«É estranho que se tenha podido fundar a Estética (como ciência do sensível) no que pode ser representado no sensível. É verdade que não é melhor o procedimento inverso, que subtrai da representação o puro sensível e tenta determiná-lo como aquilo que resta, uma vez despida a representação (um fluxo contraditório, por exemplo, uma rapsódia de sensações). Na verdade, o empirismo se torna transcendental e a Estética se torna uma disciplina apodítica quando apreendemos diretamente no sensível o que só pode ser sentido, o próprio ser do sensível: a diferença, a diferença de potencial, a diferença de intensidade como razão do diverso qualitativo. É na diferença que o fenômeno fulgura, que se explica como signo: e é nela que o movimento se produz como “efeito”. (…) No eterno retorno, a caos-errância opõe-se à coerência da representação; ela exclui a coerência de um sujeito que se representa, bem como de um objeto representado. A repetição opõe-se à representação (…). A repetição é o ser informal de todas as diferenças, a potência informal do fundo que leva cada coisa a esta “forma” extrema em que sua representação se desfaz. O díspar é o último elemento da repetição que se opõe à identidade da representação. O círculo do eterno retorno, o da diferença e da repetição (que desfaz o do idêntico e do contraditório), é um círculo tortuoso que só diz o Mesmo daquilo que difere. O poeta Blood exprime a profissão de fé do empirismo transcendental como verdadeira Estética: “A natureza é contingente, excessiva e mística, essencialmente… As coisas são estranhas… O universo é selvagem… O mesmo só retorna para trazer o diferente. O lento movimento circular que o gravador executa adquire apenas a espessura de um fio de cabelo. Mas a diferença se distribui na curva inteira, nunca exatamente adequada”31.»
– Deleuze, “Diferença e Repetição”, “A diferença em si mesma”.
A decisive step remains to be taken. By itself the speaking subject, in the strict sense of the term, is incapable of absolutely grounding the ideal Objectivity of sense . Oral communication (i.e. , present , immediate , and synchronic communication) among the protogeometers is not sufficient to give ideal objectivities their “continuing to be” and “persisting factual existence, ” thanks to which they perdure “even during periods in which the inventor and his fellows are no longer awake to such an exchange or even, more universally, no longer alive .” To be absolutely ideal, the object must still be freed of every tie with an actually present subjectivity in general . Therefore, it must perdure “even when no one has actualized it in evidence” (164 [modified]) . Speech [langage oral] has freed the object of individual subjectivity but leaves it bound to its beginning and to the synchrony of an exchange within the institutive community.
The possibility of writing will assure the absolute traditionalization of the object , its absolute ideal Objectivity-i .e. , the purity of its relation to a universal transcendental subjectivity. Writing will do this by emancipating sense from its actually present evidence for a real subject and from its present circulation within a determined community . “The decisive function of written expression, of expression which documents, is that it makes communication possible without immediate or mediate address; it is, so to speak, communication become virtual” (164 [modified]) .
That virtuality, moreover, is an ambiguous value: it simultaneously makes passivity, forgetfulness, and all the phenomena of crisis possible .
Far from having to fall again into a real [réale] history , a truth that we have gained from this history – scriptural spatiotemporality (whose originality we will soon need to determine) – sanctions and completes the existence of pure transcendental historicity. Without the ultimate objectification that writing permits , all language would as yet remain captive of the de facto and actual intentionality of a speaking subject or community of speaking subjects. By absolutely virtualizing dialogue, writing creates a kind of autonomous transcendental field from which every present subject can be absent .
In connection with the general signification of the epoche, Jean Hyppolite invokes the possibility of a “subjectless transcendental field ,”one in which “the conditions of subjectivity would appear and where the subject would be constituted starting from the transcendental field. “91
Writing, as the place of absolutely permanent ideal objectivities and therefore of absolute Objectivity, certainly constitutes such a transcendental field. And likewise, to be sure, transcendental subjectivity can be fully announced and appear on the basis of this field or its possibility. Thus a subjectless transcendental field is one of the ” conditions” of transcendental subjectivity.
But all this can be said only on the basis of an intentional analysis which retains from writing nothing but writing’s pure relation to a consciousness which grounds it as such, and not its factuality which, left to itself, is totally without signification [insignifiante]. For this absence of Subjectivity from the transcendental field, an absence whose possibility frees absolute Objectivity, can be only a factual absence, even if it removed for all time the totality of actual subjects. The originality of the field of writing is its ability to dispense with, due to its sense, every present reading in general . But if the text does not announce its own pure dependence on a writer or reader in general (i .e. , if it is not haunted by a virtual intentionality) , and if there is no purely juridical possibility of it being intel ligible for a transcendental subject in general , then there is no more in the vacuity of its soul than a chaotic literalness or the sensible opacity of a defunct designation, a designation deprived of its transcendental function. The silence of prehistoric arcana and buried civilizations, the entombment of lost intentions and guarded secrets, and the illegibility of the lapidary inscription disclose the transcendental sense of death as what unites these things to the absolute privilege of intentionality in the very instance of its essential juridical failure [en ce qui l’ unit a l’ absolu du droit intentionnel dans l’instance meme de son echec].
When considering the de jure purity of intentional animation, Husserl alway s says that the linguistic or graphic body is a flesh, a proper body (Leib), or a spiritual corporeality (geistige Leiblichkeit) (FTL, §2, p. 21). From then on, writing is no longer only the worldly and mnemotechnical aid to a truth whose own being-sense would dispense with all writing-down. The possibility or necessity of being incarnated in a graphic sign is no longer simply extrinsic and factual in comparison with ideal Objectivity: it is the sine qua non condition of Objectivity’s internal completion. As long as ideal Objectivity is not , or rather , can not be engraved in the world-as long as ideal Objectivity is not in a position to be party to an incarnation (which, in the purity of its sense, is more than a system of signals [signalisation] or an outer garment) then ideal Objectivity is not fully constituted. Therefore, the act of writing is the highest possibil ity of all “constitution,” a fact against which the transcendental depth of ideal Objectivity’s historicity is measured. (…)
All factual writings, in which truth could be sedimented, will never be anything in themselves but sensible “exemplars ,” individual events in space and time (which is only true to a certain degree for “bound” idealities ). Since truth does not essentially depend on any of them, they could all be destroyed without overtaking the very sense of absolute ideality. Undoubtedly, absolute ideality would be changed , mutilated, and overthrown in fact; perhaps it would disappear in fact from the surface of the world, but its sense-of-being as truth, which is not in the world neither in our world here, nor any other-would remain intact in itself.»
Husserl’s Origin of Geometry: An Introduction by Jacques Derrida, p. 87-89, 94.
63. The task of criticizing transcendental experience and knowledge.
In the investigations of this meditation and already in those of the two preceding meditations, we have been moving within the realm of transcendental experience, of self-experience proper and experience of someone else. We have trusted transcendental experience because of its originarily lived-through evidence; and similarly we have trusted the evidence of predicative description and 1 all the other modes of evidence belonging to transcendental science. Meanwhile we have lost sight of the demand, so seriously made at the beginning namely that an apodictic knowledge, as the only “genuinely scientific” knowledge,2 be achieved; but we have by no means dropped it. Only we preferred / to sketch in outline the tremendous wealth of problems <178> belonging to the first stage of phenomenology a stage which in its own manner is itself still infected with a certain nawete (the naïveté of apodicticity) but contains the great and most characteristic accomplishment of phenomenology, as a refashioning of science on a higher level instead of entering into the further and ultimate problems of phenomenology: those pertaining to its self-criticism, which aims at determining not only the range and limits but also the modes of apodicticity. At least a preliminary idea of the kind of criticism of transcendental-phenomenological knowledge required here is given by our earlier indications of how, for example, a criticism of transcendental recollection discovers in it an apodictic content. All transcendental-philosophical theory of knowledge, as “criticism of knowledge” , leads back ultimately to criticism of transcendental-phenomenological knowledge (in the first place, criticism of transcendental experience); and, owing to the essential reflexive relation of phenomenology to itself, this criticism also demands a criticism. In this connexion, however, there exist no endless regresses that are infected with difficulties of any kind (to say nothing of absurdities), despite the evident possibility of reiterable transcendental reflections and criticisms.»
– Edmund Husserl, “Cartesian Meditations“.