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The values attached to the modes of existence do not have a hegemonic tendency

21 April 2015

We are in the process of gradually publishing a number of the objections (or 'doléances'in French) composed during the Diplomatic Writing Week, which took place July 2014 at the École des Mines in Paris.

Today, we are posting one of them, written collectively by the members of GECo (Isabelle Stengers, Didier Debaise, Aline Wiame et Nicolas Prignot), entitled The values attached to the modes of existence do not have a hegemonic tendency :

Some expressions in the book opened the door to attributions of a predatory or hegemonic character for the values attached to each mode of existence, to the point where each has a representative with the job of defending it against the others. Now, if there is such a hegemonic tendency, it is more connected to the issue of institutions that have confused the protection of a value with the defense of what guarantees its rightful legitimacy. If such an ethos, a sort of in-built will to take over, is attached to the values in each genre, we will be exposed to five dangerous consequences: 1. It will lead to a dramatization of what happened to the moderns in a mode where their ‘errors’, the bifurcations which have been the Inquiry’s mode of exploration, were constituting a path towards a truth (with a whiff of Hegelian cunning of reason); 2. It gives the project an heroic dimension: civilizing the predators; 3. It proceeds as if we could characterize the ethos of these beings by tracing back from the ethos of these beings as we institutionally experiment them to those beings “in themselves”; 4. It forgets the absolutely non-exhaustive character of the beings characterized; 5. It forgets that the common point of these hegemonic pretentions is perhaps to demand “the neglect of common sense” (AIME 148), and that the results of the inquiry should not “shock it” (AIME 59). This means that common sense is perfectly capable of the pluralism of values that the inquiry promotes (see also AIME 119).

Please click the following link to access the complete contribution on the english version of the site.

(Kindly translated by Michael Thomas, Timothy Howles and Stephen Muecke)

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