The rationalist resonator
25 Feb 2011

The rationalist resonator

Reza Negarestani

Tuning Fork

[The tuning fork of speculation] has two prongs. One is the prong of reason; the other prong is a razor. The speculative artist or philosopher at the same time has a razor in one of his hands, and reason in the other. These two, reason and the razor, are essentially not interchangeable. The razor, by itself, is a romantic and blind tool. It cuts for the sake of being extreme. And reason itself does not have the tenacity or audacity to evacuate even the rational ground of itself. So, what it does, what this tuning fork does, it tunes speculation. The razor cuts for the extreme, it sheds possible grounds, future grounds and methodically cuts in different ways — not only restlessly carving out the regional from the universal but also transplanting universal into regional fields of thought. On the other hand, the other prong, the prong of reason, sheds light on the field of the surgery of this razor — it sharpens the blade while revealing new depths for the operation of the razor. Or it alternatively brings into focus what has already been cut. Now, the movement of these two prongs resonate with one another in such a way that they tune the field of speculation. A resonantly excited field of speculation is a continuum synthetically interwoven by vibrations of the prongs of the fork, the razor and reason. As a continuum, the synthetic field of speculation adds a new phantom prong to the fork. Whilst the two prongs of the fork are elastic, the third phantom prong is plastic — a resonant and plastic web of continuities between reason and the razor where all nodal points are interfused and welded together so thoroughly that the symmetry of reason and the razor collapses, their respective segregations are abolished and a new universal and generic expanse is brought forth. This universal expanse that represents the third, or more accurately, the plastic prong of the fork that is brought about by the synthesis of reason and the razor should be considered as the topos of speculation wherein thought approaches the local from the perspective of the absolute and a true-to-the-universe conception of globality. In short, the plastic prong thinks and approaches the local non-trivially through and according to the universal continuum which is absolute, open and plastic. At last, the two-pronged fork of speculation unbinds the alternative field of thought: the third prong through which asymmetries are unfolded in symmetries and the unreasonable becomes gradationally continuous to rationalism. (from The Medium of Contingency)

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