2 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2021
    1. Plessner included fundaments about biological structure, organization, physiology, ecology, and ethology in his attempt at elaborating a non-dualist, and systematically coherent framework for all forms of life (Plessner 2019).Using positionalilty as a point of departure for elaborating a logic of life, including human life, is in fact tantamount to simultaneously treating the question of integration, or unification, as a point of departure. As Plessner makes clear, it is only with the living state that boundaries become something other than arbitrary and contingent. To the extent that life is defined by anything, it is defined by the dynamic enactment of a distinction between inner and outer, Plessner’s so-called “double aspectivity.” “Positionality” then is the categorical universal and sine qua non of the living state and conceptually defines the boundary between physical phenomena that, for all intents and purposes, are partes extra partes, from those for which some non-trivial level of system unity and integrity has been achieved. Plessner does not specifically take up the language of normativity and yet one can find it to be implicit in his account. The realization of a life, even at the most rudimentary, let’s say the simple, single-celled level, already entails a form of active mediation between reaching outward and enforcing a boundary, that suggests the regulatory enactment of an implicit norm. For Plessner, there is a logic of dialectical building of positional levels upon levels of reflection that culminate in the human level of “excentric positionality” whereby the “shared” (and invariably normative) perspective of the universal Other is always reflexively embodied and reflectively available. Which is to say that Plessner has long since offered a body-mind neutral account in which human-level normativity is located on a natural continuum in which questions of dynamic system integration are at least implicitly fundamental. Where Plessner fell short, I suggest, is in (only) deriving a largely monological account of the emergence of human-level normativity.Footnote 6 The following may be viewed as in part an attempt to offer the complementary perspective, albeit with the full reconciliatory and synthetic engagement to appear in subsequent work.

      Plessner's key insight of double aspectivity is the result of the boundary that creates the separation of the inner from the outer. The active mediation between reaching outward and maintaining a boundary suggests the regulatory enactment of an implicit norm.

  2. Oct 2021
    1. Both more fundamental than the Hard Problem of Consciousness, and more expansive in scope, the problem of integration/unification is also central to the problem of the origin(s) of life.

      Could anthropological and philosophical linguistics be included in this trans-disciplinary analysis? I think language also plays a central role, as we are already sophisticated language users by the time we consider the possibility of raising this kind of question.