal endorsement.”

[3See Macherey, Introduction to the Ethics of Spinoza, vol. 4

[4See also Bakunin, The Knouto-Germanic Empire: “I will become really free only through the freedom of the others, so that the freer are the men who surround me, the wider and deeper becomes my freedom.”


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