I am not

I am not

segunda-feira, 24 de agosto de 2009

Imagine There's no Woman I (Introdução)

Tenho estado a ler o "Imagine There's No Woman: Ethics and Sublimation" de Joan Copjec. Deixo aqui alguns apontamentos divididos por várias partes. Começo pela introdução.

Neste livro Copjec continua o seu profícuo diálogo com Kant, nomeadamente em relação aos dois termos que servem de sub-titulo: a Ética e a Sublimação. O Feminino surge como pano de fundo.

Ao longo do livro apercebemo-nos da papel fundamental da questão do "Não-todo" (Non-All)1, eixo que se lhe torna fundamental.

Comecemos então pelo mesmo caminho que Copjec, ou seja, com essa provocação de Lacan na frase "Long live Poland, for without Poland there would be no Poles!"2. Esta frase leva-nos à questão do nominalismo (conforme o Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy: "The view that the only feature that particulars falling under the same general term have in common is that they are covered by the same term. Hence, universals are only names rather than entities in their own right, although there are universal elements in knowledge."). A questão fundamental entra dentro do campo da lógica: poderá haver um predicado (Polacos) ao qual nenhum conjunto (Polónia) corresponde? Não é por acaso que a nacionalidade surge aqui problematizada (sendo Copjec eslovena). O caso dos judeus destaca-se e Copjec dedica-lhe uma maior profundidade no capítulo 3 (através da leitura de Freud e do seu "Moisés Egípcio"). Mas nem só os judeus poderão atestar esta (in)correspondência entre predicado e conjunto. Daqui advinha-se a presença do predicado "mulher" e a sua problemática.
Deixo aqui o exemplo que Copjec dá, em relação à lição que ela pretende tirar da teoria dos conjunto:

"Gottlob Frege, curious about “aggregative thought”—that is, about what it is we do when we add things to each other in order to accomplish ordinary tasks, such as taking a census of citizens residing in a country—believed he could establish the laws of arithmetic on a purely logical basis and could thereby eliminate other, psychological methods of argument” to which he expressed an appropriate aversion. After condemning the historicism to which these other methods perforce give rise, he attempted to develop the laws of counting on surer ground by defining number as dependent on the procedure by which we subsume empirical objects under concepts to form sets (for example: concrete persons under the concept or predicate “Polish” to form the set of a distinct number of Poles). In other words, we do not merely count things, we count things falling under concepts. But this procedure did not turn out to be as solidly grounded as Frege thought it was. A single letter from Bertrand Russell was enough to unsettle Frege’s theory to such a degree that the several attempts made to restore it have all been shown to be flimsy and makeshift. In his momentous letter, Russell proposed a concept (or predicate or condition) from which it was impossible to form a set. That concept was “a set that does not include itself.

(pág. 3 meu negrito e ênfase)
Grande parte da problemática passa então por essa ideia do conjunto que não se inclui a si mesmo 3, algo fundamental dentro da obra lacaniana 4.
Copjec parte deste paradoxo para abordar a questão do Ser, sem nunca esquecer Kant:

"On the other hand, the paradox might be taken to exemplify Kant’s transcendental position that being is not a predicate, that being as such transcends and thus makes fail every concept or the very reason that tries to grasp it. The paradox would confirm in the first case the nonexistence, and in the second the existence of the being that is in question; but in each case it would be a certain impotence of thought that would be laid bare. Alain Badiou, militant mathematician and highly independent disciple of Lacan, has comprehensively argued, however, that the paradox exposes not the confused relation of thought to itself, but the power of thought, of the concept, to capture being, to effect existence. He draws from the paradox its ontological import, describing Russell’s concept as “a materialist argument [which] demonstrates that multiple-being is anterior to the statements that affect it.” One could restate Badiou’s conclusion thus: if we cannot proceed without hitch from a concept to the existence of its extension or to the existence of the totality of what it predicates, as Frege wanted to believe we could, this is not because at some point thought falters in its attempt to think being, but because being is not-all, being itself never forms a totality. Moreover, it is thought that makes an all of being impossible. It is thought that makes this impossibility of constituting an all a property (not of thought, but) of being. Russell demonstrated (which is not to say he argued, for indeed he resisted and continuously tried to undo what he had inadvertantly shown) not that we cannot think the all of being, but that there is none. There is no whole of being, no “all there is,” there are only appearances in their particularity."

(pág. 4 em itálico no original)
Qual a diferença entre estas conclusões e o nominalismo? Copjec responde de seguida:

"Lacan does not argue that there are no universals, only particular things; rather, he maintains that universals are real. To limit one’s observation only to appearances, to particular things, is to overlook the existence of the real, which is precisely what makes an all of being impossible. In other words, if there are only appearances in their particularity, this is due to the fact that the real, a by-product or residue of thought, detaches itself from thought to form its internal limit. This limit has both a synthesizing function that universalizes by causing thought to revolve around it and a detotalizing function, since it subtracts itself from thought. This subtraction, in turn, “establishes a fracture, a bi-partition, a splitting” in the order of being as appearance."

(pág. 4)

"Lacan approaches history by opposing Kant’s logic with a logic of a different sort: that of set theory.5 In so doing he does not deconstruct or disperse the universal; rather he redefines it as that which disperses being. But what is the point—for ethics—of toying with père Ubu’s silly maxim? I would claim that Lacan is recommending a new ethical imperative: “Imagine there’s no Poland!”"

(pág. 5, meu negrito)

"The obvious target of Lacan’s mockery is Kant’s belief that one could come up with a logical formula for determining whether an act was ethical or not, as if there could exist an external gurantee forthe rightness of an act.
But the imperative “Imagine there’s no Poland!” does more than this; it draws Kant’s ontology into the target area. For, to say there is no “Poland” is to say there are no noumena beyond phenomena, that there is nothing beyond appearances. Lacan’s attack on “Poland” is a radical one, it is an attack on the transcendental categories and the assurances they provide us: “When I am presented with a representation, I assure myself as a consciousness that knows that it is only representation, and that there is, beyond the thing, the thing itself. Behind the phenomenon, there is the noumenon.” In sum, the stone Lacan lobs at Kant is the hard stone of the real, which “takes out” the transcendental categories and drives a hole through phenomena. Or: the real displaces transcendence."

(pág. 5)
Ora esta pedra que Lacan atira contra Kant tem consequências, nomeadamente na questão da Ética enquanto elemento universal. Tal como Copjec salienta, Lacan no seu seminário sobre a sexualidade feminina estabelece uma ponte com o seu seminário sobre a Ética (como se estivesse a re-escrever o seu seminário sobre a Ética). É no famoso lema lacaniano de que "women does not exist" que encontramos o "não-todo":

"The famous formulation of a feminine “not-all,” that is, the proposal that there is no whole, no “all” of woman, or that she is not One, is fundamentally an answer not just to the question of feminine being, but to being as such. It is not only feminine being, but being in general that resists being assembled into a whole. Lacan leaves little room for ambiguity on this point when in the midst of making his argument about femininity, he pauses to remark, “Everything that has been said about being assumes that one can refuse the predicate and say ‘Man is,’ for example, without saying what. The status of being is closely related to this lopping off of the predicate.”"

(pág. 6)

"Of this bit of nonbeing—satisfaction, the object of the drive—it is also impossible to predicate anything, this time, however, not because it is common to all, but because it is singular. Support of the subject in his or her singularity, this being does not preexist the subject but comes about as a result of some “corporeal contingency” (SXX: 93). Jouissance, the experience of the body, is produced in a purely contingent manner; it simply happens to the subject. Moreover, if jouissance functions as support of the subject, it is in a way quite differentfrom the being of the philosophers. Jouissance is an unsupportable support, unbearable to the subject who defends against it through the production of a fundamental fantasy. The whole and shareable being of the philosophers has, then, no place in Lacan, who thinks rather of nonbeing as partial objects of the drive, partial objects of satisfaction; that are unique to the subject, who must now be approached in a finite way, that is to say, one by one."

pg. (7)

"For this reason Lacan must be understood to be making a claim about ethics in general in his Encore seminar, rather than proposing a separate ethics of the feminine. His ethics takes off from the proposal that being is not-all or there is no whole of being. And yet if it is woman who is privileged in Lacan’s analysis this is because she remains closer to the truth of being, while man obfuscates this truth through a nostalgic, secondary operation that allows him to maintain a belief in the plenitude of being to come. This is not to say that every woman acts ethically or that no man can (“There are men who are just as good as women. It happens” [SXX: 76]) only that the ethical act is in itself feminine in Lacan’s terms. It is woman who is guardian of the not-all of being."

(pág. 7)
Dentro deste quadro assume-se como fundamental a ideia de sublimação:

"Insofar, then, as sublimation can be claimed to result in a tempering of passions, these are nevertheless not the passions Kant referred to as belonging to the “rabble of the senses,” but those of the cruel superego. Sublimation mitigates moralistic frenzy, however, by marshalling a force no less terrible, no less inhuman, than that of any absolutely moral(istic) agent, and we will witness the terrible impersonality of that force in the examples we take up below."

(pág. 9)


1 Esse mesmo problema está presente ao longo de todo o livro do Slavoj Zizek "Parallax View" (sobre o qual postarei noutra ocasião), ligando-se com a obra de Agamben e Badiou.

2 Esta afirmação remete para a peça de Alfred Jarry "Ubu roi"

3 Uma página interessante em relação a esta questão dos conjuntos pode ser encontrada aqui. Diz respeito à teoria dos conjuntos de Cantor e aos seus paradoxos.

4 Ver Bruce Fink "The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance" (traduzido em português do Brasil como "O Sujeito Lacaniano" e publicado pelas edições Zahar) em particular o final do capitulo 3.

1 comentário:

Vitor Oliveira Jorge disse...

Aqui há sumo! Excelente! Matéria para pensar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Apre, é raro nos tempos que correm, fora dos livros! Obrigado!