Of Plural Neutrality and Utopia

  • Louis Marin
Part of the Contemporary Studies in Philosophy and the Human Sciences book series (MIP)

Abstract

Two circumstances gave birth to this book. They are seemingly unrelated, and their import is unequal: May 1968 and a colloquium organized two years later by the University of Montreal devoted to neutrality in higher education and in the student-teacher relationship. The former event, it has been said repeatedly, is directly linked to the question of utopia, if not in the specific demands that surfaced, at least in its more universal nature as a revolutionary festival. For a few weeks historical time was suspended, all institutions and laws were again challenged in and by discourse, and networks of communication were opened among those immersed in one way or another in the experience. May 1968 was not only a liberating explosion and an extratemporal moment of overthrow; it was also the seizure of every opportunity to speak.1 Subjects and objects were exchanged so that suddenly discourse seemed to conjure up its referent. It appeared to make manifest, through its verbal expression and by its images, desires. Both roaming in reality and fixated in words, these desires could not have been accomplished by discourse itself. Rather, it brought those who spoke to such a point of excess that they could do nothing but misjudge the discourse that animated them. They consequently found themselves beyond themselves, beyond what they thought or believed.

Keywords

Coherence Immobilization Posit Rium Nite 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See Michael de Certeau, La Prise de la parole ( Paris: Seuil, 1969 ).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Louis Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes toward an Investigation)” Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays ( New York and London: Monthly Review Press, 1971 ), pp. 127–186.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    P. Bourdieu and M. de Saint-Martin, “Conscience de class et excellence scolaire,” Les Annales E.S.C. 1971.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    See Heidegger’s texts concerning this, quoted in F. Choay, L’Urbanisme, utopies et réalites (Paris: Seuil, 1965).Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft (Riga: 1781), p. 142. [Critique of Pure Reason (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1966)]Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976 ). My whole development on the neutral owes its basis in great part to the work of Derrida.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    Pascal, Lettres et opuscules “De l’esprit géometrique,” (Paris: Aubier-Montaigne Lafuma, 1955), pp. 138–39.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    J. Derrida, Writing and Difference ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978 ).Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    See Louis Marin, Sémiotique de la Passion, topiques et figures (Paris: Desclées de Brouwer, 1971). See especially the Introduction and p. 140.Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    Algirdas Julien Greimas, Du Sens (Paris: Seuil, 1970), pp. 141–145.Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    Pascal, Pensées (Paris: Delmas, 1955); second edition, fr. 258 (Brunschvicg Minor, fr. 180).Google Scholar
  12. 20.
    Claude Lévi-Strauss, Structural Anthropology (New York: Basic Books, 1963).Google Scholar
  13. 32.
    Edmund Husserl, Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie, Part 3, Chap. X, p. 109 —General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology (London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd.; New York: Humanities Press, Inc., 1969 ).Google Scholar
  14. 41.
    P.Bourdieu and J.-C. Passeron, La Reproduction (Paris: Minuit, 1970), see especially pp. 230 ff.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Humanities Press Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis Marin

There are no affiliations available

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