martes, 8 de diciembre de 2009

Egos in Dispute

"But the question is whether it is necessary to find oneself." Deleuze, Thousand Plateaus p 156
Motivated by the exponential growth of my followers in this blog (from zero to one!) I will retake some words on spooky matters. In the former post entitled: Disciplined Minds, A Book by Jeff Schmidt I tried to expose the relations between two already classical debates: (i) modernism vs. postmodernism and (ii) developmentalism vs. non-developmentalism. In this post I try to further elaborate such relation. From debate (i) I will only discuss the issue of the existence of a canonical ego. While modernists defend its existence, postmodernists don't. This issue will be discussed in relation with debate (ii). Before that, we should notice the importance of this matter to the discourse of rationality. The point is that the choice of an ego precedes any –so claimed– rational choice, therefore the existence of a canonical ego allows the existence of a canonical rationality –I wonder how rational choice theorists deal with this issue–. Lets refresh the idea of an ego [1]; think of patriots, proletarians, citizens, christians, anarchists, homo-economicus, etc. Rationality can be seen as an act of local optimization where the ego corresponds to the function and the local resources is the local interval. Having say all this I suggest to see debate (ii) as a discussion on the evolution of the egos. On the contrary, the terms of debate (i) seems more static, typical of metaphysical debates, a matter of existence rather than survival or emergence. Nevertheless I would say that postmodernism is closer to a dynamical interpretation of the ego. Moreover, it is often seen in its anarchic taste which is closer to non-developmentalism, but I also recognize a developmentalist taste within postmodernism which can only be associated with modernism when the latter sets its canonic ego at infinity, in the aggregation of every being. In the latter vision I think of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and its Omega point.

[1] Here I have used the word "ego" in a philosophical rather than psychoanalytic way. It is closer to Heidegger's notion of the "being" – by the way I don't see Heidegger's Dasein as a canonical ego or being; as Deleuze says: "the whole is also a part" –.

Illustration from the animated short: Moznosti Dialogu by Jans Svankmajer.