The idea of selling the courageous message of a brand, as opposed to a product, intoxicated these CEOs, providing as it did an opportunity for seemingly limitless expansion. After all, if a brand was not a product, it could be anything. [Naomi Klein, No Logo, 22]
The BwO is what remains when you take everything away. What you take away is precisely the phantasy, and significances and subjectifications as a whole. [Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 168]
My first guilty feeling in putting these quotes beside each other is that it’s a cheap-shot, or a lazy shot at least. No Logo was one of those Important Books of the noughties, but we have – it would seem – so completely absorbed everything it says that we can afford to be dismissive and cynical about it. Having a copy of it on your bookshelf is an invitation for a masochistic circle-jerk of the right-on. Naomi Klein as the Alain de Botton of the left. Continue reading →
In any discussion of emergence, it is often difficult to separate this concept from its semantic cousins who all live in the same philosophical neighbourhood. Sure, they’re related, but they don’t really talk much. There’ll be a polite nod, and maybe a few minutes of chit-chat about how Uncle Dynamis is these days, but they don’t have a huge amount to say to each other beyond that. Conversation will slow, headphones will pop in, and each will return to their own little world.
Change is central to philosophy either for reasons of counting it as the defining principle (as Heraclitus does), or for reasons of escaping it and its counter-intuitive implications (Parmenides, Plato, Hegel, whoever else). Continue reading →
The best known recent (!) critique of the metaphors we use in our thought is probably Rorty‘s Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, after which we are rightly wary of the implications of our various figures of speech. This has been a big part of what Ricoeur calls the hermeneutics of suspicion, all the the various structuralists and post-structuralists and the we-haven’t-even-heard-of-structuralism-so-don’t-you-dare-lump-us-in-with-those-guys-ists. We know that style in philosophy is never neutral, that what we say is influenced by how we say it. There was a hope that some other metaphors might set the tone for a departure from old ways of saying and thus give us new ways of thinking.