Friday, September 17, 2010


A thing is infinite. That is, if it is a thing in truth, and not a heap. A heap, too, can be a thing, of course, and perhaps it is in observing the thinghood of a heap that we can see the infinity of a thing most unquestionably, and venture an essay on the source of the infinity of a thing.

Let there be a heap of laundry accumulating on the floor of a young fellow's dorm room. At first, the fellow's roommate kicks off his socks after getting into bed and pushes them out onto the bare floor. The next morning, the fellow returns from class to find his roommate has finally awoken and dressed, which means his underwear have more or less joined the socks. The fellow figures his roommate will clean up later—too busy playing Halo at the moment; the fellow understands how it is. That night the fellow's roommate deposits his pants, undershirt, t-shirt and cap on top of the socks and underpants, perhaps with the idea of putting the same clothes on in the morning. But overnight the loose collection of articles of clothing has transformed into laundry, and the roommate confirms their expiration as components of a wardrobe by jumping out of the top bunk directly over them.

All is not right now in the room, our fellow discerns as he blearily awakens.

To be continued.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Attempted paraphrase of Phenomenology of Spirit, A.I. "Sense-Certainty"

The deficiency of sense-certainty is not the lack of a warrant for following it through to a thing-in-itself, but its incapacity to fix certainty on any “this”—neither the “this” which it claims to sense nor the “this” which it is as absolute source of sensation. It cannot even refer to what it supposes itself to have as certain—since in the moment of grasping it, its “this” disappears—and the “this” which would be left over by negating the “here and now” is not immediate, which is to say it is an abstraction from anything which could be the certain object of sense. The negation of the abstract universal does not, however, simply sweep the last shred of certainty away into a Kritik-al trashcan, but turns universality back over to the world of the senses. “This” insofar as it can have a referent refers to a universal “here-now” which, infinite in itself, comprises many finite “here-nows.” The universal “this” encompasses the “thises” which have proven unreal. It is the thing in its thinghood—a mediated immediacy.