Re: [OPE-L] Derrida's ghosts

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Fri Oct 28 2005 - 16:16:20 EDT

On Fri, 28 Oct 2005 09:04:53 -0400
  Jerry Levy <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM> wrote:
>> The ghost as a cipher of iteration is particularly suggestive. At the
>> beginning of Specters of Marx, Derrida talks about the way in
>> which the anticipated return of the ghost may be mobilized on
>> behalf of a deconstruction of all historicisms that are grounded in a
>> rigid sense of chronology.
>> 'Haunting is historical, to be sure', he writes, 'but it is not dated, it
>> is never docilely given a date in the chain of presents, day after day,
>> according to the instituted order of the calendar
>> .' The question of the revenant neatly encapsulates deconstructive
>> concerns about the  impossibility of conceptually solidifying the past.
>> Ghosts arrive from the past and appear in the  present. However, the
>> ghost cannot be properly said to belong to the past, even if the
>> apparition represents someone who has been dead for many
>> centuries, for the simple reason that a ghost is  clearly not the same
>> thing as the person who shares its proper name. Does then the
>> 'historical'  > person who is identified with the ghost properly belong
>> to the present?  Surely not, as the idea of  a return from death
>> fractures all traditional conceptions of temporality.
>> The temporality to which  the ghost is subject is therefore paradoxical,
>> as at once they 'return' and make their  apparitional debut. Derrida has
>> been pleased to term this dual movement of return and inauguration
>> a 'hauntology', a coinage that suggests a spectrally deferred non- origin
>> within grounding  metaphysical terms such as history and identity."
>> (Buse & Scott, 1999, p.10-11)
> His is a conception of temporality, I think,  which is inconsistent with
> _both_  temporalist _and_ simultaneous conceptions of value.

No, no. The latter school, revaluing inputs with ouput prices, wishes away
that the present is indeed haunted by the ghost of value past. The conception of time
implicit in the comparative static method is highly questionable. But it is an assumption
economists learn to make of reality that has for them most often become
inseparable from reality. You know, Jerry, as a non economist I still consider it a great
loss  TSS school to which you call attention in your post exited this list. .

More later to Andrew T and Ian, but Ian surely we do not live in a present cut
off from the past and the future. Our present is haunted by the past (but
how can the past if it is past haunt the present?), our present
is yet non contempareneous (we may speak of uneven development, vestiges, etc.).
Subjective time is not objectivly chronological. But we would have to read Bergson,
Husserl, Heidegger and others on time if we are to understand the nature of Derrida's
critique of a certain kind of historicism (one of the great ill defined words
in the humanities). And Marxists may benefit most of all
from thinking through Ernst Bloch of course. I don't know if jargon is the problem here
but the assumption of a lot of knowledge about continental philosophy. About which I of course am
no expert.
And  to Åndrew T I think the quotes I have in mind are in the chapter on the rate and mass of
value, the chapter right after the one on the working day. I think! Check later.
Bye Rakesh

> Derrida would have said that both TSS and SSS are locked into the
> confines of "traditional schoilarship"?

> In solidarity, Jerry

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