Ontologie de l'accident Essai sur la plasticité

  • Paperback
  • 112 pages
  • Ontologie de l'accident Essai sur la plasticité destructrice
  • Catherine Malabou
  • English
  • 10 May 2015
  • 9780745652610

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Ontologie de l'accident Essai sur la plasticité destructriceI'm unsure why this book is rated so highly I'd maybe say a solid 25? Her thesis is interesting that nobody has really looked into the idea of what she terms destructive plasticity but she doesn't actually look too deeply into what it is She references some interesting neuroscience studies and her discussions of Freud and Spinoza were also thought provoking I felt that her chapter's on Proust and Duras fell flat She has a clear idea of what she's talking about and she also seems to have case histories on it but the book is really just her stating that nobody has traversed the depths of destructive plasticity In the usual order of things lives run their course and eventually one becomes who one is Bodily and psychic transformations do nothing but reinforce the permanence of identity But as a result of serious trauma or sometimes for no reason at all a subject's history splits and a new unprecedented persona comes to live with the former person an unrecognizable persona whose present comes from no past and whose future harbors nothing to come; an existential improvisation a form born of the accident and by accident Out of a deep cut opened in a biography a new being comes into the world for a second time What is this form A face A psychological profile What ontology can it account for if ontology has always been attached to the essential forever blind to the alea of transformations What history of being can the plastic power of destruction explain What can it tell us about the explosive tendency of existence that secretly threatens each one of us Continuing her reflections on destructive plasticity split identities and the psychic conseuences experienced by those who have suffered brain injury or have been traumatized by war and other catastrophes Catherine Malabou invites us to join her in a philosophic and literary adventure in which Spinoza Deleuze and Freud cross paths with Proust and Duras did I understand it? No The dark side of plasticity Destructive plasticityexplosive plasticity; the accident which not only disrupts the form of identity but destroys the very substance of identity Recalling Kafka's Metamorphoses Malabou asks the reader to imagine a Gregor who is not only transformed but is completely indifferent to this transformation Reflecting on split identities and the conseuences of brain damage and catastrophe Malabou demands a philosophical articulation of what happens To think an ontology that can account for the accidental for absolute transition wherein the subject becomes a stranger to herself suddenly The uestion is followed through a philosophic and literary analysis motivated by the uest to find a way to think a mutation that engages both form and being a new form that is literally a form of being 17 The uest culminates in the wickedly dark suggestion that the history of being itself consists perhaps of nothing but a series of accident which in every era and without hope of return dangerously disfigure the meaning of essence91 This uestion of change within being ontological change is disturbing precisely at the level of identity Who can resolve to peer into the darkness when it reveals that we may become utterly estranged to ourselves? That emotional coldness is present as a latent threat within all of us perhaps just a brain injury away? This destruction this negativity is not simple formlessness Following Hegel and perhaps going beyond Malabou attempts to think through the concept of destructive plasticity an absolute negation A destruction without remission which she calls negative possibility Not the negation of possibility or the impossibility Without reducing it to affirmation the negative possibility is not the expression of any lack or any deficit It bears witness to a power or aptitude of the negative that is neither affirmed nor lacking a power that forms75 I find this last phrase particularly challengingIs this some kind of ultra rigorous apophatic theology that attempts to think creative formation without regard to essence? To refuse any answer or direction? What of that power to which the negative bears witness? If it can form does it not have within itself some direction or purpose even if it is hidden? And yet it is dangerous to essenciate Malabou holds fast to a difficult resolve to pursue the uestions of existence through the darkness of life's accidents By raising it in terms of a way to think the mutation of a form of being she avoids the trap of fascination with either darkness or form Indeed the very notion of destructive plasticity cuts against the optimism of much of contemporary neurology It is an interesting book and its main concept destructive plasticity fits well into what can be regarded as the main current of contemporary philosophy ontology It is a beautifully written essay without a doubt but it has some problems on philosophical argumentative levelEssay is uite heterogeneous and it develops around the few topics which are not necessary in conosonance with each oher a In introduction and in the first chapter Malabou introduces the concept of destructive plasticity and links it specifically to cerebral injuries It is neurological rather than psychoanalytical look on the trauma Her prime example is Alzheimer disease b Malabou attempts to present destructive plasticity as something that can help us to understand traumas in our contemporary culture She talks aobout many kinds of accidents which can work as a trigger to negative plasticity from political isolation and natural catastrophies to car accidents She also links it with feelings of desolation and indifference c She discusses few examples from literature Kafka's Metamorphosis is only mentioned in the passing Passage uoted from In Search of Lost Time is interesting but again it's only one scene She also utoes much of the ending from Mann's Buddenbrooks but her interpretation feels flat She definitely pays biggest attention to novels from Margarete Duras and her interpretation includes some interesting observations on Duras' style of writing d Mainly through literary examples Malabou tries to broaden the scope of destructive plasticity She definies it as accidental but not eventful and opposes it to deleuzian becoming She tries to find the work of negative plasticity in senility and death She says that although becoming old is a process it always includes that decisive moment of break which erases all posiblities of return It is unexampled eventfulness in which one becomes other to what one was it's entire life Destructive plasticity is interesting concept and Malabou encloses variety of examples clinical and fictional but ontology of destructive plasticity which is in the title of the essay is something that still remains to be done A slightly dyspeptic but nevertheless very stimulating foray into the philosophical 'dark side' insight into the story of Daphne and Phoebus Kafka's Metamorphosis Spinoza neurobiology Freud's death drive and the all power of the accident's efficacy in changing being Weighty but important this book delights and instructs two worthwhile ends A small book but dense Oh boy I was very glad I read the summary chapter on Malabou's work in Ian James' The New French Philosophy so I had some context but the book itself is fascinating and excellent I'm looking forward to reading of her work Although the book adds the interesting notion of negative plasticity and starts on an interesting note discussing Metamorphosis it falls flat in making a clear point and only scratches the surface of the contribution the many scientists and philosophers mentioned can add to this discussion The book is focused on empiricist science and misses the philosophical discussion about the meaning of plasticity and specifically negative plasticity and its implications Sufficiently interesting essay on destructive plasticity Along the way the author wrestles with the likes of Damasio Spinoza Kafka and Freud Promising but then it tapers and draws its case studies from fiction which seems to me unreliable The translator insists on cut and dry Sigh