Theriomorphous - Thought of as having the form of a beast. Used of a deity.
p3 - …on the last day, the relations between animals and men will take on a new form, and that man himself will be reconciled with his animal nature.
Alexandre Kojève -> <- Georges Bataille (student)
p.4 - In Gnostic mythology, the archons are the demonic entities who create and govern the material world, in which the bright and spiritual elements are
found mixed and imprisoned in those dark and bodily.
p.6 - Kojève : The disappearance of Man at the end of History is not a cosmic catastrophe: the natural World remains what it has been from all
Hegel: action=negativity -> “nothing more to do” = “negativity with no use”
p.8 No animal can be a snob. (Kojève)
p.10 After the battle of Jena, the
vanguard of humanity virtually reached the end of man’s historical
evolution. Everything that followed—including two world
wars, Nazism, and the sovietization of Russia—represented nothing
but a process of accelerated alignment of the rest of the world
with the position of the most advanced European countries.
p.10 - the US reached the final stage of Marxist communism
Japan - post-history, snobbery, totally formalised value. Every japanese is ready to commit suicide. Japanisation of the westerners, incl. Russians.
p.12 - Soloviev
in Kojève’s reading of Hegel, man is not a biologically defined species, nor is he a substance given once and for all; he is, rather, a field of dialectical tensions always already cut by internal caesurae that every time separate— at least virtually—“anthropophorous” animality and the humanity which takes bodily form in it.
p.12 - Man is the fatal disease of the animal. Foucault - biopower.
N4 Mysterium disiunctionis
Life cannot be defined.
Plants. Nutritive power. Aristotle - nutrition, sensation, thought.
The isolation of nutritive life (which the ancient commentators will already call vegetative) constitutes in every sense a fundamental event for Western science.
Bichat: animal life -> <- external world; man = two animals internal+external
Vegetal vs. relational life - > what is human?
Man - divine element; we should replace that notion with:
man - as what results from the incongruity of these two elements, and investigate not the metaphysical mystery of conjunction, but rather the practical and political mystery of separation.
It is more urgent to ask where - in man - man and non-man is separated, animal from human, rather than take positions on great issues like human rights or values, etc.
N5 Physiology of the Blessed
p. 17 medieval treatises on the integrity and quality of the body of the
What about secretions after resurrection?
Augustine: Adam’s sexuality before the Fall did not resemble ours, since his sexual parts could be moved voluntarily just like hands or feet, so that sexual union could occur without the need of any concupiscent stimulus.
p. 18 - The two principal functions of animal life—nutrition and generation—are directed to the preservation of the individual and of the species. Useless in the immortal life. Defecation!
Sex and food.
p. 19 - The resurrection, he teaches, is directed not to the perfection of man’s natural life, but only to that final perfection which is contemplative life.
Blessed life is not animal/plant life.
N6 Cognitio experimentalis
Determining the border between human and animal.
p.21 If animal life and human life could be superimposed perfectly, then neither man nor animal—and, perhaps, not even the divine—would any longer be thinkable.
Paradise calls Eden back into question.
p.22 - In the state of innocence [he writes] men did not have any bodily need of animals. Neither for clothing, since they were naked and not ashamed, there being no motions of inordinate concupiscence; nor for food, since they fed on the trees of Paradise; nor for means of transport, their bodies being strong enough for that purpose.
they needed them for cognitive experiment - de homnis nature.
Concentration and extermination camps.
P.23 - Surely Descartes never saw an ape. - Linnaeus (Sweden - Amsterdam)
Linnaeus, the founder of modern scientific taxonomy, had a weakness for apes.
He explains how difficult it is to identify the specific difference between the anthropoid apes and man from the point of view of natural science.
P.24 - The peremptory gesture with which, in the Systema naturae, he assigns Homo to the order of the Anthropomorpha (which, from the tenth edition of 1758, will be called Primates ) alongside Simia, Lemur, and Vespertilio (the bat) cannot, therefore, be a surprise.
Language would become man’s identifying characteristic par excellence.
p.25 - Edward Tyson’s treatise Orang-Outang, sive Homo Sylvestris: or, the Anatomy of a Pygmie.
Ape - man - angel.
Essay title: Orang-Outang, sive Homo Sylvestris: or, the Anatomy of a Pygmie Compared with that of a Monkey, an Ape, and a Man. To which is added, a Philological Essay Concerning the Pygmies, the Cynocephali, the Satyrs, and Sphinges of the Ancients. Wherein it Will Appear that They are all Either Apes or Monkeys, and not Men, as Formerly Pretended.
p.26 - Linnaeus attributed to his maxim: man has no specific identity other than the ability to recognize himself.
We are born nudus in nuda terra.
Johann Georg Gmelin. Theodor Klein.
Homo sapiens, then, is neither a clearly defined species nor a substance; it is, rather, a machine or device for producing the recognition of the human.
P.27 - Homo is a constitutively “anthropomorphous” animal (that is, “resembling man,” according to the term that Linnaeus constantly uses until the tenth edition of the Systema), who must recognize himself in a non-man in order to be human.
Pascal: “he who acts the man, acts the ape”.
N8. Without Rank
Celestial <- human -> terrestrial
Dignitas = rank.
P. 29 As the free and extraordinary maker and molder of yourself, you may shape yourself into whatever form you prefer. You can degenerate into the lower things, which are brutes; you can regenerate, in accordance with your soul’s decision, into the higher things, which are divine.
P.30 Linnaeus to classify man among the Anthropomorpha, the “manlike” animals.
Homo ferus, a variant that seems to belie the characteristics of the most noble of the primates point for point: it is tetrapus (walks on all fours), mutus (without language), and hirsutus (covered with hair).
Lord Monboddo, Histoire d’une jeune fille sauvage, trouvée dans les bois à l’âge de dix ans.
N9 Anthropological Machine
Ernst Haeckel, 1899. - gospel of scientific progressivism.
Application of darwinian evolution.
P. 34 - his specific contribution— of which he was rightly proud—is to have hypothesized
as a form of passage from the anthropoid apes (or man-apes) to man a peculiar being that he called “ape-man” (Affenmensch) or, since it was without language, Pithecanthropus alalus.
Eugen Dubois, discovered on the island of Java a piece of skull and a femur similar to those of present-day man.
Language: In identifying himself with language, the speaking man places his
own muteness outside of himself, as already and not yet human.
linguist, Heymann Steinthal:
“We have thereby been able to show why language originated from the human
soul and its perceptions, and not from that of the animal…. language is so necessary and natural for the human being, that without it man can neither truly exist nor be thought of as existing. Either man has language, or he simply is not.”
p. 36 - If this element [language] is taken away, the difference between man and animal vanishes…
Contradiction: “I contradicted my presupposition: that is, that the origin of language and the origin of man were one and the same; I set man up first and then had him produce language.”
… precisely because the human is already presupposed every time, the machine actually produces a kind of state of exception, a zone of indeterminacy in which the outside is nothing but the exclusion of an inside and the inside is in turn only the inclusion of an outside.
The machine of earlier times works in an exactly symmetrical way. If, in the machine of the moderns, the outside is produced through the exclusion of an inside and the inhuman produced by animalizing the human, here the inside is obtained through the inclusion of an outside, and the non-man is produced by the humanization of an animal.
No animal can enter into relation with an object as such. —Jakob von Uexküll
UEXKull - > Heidegger, Deleuze
P. 40 - Uexküll instead supposes an infinite variety of perceptual worlds that, though they are uncommunicating and reciprocally exclusive, are all equally perfect and linked together as if in a gigantic musical score.
Unitary world does not exist - many different worlds. Umgebung - objective space. “carriers of significance” (Bedeutungsträger) or of “marks” (Merkmalträger), which are the only things that interest the animal.
Every environment is a closed unity in itself, which results from the selective sampling of a series of elements or “marks” in the Umgebung. Worlds of the spider and the fly.
P.42 - Paul Vidal. Ratzel’s theses: Ratzel’s theses, according to which all peoples are
intimately linked to their vital space as their essential dimension, had a notable influence on Nazi geopolitics.
The animal has memory, but no memories. —Heymann Steinthal
Tick doesn’t lie the taste of blood; perceives no environment. it looks for
1) door of mammals;
2) the temperature of 37 degrees;
3) typology of skin characteristic of mammals
P.47 without a living subject, time cannot exist.
N12 Poverty in World
The behavior of the animal is never an apprehending of something as something. —Martin Heidegger. Course title 1929-30: The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude.
P.50 - Life is a particular kind of being; but essentially it is accessible only in
Dasein (existence). Life is not a mere being-present-at-hand, nor is it Dasein. In turn, Dasein is never to be defined ontologically by regarding it as (ontologically indefinite) life plus something else.
p. 51 - humanitas also appears as something ungraspable and absent, suspended as it is between
a “not-being-able-to-remain” and a “not-being-able-to-leave-itsplace.”
Uexküll’s studies explicitly described as “the most fruitful thing that philosophy can adopt from the biology dominant today,”
P.52 - The animal can only behave insofar as it is captivated in its essence. . . . Captivation is the
condition of possibility for the fact that, in accordance with its essence, the animal behaves within an environment but never within a world (a bee sucking on the honey even though the belly is removed).
P.53 - What does the animal meet when it enters into relation with its disinhibitor?
Heidegger: we do not have an apprehending (vernehmen), but only an instinctive behaving (benehmen), insofar as the “very possibility of apprehending something as something is withheld [genommen] from the animal, and it is withheld from it not merely here and now, but withheld in the sense that it is ‘not given at all.’”6 If the animal is captivated, it is because this possibility has been radically taken away from it.
P.54 - Beings are not revealed [offenbar] to the behavior of the animal in its captivation, they are not disclosed and for that very reason are not closed off from it either. Captivation stands outside this possibility.
“the animal fundamentally lacks the possibility of entering into relation either with the being that it itself is or with beings other than itself. Because of this being ceaselessly driven the animal finds itself suspended, as it were, between itself and its environment, even though neither the one nor the other is experienced as a being.”
p.55 - If behavior is not a relation to beings, does this mean that it is a relation to the nothing? No!
The ontological status of the animal environment: it is offen (open) but not offenbar (disconcealed;
distinction between animal and stone: being open - having-to-do-with. Being open in captivation is an essential possession of the animal. On the basis of this possession it can do without [entbehren], be poor, be determined in its being by poverty.
N13. The Open
p.57 - “the open, in which every being is freed . . . is being itself’
Reversal of the hierarchical relationship between man and animal questioned by Heidegger: While man always has the world before him—always only stands “facing opposite” (gegenüber) and never enters the “pure space” of the outside—the animal instead moves in the open, in a “nowhere without the no.”
ale¯theia (unconcealedness-concealedness of being) = open?
p 58 - “”For the animal is in relation to his circle of food, prey, and other animals of its own kind, and it is so in a way essentially different from the way the stone is related to the earth upon which it lies.”
p. 59 - The animal is at once open and not open—or, better, it is neither one nor the other: it is open in a nondisconcealment that, on the one hand, captivates and dislocates it in its disinhibitor with unmatched vehemence, and, on the other, does not in any way disconceal as a being that thing that holds it so taken and absorbed.
Captivation: 1) spellbinding and intense openness; 2) closed in a total opacity, not capable of disconcealing its own disinhibitor.
P.60 - The animal cannot comport itself toward the not open; it remains excluded precisely from the essential domain of the conflict between disconcealment and concealment.
“the essence of life is accessible only through a destructive observation…life is a domain which
possesses a wealth of being-open, of which the human world may know nothing at all”
p.61 - “profound boredom” + animal captivation = enchantment-enchainment
P. 62 - Perhaps it is not the case that being and the human world have been presupposed in order then to reach the animal by means of subtraction—that is, by a “destructive observation”; perhaps the contrary is also, and even more, true, that is, that the openness of the human world (insofar as it is also and primarily an openness to the essential conflict between disconcealment and concealment) can be achieved only by means of an operation enacted upon the not-open of the animal world.
N14 Profound Boredom
Boredom is the desire for happiness left in its pure state. —Giacomo Leopardi
Attunement— that is, the fundamental manner in which Dasein is always already predisposed.
3 types of boredom:
1) being left-empty;
2) being-held-in-suspense, abandoned in emptiness - when we’re bound to something boring; beings in their totality are indifferent;
3) Profound boredom
Boredom = close proximity to animal captivation.
P.66 - brachliegen - “to lie inactive”, the field that is left unworked in order to be planted the following year
p. 67 - potentiality, possibilities and Dasein.
p.68 - In captivation the animal was in an immediate relation with its disinhibitor, exposed to and stunned by it, yet in such a way that the disinhibitor could never be revealed as such. What the animal is precisely unable to do is suspend and deactivate its relationship with the ring of its specific disinhibitors.
the Lichtung (clearing, animal captivation) truly is a lucus a non lucendo: the openness at stake in it is essentially the openness to a closedness, and whoever looks in the open sees only a closing,
only a not-seeing.
P. 69 - Concealedness: who does the concealing and how it takes place, when and where and for whom concealment exists, all that remains undetermined.
undisconcealedness = the not-open of the animal.
unconcealedness / concealedness, disconcealment / concealment
P. 70 - From the beginning, being is traversed by the nothing; the Lichtung is also originarily Nichtung, because the world has become open for man only through the interruption and nihilation
of the living being’s relationship with its disinhibitor.
Dasein is simply an animal that has learned to become bored; it has awakened from its own captivation to its own captivation. This awakening of the living being to its own being-captivated, this anxious and resolute opening to a notopen, is the human.
Under particular circumstances, like those which man creates in laboratories, the animal can effectively suspend its immediate relationship with its environment, without, however, either ceasing to be an animal or becoming human. Perhaps the tick in the Rostock laboratory guards a mystery of the “simply living being,” which neither Uexküll nor Heidegger was prepared to confront.
N15 World and Earth.
The relation between man and animal, between world and environment - issue of the work of art (Heidegger). Dialectic between openness and closeness.
The stone is wordless.
P. 72 - The reciprocal opposition of world and earth is strife.
Strife - the opponents raise each other into the self-assertion [Selbstbehauptung] of their essence. The self-assertion of essence, however, is never a rigid insistence upon some contingent state, but surrender to the concealed originality of the provenance of one’s own being.
For Heidegger a political paradigm (indeed the political paradigm par excellence) is at stake in the
dialectic between concealedness and unconcealedness.
P. 73 - The ontological paradigm of truth as the conflict between concealedness and unconcealedness is, in Heidegger, immediately and originarily a political paradigm.
Heidegger’s reproach of metaphysics.
If humanity has been obtained only through a suspension of animality, and must thus keep itself open to the closedness of animality, in what sense does Heidegger’s attempt to grasp the “existing
essence of man” escape the metaphysical primacy of animalitas?
Men are animals, some of whom raise their own kind. —Peter Sloterdijk
Heidegger was the last to believe that the anthropological machine could still produce history and destiny for a people (it was his error).
Now it’s evident there are no historical tasks in men.
P. 76 - Hegelo-Kojevian idea of the end of history: man has now reached his historical telos and, for a humanity that has become animal again, there is nothing left but the depoliticization of human societies by means of the unconditioned unfolding of the oikonomia, or the taking on of biological life itself as the supreme political (or rather impolitical) task.
Natural life and well-being as task.
P. 77 - The only task that still seems to retain some seriousness is the assumption of the burden—and the “total management”— of biological life, that is, of the very animality of man.
Are we still human?
The total humanization of the animal coincides with a total animalization of man.
1. Anthropogenesis is what results from the caesura and articulation between human and animal.
2. Ontology (first philosophy) - the fundamental operation in which anthropogenesis, the becoming human of the living being, is realized.
3. Being, world, and the open: interruption and capture of the living being’s relationship with its disinhibitor. The open is nothing but a grasping of the animal not-open. Man suspends his animality, creates a free zone where life is captured.
4. Being is always already traversed by the nothing.
5. Decisive political conflict is between the animality and the humanity of man. That is to say, in its origin Western politics is also biopolitics.
6. Today the machine is idling (end of philosophy, the completion of the epochal destinations of being).
Two scenarios based on Heidegger’s perspective:
(a) posthistorical man no longer preserves his own animality as undisclosable, but rather seeks to take it on and govern it by means of technology;
(b) man, the shepherd of being, appropriates his own concealedness, his own animality, which neither remains hidden nor is made an object of mastery, but is thought as such, as pure abandonment.
All the enigmas of the world seem slight to us compared to the tiny secret of sex. —Michel Foucault
W.Benjamin - man, nature and history. The “saved night”.
P. 81 - The separation between nature and redemption is an ancient Gnostic motif.
P. 82 - Imperialists: the mastery of nature is the sense of all technology.
Technology is rather the mastery not of nature but mastery of the relation between nature and humanity. It is true that men as a species completed their evolution thousands of years ago; but humanity as a species is just beginning its.
What does “mastery of the relation between nature and humanity” mean?
Benjamin: “dialectic at a standstill”, the machine stopped.
Sexual fulfillment delivers the man from his mystery - the man is free to die because
his life has lost its mystery. He is reborn, the woman frees him from the ties to Mother Earth.
P. 87 - in this mutual disenchantment from their secret, they enter, just as in Benjamin’s aphorism, a new and more blessed life, one that is neither animal nor human.
Titian has created “a realm in which to reflect on the relationship between body and spirit” (Dundas)
N20 Outside of Being
Esotericism means: the articulation of modalities of non-knowledge. —Furio Jesi
2 century AD: Gnostic Basilides, exegesis of the Gospels.
God will bring on the whole world the great ignorance, so that every creature may remain in its natural condition [kata physin] and none desire anything contrary to its nature.
P.90 - darkness and light, matter and spirit, animal life and logos (the articulation of which in the anthropological machine produced the human) are separated forever. But not in order to close themselves in a more impenetrable mystery; rather, to liberate their own truer nature.
It surely “does not see the open,” in the sense that it does not appropriate it as an instrument of mastery and knowledge; but neither does it remain simply closed in its own captivation.
in-gnosco = “to forgive”
P.91 - Heidegger’s ontology: letting be. In what way can man let the animal, upon whose suspension the world is held open, be? - To let the animal be would mean: to let it be outside of being.
P. 92 - Once again, the solution of the mysterium coniunctionis by which the human has been produced passes through an unprecedented inquiry into the practico-political mystery of separation.