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Donkel: The Theory of Difference

  • footnote 2 , page 1 "It is clear, at least in the diverse tradition of Buddhism, that one fo the prefiguring issues has been the hermeneutic question of how to understand the difference embodied in pratiya-samutpada, or "dependent co-arising" see for example:
    • Garma C. C. Chang -- The Buddhist Teaching of Totality: the Philosophy of Hwa Yen Buddhism
    • Jay Garfield -- The Fundimental Wisdom of the Middle Way
    • David J. Kalupahana -- Nagarjuna: The philosophy of the Middle Way
    • T.R.V. Murti -- The central philosophy of Buddhism
    • Murvyn Sprung -- The problem of two truths in Buddhism and Vedanta
  • [great. two hours later and I'm still on page one. Built the glossary and rebuilt Reseach01 though...]
  • this book addresses difference in Heiddeger, Deleuze, Derrida, Merleau-Ponty, and (new to me) Luce Irigaray
  • The notion of Difference is related first in early near-easy creation myths; the "separation of earth and sky" myths. Greek cosmogeny: Hesiod's Theogony as well as Genesis 1:2-8 god creates heaven and earth by "separating the waters under the firmament from the waters above."
  • Deleuze takes on Spinoza in Expressionism and philosophy: Spinoza and Liebnitz in The fold: Leibnitzand the Baroque w/r/t indentity (I think)
  • Early (modern) British Idealists (e.g. Bradley, Joachim, etc.) sought to prove that all relations are "internal" to their terms. Russell and Moore were critical of this notion because, "the doctrine of internal relations brought with it an epistomological holism that made knowlege of particulars partial and incomplete, unless grasped within the context of the 'absolute.' It has been suggested however that the debate over internal relations missed the mark, inasmuch as proponents and detractors alike continued to treat all relations as essentially 'external,' hence, as particulars dissected out of a presumed aggregate, thus continuing the reification and exclusion of difference from identity as formalized by Aristotle." (2)
  • Whitehead and Hartshorne argue for "process metaphysics." H. cites the asymetrical relation between precise predecessors and and non-specific successors. Hence relation between present and past is internal, and that of present and future is external.
  • Hegel, in Logic, discusses difference and negation in determining Identity (pg 171-4; trans Wallace; 2nd ed.). It is the negation of this idea that forms the crux of continental thought on the matter. It is the negation of the totalizing tendancy of an absolutist, dialectical thought.
  • footnote 14: "It is precisely the distance between Hegal's 'negation' and Spinoza's affirmative 'expression' that animates Deleuze's oeuvre." (10).
  • "by one account, the mark of the postmodern is its lack of any unifying narrative or "story" that would tie together the multiple aspects of meaning and value present in experience. Hence, the postmodern is characterized by a certain irreducible multiplicity, a certain privileged respect for difference or differences... Characteristic of our age, [postmodernism] seeks authentication by positing an openly ironic, if not paradoxical, theoretical sanction." (3-4)
  • Saussure: "In language, there are only differences without positive terms." (Course in General Linguistics, 120)
  • merleau-ponty brings philosophy back to the life-world and renews interest in the body as a subject of thought... [interesting...]
  • Deleuze seeks to "articulate the inarticulable; a sense of difference irreducible to representation and the philosophy of identity. For Deleuze this amounts to teasing out of the tradition a pure 'internal' difference, prior to the logic of determination that drives Hegel's dialectic, and ripe for harvest through a radically 'horizontal' form of thought that emphasizes penultimacy of barriers and the permeability of boundaries." (5)
  • "A deconstructive reading proceeds by fixing on specific hinge points, or undecidables [the moment of enlightenment, e.g.] , within texts, which, due to the function of difference as their condition of possibility and impossibility, are shown to be sites of contamination, where the aspirations of identity toward presence and the self-same are prepetually deferred." (5)
  • Irigaray, is a woman, for one thing, a most influential feminist, devoted to recovery of the sexual difference that lives off the reduction of the feminine "other" to the masculine same." (5)
  • all propose an ontologically primary difference over identity...
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