June 9, 2012 by Peter Gratton
Here. I particularly like two things:
1. The rejection of the conatus as centering ethics. I think Hasana Sharp’s work on this is impecable and should be read by the many, way-too-many philosophers who don’t get Spinoza (and those who do), but I can never get around the fact that it’s defined specifically by Spinoza as perseverance and later Deleuze uses it to talk of a “pure life,” which in Spinoza thus leads to his politics of fear. Here Arendt’s critique of that modern legacy is crucial.
2. Secondly, Scu’s discussion about getting rid of the idea of the innocent of life follows from this. It is, by definition, a fully juridical concept–one that means someone is making that divide between what is and what isn’t so “innocent.” (In animality, it’s the cute vs. the shark–I say tongue only a bit in cheek.)
Finally, can we call a time-out in philosophy about the “innocent child”? It appears in Deleuze’s book on Life, Meillassoux’s work on the future God, and even in some discussions of Agamben. I always wonder what childhood these guys (and it’s always guys) had, since this is always matched with descriptions of unmatched joy, etc. After Freud, one would think we need not follow psychoanalysis, but at least we wouldn’t have to read such things as a pivot central in these works.