Comments and Questions to: John Protevi
Protevi Home Page
LSU French Studies

Class use only. Do not cite w/o permission.

Speech and Phenomena

Chapter 5: "Signs and the Blink of an Eye"

I.Introduction [60a-61b]
    A.instant conceived as point = self-presence of experience
        1.signs are here useless
        2.possibility of primordial perception or intuition
            a.nonsignification as "principle of principles"
            b.primordial intuition = experience of uselessness of signs
    B.the "now" as instant sanctions the system of essential distinctions
        1.if the punctuality of the instant is:
            a.a myth
            b.a [spatial or mechanical] metaphor
   inherited [metaphysical] concept
        2.then phen is threatened
II.Lectures on the Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness
    A.thematically, punctuality of now plays major role [61c-63c]
        1.although lived experience is spread out
        2.nonetheless, the spread is described on basis of now-point
   is nucleus of comet's tail of retentions
   remains as form beneath change of matter
                (1)this is generation model
                    (a)form is same, though matter is different
                    (b)cf. Aristotle's Metaphysics
                (2)rather than motion model
                    (a)matter [substrate] is same, though form is different
                    (b)cf Physics 1.7: three principles of change
        3."in same blink of eye" in LI refers to now-point
        4.closure of metaphysics as allegiance to presence:
            a.w/in philosophy no objection to privilege of now-point
                (1)presence is evidence itself, cness itself,
                (2)governing truth and sense
            b.questioning this must be from "elsewhere"
                (1)not an oppositional non-philosophy
                (2)but articulating margins of philosophy,
                    (a)conditions of possibility and impossibility
                    (b)i.e., repetition founding and eviscerating [pure] now
            c.Heideggerian motif: the dominance of now responsible for:
                (1)founding contrasts of Greek metaphysics
                (2)modern metaphysics of self-cness and representation
            d.phen as philos of cness confronts writings on non-cness on decisive concept of time, through thought of now-point
                 (1)e.g., EH's rejection of Freudian Nachtraglichkeit
                 (2)cf. Différance essay
    B.descriptions in PITC undermine self-identity of the present [63c-66a]; JD will show originary repetition at work in temporality
                (1)metaphysics in general
                (2)identity of "blink of the eye," and thus phenomenology
            b.descriptive irreducibilities in ITC:
                (1)they are:
                    (a)re-presentation to presentation
                    (b)secondary memory to retention
                    (c)imagination to primordial impression
                    (d)re-produced now to now perceived or retained
                (2)possibility of distinguishing and comparing these is trace
            c.JD sets out to show that LP is composition of presence and non-presence: first he has to deal w/ EH's claim in ITC 17 that would tame retention and protention by assimilating them to perception
        2.first point: retention is still a perception [ITC 17]
            a."perception" here = LP as a whole
            b.LP as whole [vs. recollection] is self-identity;
                (1)perceiving of past as modified present
                (2)retention = presentation of non-present
            c.radical discontinuity btw retention and reproduction
            d.but continuity of retention and primal impression
            e.EH quote: "no question of assimilating perception [here = LP as whole] to its opposite [here = secondary memory]"
        3.second point: expulsion of retention from perception [ITC 16]
            a."perception" here = primal impression [vs retention] w/in LP
  , w/in LP we have opposition of retention and perception
   that we have non-perception w/in LP
                (1)moment of alterity: logic of identity and difference
                    (a)this is an essential alterity constituting identity
                    (b)this is differance
            d.RECAP: so we have now seen that retention is undecidable:
                (1)re: perception:
                    (a)is both same as perception [as LP]
                    (b)and opposite of perception [as primal impression]
                (2)re: recollection
                    (a)is both opposite of recollection [bcs part of LP]
                    (b)and same as recollection [both opposite of primal imp.]
        4.third point: difference btw retention and reproduction is difference btw two modifications of non-perception
            a.since retention is non-perception,
                (1)and perception is relation to presence,
                (2)then non-perception is relation to absence
            b.then retention as recall of absence.
            c.since recall of absence is indication
            d.and since retention is necessary for LP [as perception]
            e.then LP has structure of indication w/in it.
            f.this destroys "blink of eye" as non-signification
    C.despite EH, we see link of retention and signs [66b-69b]
         1.EH wants to keep retention and signs apart
            a.only signs belong to representation
   this up threatens principle of phen [=intuition]
            c.force of his maintaining this distinction [=hierarchy] reveals his intent and uneasiness
                (1)CF: "SEC" force skews opposition into hierarchy
                (2)CF: Freud: force of maintaining contradiction = desire
            d.uneasiness from irreconciable positions:
                (1)retention vs. primal impression w/in LP:
                    (a)LP [perception] = continuity w/ retention as nonpercept] e.retention w/in LP as whole:
                    (b)primordiality of now as source of certitude means retention must be w/in sphere of certitude;
                    (c)this means shift of frontier: btw 2 forms of re-turn
                        i)btw re-tention [same as perception = LP as whole]
                        ii)and re-production [recollection; 2nd mem]
        2.trace = common root of distinction of retention and recollection
            a.constitutes now through movement of differance
                (1)retention is different than primal impression
                (2)protention is deferral of final saturation of LP
                    (a)unity of LP as form = indefinite repetition
                        i)form here then is IKS {Idea in Kantian sense}
                        ii)i.e., rule dictating always add more content
                            a)content: that form of LP will be same
                            b)through retentive auto-affection
    re-turn of form = return of same = finite retention
                (1)present now must become different [=past]
                (2)but this past different now must re-turn, as retention of past now,
                    (a)to constitute new [different {content}]
                    (b)now [same {form}]
                        i)NB: this is a generation in Aristotle
            c.relation to infinity
                (1)= opening of form of presence to ideality
                (2)= possibility of indefinite re-turn
            d.non-self-identity allows possibility of reflection and recall
                (1)since passive genesis of LP involves non-presence
                (2)then this must be ground of active recall
        3. pli du retour
            a.trace then is always older than presence
            b.breaks open "blink of the eye", spreads it out, spaces it
                (1)thus contaminates expression w/ indication
                (2)thus indication must be rooted in T temporalization
                    (a)and all the concepts related to indication:
                    (b)existence, nature, mediation, empiricity
                        i)NB: relation of empirical and T is irreducible
            c.fracturing of this early reduction in LI implies same for later reductions
                (1)T reduction in general
                (2)reduction to sphere of owness [in CM]
            d.need to rethink/rename "time"
                (1)"time" always thought on basis of present
                    (a)Aristotle's exoteric
                (2)time to be conceived anew on basis of difference in auto-aff
                    (a)through logic/liminology/differantial series, we get
                        i)difference in same = trace
                        ii)exterior in interior = contamination
                        iii)space in time = time/space or spacing
                    (b)EH himself gave us analogy of time and other [CM 52]
        4."dialectic" of same and other
            a.before speculative subsumption
            b.opens up living to differance [Freud: life/death]
            c.constitutes divergence in indication and signification in general
            d.this is important bcs EH wants to exclude expression from sense