Bruno Latour’s excellent ecological praise of composition (“compositionalist manifesto”) was inspired by Michel Serres’ book The Five Senses, in which we read (p. 239 of the Continuum edition):
Creativity is as old as the landscape, lost Antiquity and the senses. Redeemed all at once and integrated through the word.
Do not seek to know how to look at a landscape – compose a garden instead. Learn the aesthetic error of submitting everything to a law: levelling the local event produces boredom and ugliness, a world without landscapes, books without pages, deserts. Take everything away and you will not see. To see space demands time, do not kill time. Avoid the symmetrical error of being satisfied with fragments. A lack of story is as tedious as a singular law, and produces even greater ugliness. Composition requires a tension between the local and the global, the nearby and the far-off, the story and the rule, the uniqueness of the word and the unanalysable pluralism of the senses, monotheism and paganism, the international expressway and remote villages, science and literature. Hold the bridle of the galloping horse firmly, keep a tight rein to prevent his shying, expect a long and steep path. Watch closely, anticipate. Philosophy sometimes requires syntheses. Go visiting.
Suddenly, at the same time, you see both miniature and panorama.
- Luis de Miranda
pandemic, regenerative politics, crealectics, future, naturing nature, healing growth, Creal
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic served to remind us that despite our Cartesian fantasies of control, naturing nature (natura naturans) is still active in the form of an untamed Other. The dominant reaction on most political sides was anthropocentric: if we do something– a doing generally framed within the scope of technique and management – nature shall go back to the kind and submissive non-viral neutrality that we appreciate in ‘her’ as a supposedly passive resource for productivism. How could humanity – a pandemic species itself and not only metaphorically – be better attuned with the powers of naturing nature, in a posture of co-creation rather than of a reactive technocratic war against the non-periodic or ‘monstrous’ aspects of life? This question is a matter of philosophical health: the future of humanity does not depend on statistics and logistics, but on the possibility of a philosophical (re)generative politics, a trustful care for creative singularity rather than an anxious control and production of regularity. Humanity’s collective health presupposes this reconciliation with naturing nature and the deployment of a global shared cosmology based on the creative healing-growth flux of originative creativity. This regenerative and life-affirming creative Real is here termed ‘Creal’, and we call ‘crealectics’ the generative philosophical health that favours healing growth.
L’homme qui a préfacé mon livre sur Lacan réuni avec l’homme qui fut mon formateur en psychanalyse pour débattre sur un plateau de luxe dans un programme qui se nomme “Studio Lacan”. Voilà qui est “créel”…
Announcing the publication of an article written in the form of a dialogue with Vlad Glaveanu. Qualitative Inquiry Journal, accessible here: Co-Creating the Real: A Transdisciplinary Dialogue
Glăveanu VP, de Miranda L. Co-Creating the Real: A Transdisciplinary Dialogue. Qualitative Inquiry. December 2021. doi:10.1177/10778004211063617
A talk by Luis de Miranda given at the ECT Lab+ conference Techne logos and the (Neg) Anthropocene 9th – 10th of December 2021 TU Dublin “The first annual conference hosted by the European University of Technology and organized by the European culture and technology Laboratory ‘ECT Lab+’ aims to bring together experts from Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Technology discussing on the idea of ‘Thinking Human First’.”
Improvisation is an understudied topic in philosophy in general and in philosophical practice in particular. In the context of philosophical counseling and philosophical health, it might be believed that a more reflexive and rationalized form of living might involve less spontaneity. There is a general assumption since Thales that the philosopher is not attentive to present surroundings, and lives in the mind, making all sorts of pragmatic or domestic mistakes for lack of attention. More generally, lack of present awareness and daydreaming is sometimes considered a feature of the human species. In the last decades, psychological experiments showing that most of our awaken behavior is performed in a state of semi-consciousness, or “autopilot” have become popular. If our individual destiny is predetermined by the Heavens, as it was believed in the religious tradition, or by our genetic, neuronal or social determinism, as it is believed in multiple scientific approaches, we might wonder what would be the use of philosophical health practices: should we not spontaneously and “simply” follow our line of life, go with the flow and accept our fate stoically?
In my counseling practice, I often tell my interlocutors that I will help them unveil their highest destiny, and then it’s up to them to embrace it. This suggests that we may have a plurality of destinies available, such that our social or organic conditions can be transcended, sublimated by thoughts, coherent or even systemic choices, a philosophical stance. The existentialist tradition in philosophy, from Kierkegaard to Sartre, advocates that destiny is a creative project, and that we can somewhat generate at least part of the reality we live in. While many people today might accept this idea, it is important to have a conversation, step by step and person by person, on how this might be possible and sustainable.
The concept of improvisation, musically understood, can provide a good analogy for the kind of agency that a successful destiny might imply. A musical improvisation is never random, it follows a tonality, a rhythm, and it is a crealectic (creatively more-than-dialectic) attunement between fidelity and freedom. Fidelity to what? In the philosophical context, each individual can, with some work and courage, unveil a personal conceptual constellation, a set of connected higher principles (for example Justice-Creation-Listening), or a motto which delivers a personal philosophical tonality. “Attuned destinal improvisation” then becomes a dual attunement to, on the one hand, our philosophical stance, which should be flexibly unshakable and, on the other hand, to the creative variations of life, such that both excessive wandering and rigidity are avoided.
Join us! Join them! Join yourself! Delighted to contribute as a keynote speaker to the International Conference on Philosophical Counseling, University of Delhi, India, 14-16 January 2022, organised by Professor Balaganapathi Devarakonda and colleagues.