Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Critical or Pre-Critical?

Kind of stacks the deck doesn't it? Post-critical is ruled out a priori. Despite the obvious influence of Kant on Heidegger and Derrida, for example, it is not at all clear to me that they are any closer to Kantian critical philosophy than is Althusser.

The lines of lineage are a bit more crossed and re-crossed than all this. It reminds me of Agamben's dichotomy between philosophies of immanence and philosophies of transcendence, or of Althusser's claim that the two tendencies of philosophy are materialism and idealism. I understand those as tactical distinctions, but to take them too seriously seems to me to be a mistake. It's dangerous to too closely identify with one's polemics.

Over on Unemployed Negativity, it has been suggested that our task is that of "thinking social relations beyond the category of the individual." That seems more fruitful to me. And if the line of demarcation is between philosophies of individuality and philosophies of trans-individuality, then Heidegger and Derrida end up on the same side as Althusser and Deleuze.