From: John Ransom <ransom@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 02:36:17 -0500 (EST)
Selection #12: In reintroducing the experience of the divine at the center
of thought, philosophy has been well aware since Nietzsche (or it should
undoubtedly know by now) that it questions an origin without positivity
and an opening indifferent to the patience of the negative. (p. 37)
What experience of the divine has been reintroduced at the center
of thought? Transgression. At one time transgression was linked
to a Christian hierarchy; it was, in a sense, at the "center of
thought" in the West. Transgression has been reintroduced in the
sense that events out of our control have pushed back onto us
the question of the meaning, value, and significance of
the transgressive act. And transgression *all by itself* has a
scintillating effect--isn't that what was said in Selection #11?
But even if that's true how, if at all, should it be employed?
Selection #13: No form of dialectical movement, no analysis of
constitutions and of their transcendental ground can serve as support for
thinking about such an experience [that is, experience of
transgression?-jsr] or even as access to this experience. In our day,
would not the instantaneous play of the limit and of transgression be the
essential test for a thought which centers on the "origin," for that form
of thought to which Nietzsche dedicated us from the beginning of his works
and one which would be, absolutely and in the same motion, a Critique and
an Ontology, an understanding that comprehends both finitude and being?
The usual ways of comprehending and even to an extent
intellectually taming transgressive acts by categorizing
them as good or bad, progressive or reactionary, revolutionary
or counter-revolutionary, and so on, in the name of the
dialectic or some other logic of history, cannot in the
end contain the transgressive act.
And is Foucault serious about this bit concerning Nietzsche?
What kind of thought did Nietzsche "dedicate us" (love to see
the original here) to from the beginning of his works? If the
beginning is _Birth of Tragedy_ then I imagine the thought
Nietzsche recommended to us would be that "it is only as
an aesthetic phenomenon that the world is justified." And is
that why it would be possible for our understanding of the
world to be both a critique *and* an ontology of it?