Category Archives: Michel Serres

State of the Non-Exception: Sovereign Creativity Beyond the Juridical

According to theorist and American University in Cairo professor Graham Harman, “one of the most important decisions made by philosophers concerns the production or destruction of gaps in the cosmos. That is to say, the philosopher can either declare that what appears to be one is actually two, or that which seems to be two is actually one” (Harman 2). This paper examines the philosophical gap created by the state of exception, recognized as distinct yet instrumental in the definition of the sovereign expression of power, as identified by German political theorist Carl Schmitt. From this recognition, the paper proposes a subsequent closure or destruction of an aspect of the Schmittian gap through the analysis and claim that the framing of the exception is implicit to the epistemological construction of creative sovereign power. The paper furthermore claims that, through a reading of Schmitt’s Political Theology, this epistemological non-exception — a quantum indeterminancy of the possibility for exception that resides at a superposition of radical potentiality outside the instantiation of materialized exceptions (as non-geometry would be to the instantiated model of Euclidian Geometry) expressed through juristic decision — already resides within Schmitt’s exception but is subsequently de-emphasized in the 1922 analysis. Through the analysis of contemporary explorations of the exception, particularly informed by an epistemological opening brought forth by Agamben and consequentially interpreted through the loosely described radical meta-epistemologies of “possibility or fiction becoming real” of Laruelle and Negarestani, the claim is advanced for a model of a non-exception that is latent across the epistemological power-production system. The non-exception, it is therefore argued, is the consequence of the creative fiction-writing act of the sovereign in the construction and exercise of exception and law.
Fenrir and Tyr
Exceptional Topology
In a topological map of sovereign expression, where does the exception reside? In response to the rationalists’ exclusion of the exception, a reaction to the seeming irrationality of the exceptional terrain that exceeded analytical and scientific measure, Schmitt’s analysis constructed a conceptual Venn diagram that carved sovereign expression into two: codified law and exception. Instead of rejecting the exception as an incoherence or error in the law, Schmitt recognized a situational law from which both exacted and excepted expression was included: “The sovereign produces and guarantees the situation in its totality” (Schmitt 15). By dividing sovereign law into codification and exception, Schmitt illuminated the fabric that binds them both.
Of even greater importance was Schmitt’s recognition of the exception as event, within the durationality of sovereign engagement in the law. Beyond the static representation of sovereign code and non-code in a sociological Venn-space, the law was thrown into time and observed to be functioning particularly at the moment of juristic decision. “It would be a distortion of the schematic disjunction between sociology and jurisprudence if one were to say that the exception has no juristic significance and is therefore ‘sociology.’ The exception is that which cannot be subsumed; it defies general codification but it simultaneously reveals a specifically juristic element – the decision in absolute purity” (Schmitt 13). It is this accounting for chronos, specifically in the recognition of the exception as an occurrence at the moment of decision after the formation of the law, that requires calling into question. While Schmitt acknowledges the capacity for the exception to exist beyond codification, particularly in its totalizing occupancy, he suggests its most manifest appearance is in the expression of sovereign authority through the juristic narrative of the decision. Specifically, “the exception appears in its absolute form when a situation in which legal prescriptions can be valid must first be brought about. Every general norm demands a normal, everyday frame of life to which it can be factually applied and which is subjected to its regulations” (Schmitt 13). The most pronounced expression of sovereign authority is in its judgment, according to Schmitt: the citizen stands awaiting law or exception before the seated sovereign resting upon his throne.
Yet while the intent of the exception is the rule over chaos through the construction of normative narratives manifest in contract and law, Schmitt appears to recognize that the problem is further upstream in epistemological navigation. Requiring homogeneity in normative narration for legal order, “a normal situation must exist, and he is sovereign who definitely decides whether this normal situation actually exists” (Schmitt 13). Yet normativity cannot be constructed at the tail end of the process; it is an ingredient implicated in the epistemological soup from which an instantiated politics is nourished. Juridical determination and judgment certainly informs society, particularly as an expression of sovereign-epistemological interpretation through the laughter, scowl or condemnation of the sovereign at the interpretive application of the law, this trailing action is much too late: the moans and organic leakages of the recently-impaled citizens marking the path toward the castle of the penultimate sovereign, Wallachia ruler Count Vlad III, conveyed a confirmation of imperial Potestas as a strong power understood through acts and edicts, but leaves insufficient understanding of the fictional writing of sovereign Auctoritas. Vlad the Impaler, like all good sovereigns, was first and always a great writer of fiction.
Hyperstitional Author
In the etymological indications latent within the Latin Auctoritas, from which Agamben notes a connection to the root Latin auctor (author) and authorship, the auctor is “the person sui iuris (the pater familias) who intervenes – pronouncing the technical formula auctor fio (I am made auctor) – in order to confer legal validity on the act of the subject who cannot independently bring a valid act into being” (Agamben 76). From this authorship of construction and bringing-into-being, the possibility for topological reunification of Schmitt’s opening definition of the sovereign as the author of the decision-exception may be radically reconstructed into a new claim that:

Sovereign is he who narrates the law from the hyperstitional potential of the non-exception.

Given that this assertion may take some unpacking in order to digest, one should first assume a topological “concept space” of all potentiality. This lumpy plane of pregnant conceptual chaos is the epistemological fabric, hyperreality or superposition from which all combinations expressible at any time are realized. Numerous poststructural philosophers have contributed to this topological space of unrealized epistemological potential, from Michel Serres and a sea of chaos from which islands of order may emerge (the author’s approximation of Serres Genesis) and Francois Laruelle’s radical superposition of non-philosophy and the concept of the One, to German poststructuralist Niklas Luhmann’s conception of autopoiesis and autoemergence, from chaos into order.
Connecting to the gap Schmitt recognizes in the Venn diagram of “exception and law,” we can subsequently place the exceptional-codified duality firmly within instantiated space of the realized and actualized. As a construct that is no longer unimagined, the exception is instantiated through the construction of the sovereign, driven perhaps by the state of emergency or crisis, but also by opportunity for the realization and formation of new powers: rarely is sovereign expression solely constituted by mere reaction.
Within the topological space of all potentiality, the pregnant void, the sovereign must certainly effectuate a construction of the law from this raw epistemological fabric. But how does this assemblage of the law occur? While Schmitt provides us with an account of the exception’s application following the law’s formation, its ancestry is left unquestioned. How did the law arise and who authored its interpretation? From what fabric is the narration cut? What deals were made and lies told to negotiate its insertion? Beyond the interpretation of an already-written law, what is absent in both Schmitt and Agamben’s analysis of epistemological creation is a linkage that connects the radical framework of potential realization to the political movements of the sovereign
It should subsequently be proposed that the greater role of the exception is in the framing and maintaining of the law itself. This is a matter of writing new fictions, or more specifically, fictions that are intended to be hyped, experimented with, and considered for their utility in becoming real interpretations that construct meaning. For the sovereign, Negarestani’s hyperstition, understood as “a fictional work or belief system that somehow gradually takes on the appearance of reality” (Szulborski) is a new interpretation of that which may become law but isn’t yet. From this conceptual appropriation, the sovereign borrows from the archives of the non-exception (the not-yet-realized exception that lurks awaiting extraction from the void) and presents a new fiction outside of the codified law, creating and experimenting with the potentiality of the radical construction. This is the Happy Hunting Grounds on the sovereign’s private estate, the grounds for game and sport that are limited to sovereign privilege, for the construction of new narratives which may, if useful, become law and/or exception. New powers, certainly those necessary due to Schmitt’s unforeseen contingencies but also those which adapt and advance sovereign influence commensurate with social and technological advancement.
As Agamben examines Schmitt’s exception in its contemporary application in the Guantanamo detention camps of then United States President George W. Bush, the non-exception finds itself illuminated in the drone warfare of his successor, President Barack Obama. Confronted with campaign commitments to conclude the extra-legal detention camps and equally constrained by a pragmatic realization of the depletion and exhaustion of neo-liberal terror-eliminating idealism, the necessity for creative narration was immanently realized as the Obama administration sought solutions from the archive of the non-exception. Classified target lists constructed and executed without juristic intervention, kill lists reviewed and ‘actioned’ by a select executive panel and approved by the sovereign himself, actualized a technocularcentric hunting ground for the play of new sovereign authority.
Conclusion
Sovereign power rarely rests, evolving and radicalizing as necessitated for its survival. Schmitt’s conception and Agamben’s advancement of the theory of the exception appropriately unites the exceptional and codified law into a common topology and furthermore propels it into the durationality of sovereign event-space. Residing on the inheritance of a structuralist past from within which the law is always previously written, the prior interpretation lacked sufficient acknowledgement of the creative authorial power of the sovereign, particularly in the engagement and play with the potentiality of the non-exception that, given hyperstitional treatment, becomes juristic material for a not-yet-codified law.

Works Cited

Agamben, Georgio. 1998. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen. Stanford University Press.

Agamben, Georgio. 2005. State of Exception, trans. Kevin Attell. University of Chicago Press.

Foucault, Michel. 1969. The Archaeology of Knowledge, trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith. London and New York: Rutledge, 2002.

Foucault, Michel. [1975-1976] 2003. “Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-1976”, trans. David Macey. Picador, reprint edition.

Harman, Graham. [1922] 2012. Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy. Winchester UK and Washington DC: Zero Books.

Kara, Ashok. 2001. Ghosts of Justice: Heidegger, Derrida and the Fate of Deconstruction. iUniverse.

Kelly, Kevin . 1995. Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, & the Economic World. Basic Books.

Laruelle, François. 2011. Philosophies of Difference: A Critical Introduction to Non-philosophy, originally published in French as Les philosophies de la difference by Presses Univeritaires de France, 1986. London and New York: Continuum.

Negarestani, Reza. 2008. Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (Anomaly). Melbourne: repress.

Rescher, Nicholas. “Process Philosophy.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2010. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/process-philosophy/ accessed April 21, 2012.

Robinson, Keith. “Between the Individual, the Relative and the Void: Thinking the Event in Whitehead, Deleuze and Badiou,” in Event and Decision: Ontology and Politics in Badiou, Deleuze and Whitehead, ed. Roland Faber, Henry Krips and Daniel Pettus. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.

Schmitt, Carl. 1985. Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, originally published as Politische Theologie: Vier Kapital zur Lehre von der Souveranitat, trans. George Schwab. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Szulborski, Dave. 2005. This is Not a Game: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming. Incunabula.

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State of the Non-Exception: Sovereign Creativity Beyond the Juridical by James R. Saker Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

On Deleuze and “M as in Maladie”

From our EGS sessions with writer Chris Kraus, a short writing on the film “M as in Maladie” that explores Deleuze’s perspective on illness (from when he was terminally ill) and examines the Greek island and leper colony Spinalonga:

Crumbling gated walls
Cracked pavement
Smooth submerged stones beneath unsettled water
A small mound of empty glass medicine vials
Plaster peeling off its wall
The disconnected terminus of a silent harbor dock
A hand caressing circles into a bed cloth

Parasites all around, in body and speech, malady, infection and genetics
The parasite’s rasp and gasp, interrupting speech with its divination
Crumbling plaster walls blotched with mold
Fat, clubbed fingers, impossibly stretched faces
Productive parasites, focusing ones project, disconnecting community and creating new autonomy

Post-Structural Judging Paradigms

A work in progress that I’ve been remiss in communicating is my effort on communicating a post-structural interpretation of policy debate. I’ve had many discussions through post-round criticism and out-of-round discussion regarding this interpretation but as a serious work-in-progress, it’s expression has been notably absent.

Having squirreled three times this year (once in policy, twice in LD), I’ve paid careful attention to the panel presented and the nature of the squirrel. I’ve felt that this analysis would be beneficial in the representation and communication of my paradigm; something any person seriously concerned about the pedagogy of debate would be mindful of. This weekend’s squirrel at Westside (Nebraska) in novice policy semifinals was for a Barstow team, against a Millard West team I had just previously voted up in quarterfinals. The squirrel and its post-round discussion by all three judges illuminated the source of difference. As Deleuze would say, it was an intensive difference, not extensive difference.

Beyond Stable Meaning
A clear difference in my approach to the round is in the stability of meaning. Derrida illuminated serious problems in post-Socratic meaning through his deconstruction of Saussure, Levi-Strauss, Rousseau and others who embraced logocentrism (spoken word as true and the written as shady and questionable). Curiously, logocentrism continues to be a dynamic in the round, but an even greater question of hermeneutics (theory of interpretation) comes into play in many rounds where it is assumed that Enlightenment’s scientific approach to reason will unveil the absolute and error-free truth of the warrant. It is this Enlightenment hermeneutic that I’m terribly at odds with and tends to present the clinamen for the squirrel (clinamen is represented here as the least deviation from the laminar flow that gives rise to the vortex of a different order — a new conclusion and an independent outcome, as approximated from Michel Serres’s interpretation of Lucretius as expressed in Genesis, The Natural Contract, and Angels: A Modern Myth).

In my interpretation of the warrant, I’m fully comfortable with warrants being signified and re-signified through a system of volatile and dynamic meaning. Stable meaning is a myth: walk in the shoes of a risk manager in a global corporation and you’ll experience first-hand the extreme uncertainties of “Things that are Stable and Not Risky” go radical on you and give clinametic rise to the “unexpected” vortex of the existential-risk black swan. Meaning is shifting, unstable, uncertain and filled with noise.

Subsequently, I approach the presentation of warrants (evidence) as within this system of instability. I find it relevant to apply the claim signified to the warrant, especially given that the claim is usually made at reasonable speeds and the warrant delivered at a velocity far beyond. I find this to be pedagogically consistent, given that in the executive decision-maker climate, most warrants are rarely questioned and claims accepted unless there is reason to question the provider of the warrant. Senior executives tend to rely on the claim presented (and expect tacit representation of warrant) given that the ethical construct is one based predominantly on trust; get the warrant wrong and you usually won’t be along very long.

The Hermeneutic Experienced
An instantiation of this difference follows: Imagine an critical affirmative 2AC presents Berube’s wonderful 1997 warrant that claims that deontological impacts must be evaluated first (that delicious “Five horsemen of the apocalypse” card by former USC debate coach and CEDA theory guru Dr. David Berube). But imagine further that the affirmative claims the card says that “Beer solves poverty.” Now certainly my judging panel of policymakers and college-attending judges will recognize this card and find that claim to be absurd. As soon as the Negative puts the most minor of offenses on the flow (say, referring to their 1NC utilitarianism card and giving a warrantless claim that it’s a better card, and leaving it that), my fellow judges will gladly leap into Interventionland, determining the “beer solves poverty” claim to be fictional and failing to access the “real truth” that’s within the Berube card.

I contest that this is blatant, un-creative hermeneutics. First of all, to make this leap to a “fixed truth of the Berube card” destroys the potentiality of Derrida and deconstructionism. It goes well beyond that, in fact, denying the capacity for the counter-read. It deprives the 2AC from uncovering a new approach to meaning of the Berube evidence. But furthermore, it’s exceptionally interventionist and, I dare say, disqualifies a judge who makes this leap from claiming to be tabula rasa (on this note, I’d suggest that such paradigms are mythical in a system of fluid, unstable meaning).

Instead, I see the 2AC resignification of the Berube as an establishment of a temporary point of order — a footprint (Michel Serres) to which the affirmative seeks to instantiate a new local order of meaning. When presented, I see the least interventionist hermeneutic model as one that accepts this resignification until there is counter-advocacy sufficient to disrupt and re-re-signify.

The Hermeneutic Applied
So how does a team apply and integrate this hermeneutic? First of all, as I explain to any team approaching a panel, I strongly recommend playing the numbers. I’m a game player as are many, and advise teams to work the numbers. If two of the judges are college age policymakers and I’m the questionable third (as Michel Serres would proudly associate), play to the majority. But should you encounter my paradigm in the solitary, or have the capacity to integrate it with your advocacy to the judging panel, the following method may be beneficial.

Consider our Berube scenario: the 2AC has given us a counter-read (regardless of whether this was innovative, shady or outright confused). The Negative should recognize that I will accept the new system of signification absent a reasonable challenge. But what constitutes that challenge? Certainly not a 5-second analytic saying “The 2AC gives their Berube 97 but our 1NC Smithee ’08 is better.” Instead, draw out the Berube, re-re-signify it, or contrast it with the Smithee ’08. Best of all, contrast it, provide me a hermeneutic micro-framework of how to interpret the decision between the two cards, and call for the cards to be read through that framework at the end of the round should they be material to the ballot. I find this approach to be least interventionist in a system of unstable meaning and find great comfort evaluating the competing hermeneutic framework debate (at which even I conclude that we have to “fish or cut bait” and determine a temporary moment of stability through the hermeneutic framework in order to derive a ballot). I typically find that framework through the process of locating resonance-of-meaning and finding that resonance as a signification of a temporary order capable of offering and sustaining the hermeneutic model. This resonance model itself is something that merits further elaboration and exploration in a future post.

Deconstructing Beck’s Risk Society

I’m tempted to work through a formal deconstruction of Ulrich Beck’s concept of the Risk Society, especially through its most current model identified in his 2009 work, World at Risk. In it, Beck establishes that following post-Enlightenment innovations in science, quantitative analysis and risk management practices, societies have rationalized a space for the tolerance of risk and loss within the system. Practices that recognize this risk as a social norm include insurance payments and revised legal codes that prescribe the obligation for remuneration for individual losses. Through the expansion of these practices, Beck claims that this gives rise to a society that has accepted risk in the local realm (as the consequence from local risk is covered by code or culture), permitting it to rise to the global condition where excessive systemic risk is the consequence. Global warming, world financial meltdowns and other unprecedented catastrophes are the consequence for this local-to-global tolerance for risk. This sustains Beck’s fundamental analysis that post-Enlightenment interpretations as applied to the local-to-the-global are a root cause and reconceptualization of reason is necessary to address risk-as-the-global.

However, it appears that a Derrida deconstruction is applicable to Beck’s analysis. Instead of the local giving rise to the global, Beck’s argument appears to require inversion to exploit this misunderstanding in the causal analysis: Post-Enlightenment systems profoundly affect the global/universal in interpretation as much as the local and certainly fall short when handling local multiplicities and systems of difference. Modern universals are problematic spaces that one should be wary of trusting, given their proclivity for semiotic, not literal collapse. In fact, it is difficult to read Beck’s analysis of such concrete universals without inquiring where they physically reside, as every historical society has had its universal monsters that lurk beyond the Symbolic. Pure functions derived of semiotic construction, these global risks are error-filled signifiers themselves, troubled as much as the local signifiers and their noise.

It would appear that the misconceptualization that Beck identifies is occurring out of Enlightenment’s system of reason instead functions as a global-to-the-local, where societies social-universal fear of risk-as-the-global (“the great and terrifying uncertainty that is out there beyond us”) is instead used by power structures to effect Foucaultian discursive power upon the individual. Panoptic systems multiply throughout institutions and societies in an effort to control the local as rationalized by the fear of the global; Beck’s World at Risk is a corrupting function within that produces a systemic end-to-end noise of the risk signifier, not the outcome, of Enlightenment’s misconception which functions as the catalyst for surveillance state rationale.

Initial thoughts to the potential for deconstruction are encouraging, as I’d suggest that Beck even falls prey to the same idealistic interpretations of the risk-free “noble savage” who only becomes corrupted and brought-into-risk through the application of the system of risk management, quantitative analysis and interpretation through written standards, models and consultative texts. This would initially appear to correspond to Derrida’s criticism of Rousseau, Saussure and Levi-Stauss, providing risk as the analog to the “taint” that occurs to the signifier through semiotic systems. I would fully expect this corruption to function as signifier risk, noise, error. Serres’s Parasite seems to be a curious candidate for positive explanation of the risk that is within both local and universal systems and absent a serious evaluation of the Foucaultian aspect, any World at Risk is remarkably incomplete.

Momentary Vortices of Clarity

One of my favorite experiences encountered when pouring through a new work, uncovering new terrain, is the rare but profound illusion of clarity that may arise. I’m well past referring to those moments as illuminations of truth; I’ve spent too much time with the thoughts of Jacques Lacan and Michel Serres to believe such pure truths are approachable (mere approximations are my aspiration, at best). Perhaps, however, they’re best recognized as moments of new creation. A new synthesis. A witnessed vortex.

Earlier last week, we encountered over a foot of snow followed by blizzard winds in excess of 40 mph. Jay and I spent time looking out our back sliding glass door where periodic snow vortices gave rise to temporary moments of order, arising out of laminar flows, etching near-perfect ellipses below and embracing life-like presence as they danced before us. Eventually they disappoint, lifting away or deconstructing into insignificance and chaos. Temporary moment, policy round, new song by a favorite artist, ascending in experimental form only to drift away.

Of Debate and Angels
As our local debate circuit experienced, we cut our first Serres affirmative (one doesn’t dare call a Serres-influenced case a “critical” affirmative) in one of those vortex moments. It functions on multiple levels, as I’d imagine Serres would certainly encourage, embracing pedagogy, hermeneutics, post-epistemology and other aspects of comprehension. As a first iteration, the case operates as a black box, helping us understand the expectations of our circuit’s condition of discourse as much as it does to introduce Serres to the circuit. In this primary respect, the bidirectional discourse is exceptionally true to the philosophy Serres. We use this case as a team and school who has no tradition in debate, let alone policy debate, and the evaluation, reaction, criticism, inspiration and argumentation that occurs within the round as well as outside (especially through the conceptual engagement of the judge) are all moments where the initial vortex forms. Being outside the institution and discursively naive, another parallel.

But this first swirl is fleeting and immature. There is much work to do as we share the experience of the Serres contribution. While I plan on a greater introduction to his thought and why it’s overdue for a significant presence in policy debate (as well as elsewhere), I thought I’d provide a first iteration of post-constructive explanation to those who are curious and courageous enough to venture here. It’s a fragment at best; no system or totality. Vortexes don’t work that way, they come and go as experiments.

Post-Deconstructionist Interdisciplinarity
Serres is an creative, positive optimist. We’ve had decades of post-modernism (more than a century, if you recognize the critique of German Expressionists like my favorite, Franz Marc). Ultimately, the post-modern led to Deconstruction, Derrida, Dismay, Disfunction, Delusion, Deleuzian, Distrust, Discouragement and other Depressions. Left with scraps to defend, fragmentation, schizophrenia and psychosis. Akin to a Millard South Fight Club case (with or without aquafication), there was a rock bottom to realize to the (post)modern. But where does one go past this bottom?

Often, when one’s lost, we retrace steps. Question earlier forks taken. Serres, described as a truly amodern philosopher by Bruno Latour, returns to pre-Socrates in his origination of a new fork. Serres is shockingly radical through a rejection not only of the Enlightenment’s claim that natural science has exclusive access to reason, but rejects over two thousand years of institutional construction on science, reason, time and culture. It’s usually at this point that the PhD in Philosophy, frustrated at all the “great poetry but incomprehensible constructions” throws the book out the window, protecting his decade investment in an established institution of thought. The Church precedes the Faith. But for the rest of us who are more interested in uncovering “that which exists past deconstruction” — the open door to the next epoch, the subsequent plateau, the emerging island of order in the sea of chaos — Serres presents one of the strongest indications as to the location of the door. And if you’re a debater who is skeptical of the puppy-mill format of policymaker debate, realizing it’s yet to attain a single net benefit after four decades of practice, chances are the door Serres opens to the realm of the reason we’ve excluded might just be for you.

All indications are that this next island is one where the attribute of interdisciplinarity is a primary strength, both individually and socially. Breadth, not depth, is key to understanding the challenges before us. Particle colliders approximating energy levels within a second of the Big Bang. Billions of hungry Hiroshimas rotting in silos. Nanobots seeking a grey goo meal. More than sufficient depth with no progress in understanding. The singular march of Enlightenment’s Science has birthed the Society of the Idiot Savant.

A second hermeneutics arrives. This potentiality is an curious one, for should it resonate in the next island’s construction, it will have a powerful synthesis that advances systems that embrace difference. The philosopher of relational metaphor, post-modern systems of difference are replaced with temporary orders constructed of unique likeness. Can it be that the post-modern of homogeneity that gave rise to Third Reichs and other great de/reterritorializations can suffer its final critique? Certainly much mischief resides in the next epoch, but one has to wonder just how significant the heterogeneous systemic value will affect the systems of order built upon it.

Vortical Iterations
When approaching such a (re)construction of philosophical thought as Serres undertakes, explanations of the thought requires more than illustrating difference. Serres’s unique conceptualization of time, history, rejection of the Enlightenment’s Ju-Piter (separation of the natural sciences from the social sciences with a unique role of the hyphen), significance of relationship as primary and subject/object as ancillary, the post-Marxist ascent of the first world creating a third and fourth world in structural poverty, the post-structural semiotic role of prepositions as messengers in semiotic systems of meaning, the role of chaos and uncertainty giving rise to systems of order, and so on are all major explanations in themselves.

Indeed, as several astute critical case writers have commented, “there’s a hell of a lot going on… probably way too much for a constructive case” when covering just a small part of Serres. With that simplification in mind, seeking a momentary discursive clarity, the next few weeks over the holidays will hopefully provide an opportunity for this exploration and coverage as the next 1AC vortex conceptualizes.