Thursday, 18 November 2010

63rd Session of Philosophical Foundations of Law and Finance (Friday 19 Nov, 6-8pm, Room 5.16, 309 Regent Street, University of Westminster)

Dear All,

Following from Joe's association of SWOT analysis with Duns Scotus, Fiona offered to engage us in a further exploration of this instrument for thinking by asking this question: Is the SWOT Analysis an emblem for our times or is it really perhaps trying to be an engram? (engram comes from field of neuro psychology/behaviourism - a physical brain change supposed to take place as a result of experience and to represent memories - Karl Lashley)

This prompts questions such as what is the relationship between experience and knowledge, nous and pathos, the one and the many? We can then bring into the frame some of Agamben's thoughts on the scholastic philosophers and particularly Duns Scotus. We shall start with an exploration of the emblem in Western culture from the 1977 work, Stanzas, and consider allegory in relation to evil, followed up by the more metaphysical account in The Coming Community of Singularity - Principium Individuationis - looking at two lovely terms: quodlibet (translated as 'whatever' which is good given we live in a 'whatever' culture) and Fiona’s favourite - 'haecceity' meaning 'thisness'.

Agamben writes, 'Whatever is the matheme of singularity, without which it is impossible to conceive either being or the individuation of singularity...Whatever is constituted not by the indifference of common nature with respect to singularities, but by the indifference of the common and the proper, of the genus and the species, of the essential and the accidental.' (18.9)

What’s matheme? According to Joe, mathemes are the type’s math signs and symbols which certain philosophes following Badiou are using in reacting or responding to the technical mathematical-scientific thinking occurring today. For example, in Badiou's "Logics of the World", Badiou takes his mathemes from set theory to some of the technical language of algebraic topology. This is rough going if one hasn't a familiarity with the basic hieroglyphs. But the point worth making is that the nuances and precision implied by mathematical tools looks much like the creations of modern poetry. Here sign and symbols form their own networks of meaningful worlds which we may or may not draw down into our own.

All of this obviously critical to an adequate engagement with the SWOT vehicle and not always taken into account. So, Emblem or Engram, any thoughts?

Further to an exploration of the ontological significance of SWOT incorporating the scholastic notions of haecceity (thisness) and quodlibet (whatever) we will consider the symbolic of the SWOT emblem as well as its diabolic (according to Giorgio Agamben). Friday night at Joe's for a date with the devil (really).

Afterwards we can head for one of the restaurants in the area, where we can combine good company with delicious food (Italian, Korean, Japanese, British etc whatever we feel like).

Best regards,

Rezi, Fiona, Joe


No comments: