Marcus Steinweg: A note on power

As is often the case, Müller is interested in the criticism of an understanding of enlightenment, an understanding that arises when potential experience is restricted. Yet experience extends beyond all knowledge and understanding. To experience something means to touch on the inconsistency of the established knowledge apparatus. An experience is similar to the irruption of something new. In this sense it is an event. By perceiving the event (the unexpected and impossible) the experience itself becomes eventful, and in accommodating the new and the unknown, it adopts their traits. As a blind power it opens itself up to what is as yet unnamed, to what can be called chaotic or incommensurable. This is not about the otherworld, but about a heterogeneity that belongs to the universe of homogeneous commensurabilities as something that is implicitly on the outside. So we have two opposite registers: a register of understanding and a register of experience. Opposition which, if nothing else, is of strategic value. As with all demarcations, it helps differentiate at the expense of a certain reduction and simplification. The Subject starts to experience something when it no longer understands. An experience touches on the inconsistence of one’s knowledge and on the dispositive that organises it. If knowledge and understanding are operations of the logos, reasoned actions that lead to a meaning, then an experience means to witness the inconsistency of the logos or the logical. The logos, which Heidegger – based on the Greek verb legein – interpreted as ‘gathering’ that limits the disseminal excess of diversity.

Complete text will be published at: Note on power

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