Advertisement

Temporality

Chapter
  • 46 Downloads

Abstract

1. The present is the temporality proper to the social. Following Deleuze’s remarkable analysis of time in Difference and Repetition, this claim may be read in two different ways, each implying a vision of society itself. On the one hand, in keeping with mainstream economics, psychology and what we could call ‘ego sociology’, the social solely consists of human agents, each confronting the range of options for every given choice in cognitive solitude, and acting to attain their rationally determined preferences. From this point of view, there is only the present, because all there is to the social is this perennial act of choice. The past, as former presents, has no bearing or grip on the present present because the passage of time makes no difference to the rational agent itself. The future, as the next choice, does not yet exist — but it comes to the same thing to say that the future is already present in the present, embodied in the rational agent itself; for, if time makes no difference to the one who chooses, then this formal function remains invariant. This can also be put in a third way: that, from this point of view, time makes no difference at all to agency in the social — which is to say that there is no time. That infamous Thatcherite emblem of neo-conservative and libertarian discourse, that there is no society, follows from this. The first way of interpreting the statement that the present is the temporality proper to the social is thus that the present qua agency is all that the social is.

Keywords

Social Formation Mainstream Economic Childhood Memory Empty Form Capitalist Social Formation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 2.
    See, for example, Pierre Bourdieu, ‘Social Space and Symbolic Space,’ in Practical Reason: On the Theory of Action, trans. Randall Johnson (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), 1–13.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Michel Foucault, ‘The Subject and Power,’ in Power, ed. James D. Faubion, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: The New Press, 2000), 341.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish, trans. Alan Sheridan (London: Penguin, 1977), 141.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Bergson, H. 2002. Bergson: Key Writings, ed. K. Ansell-Pearson and J. Mullarkey. London: ContinuumGoogle Scholar
  5. 8.
    Sigmund Freud, ‘Screen memories,’ in Standard Edition of the Complete Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 3, ed. and trans. James Strachey, in collaboration with Anna Freud, assisted by Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson (New York: Vintage, 2001), 301–22.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Norton, 1978), 56.Google Scholar
  7. This is what lies behind Roberto Harari’s assertion that parapraxes are acts of successful speech, because what is genuinely at stake in that speech is partially revealed, mi-dire (Roberto Harari, Lacan’s Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, trans. Judith Filc [New York: The Other Press, 2004], 62).Google Scholar
  8. 16.
    Jacques Lacan, ‘The Subversion of the Subject and the Dialectic of Desire,’ Ecrits: The First Complete Edition in English, trans. B. Fink in collaboration with Hélène Fink and Russell Grigg (London: WW Norton and Company, 2002), 676.Google Scholar
  9. 17.
    See Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, What is Philosophy?, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 153.Google Scholar
  10. 18.
    Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Times (Boston: Beacon Press, 2001), 3.Google Scholar
  11. 19.
    The remarks that follow are found in somewhat expanded form in Jon Roffe, ‘Time and Ground: A Critique of Quentin Meillassoux’s Speculative Realism,’ Angelaki, 17:1 (2012), 57–67; and in ‘The Future of An Illusion,’ Speculations: Journal of Speculative Realism 4 (2013).Google Scholar
  12. The latter text also criticizes Graham Harman’s object-oriented philosophy on the same point, but a much more elaborate and forceful presentation of the point can be found in Peter Wolfendale, Object-Oriented Philosophy (Falmouth: Urbanomic, 2014), 188–99.Google Scholar
  13. 21.
    See Elie Ayache, ‘The Writing of the Market,’ Collapse 8 (2014), 572f.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jon Roffe 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New South WalesAustralia

Personalised recommendations