Dufourmantelle – 2012 aug 15


  • as philosophy it is interesting to use this word as it is – as it is not overused
  • Deleuze – Neitsche – concepts have a time of their own, they are used, they become blunted / dulled 
  • realism and nominalism
    • nominalist “truth being a decision of language”
    • realism “there is a real outside what you would call reality”
  • conversion and hysteria (neurosis of conversion) 
  • conversion (for Plato) cannot come from within, you always need a witness to attest to a new event
  • mirror stage


  • time – speech act – every speech act is a promise 
  • ‘i will do this’ – undermined current that can always destroy the effect of the promise – doubt 
  • doubt in witnessing 
  • history is trauma – humanising this trauma 
  • its very difficult for a body to lie – why is this the case? 
    • the body is less and less invited to discourses politically, because ideology/thought/discourse

martyr and witness 

  • writing of a secret/message on a slave’s forehead 
  • Aristotle – torture truth and witnessing

the subject in transformation – who you are and what do you seek (desire) – as a theme in Western philosophy.

plato’s cave – images must be revealed, but you also have to go back to the polis and convert / witness to them. insist on the political dimension of plato’s case – i.e.: it is not just a parable about self-discovery.

socrates trial – was put to death for ‘corrupting the young’

realism and nominalism

  • Plato’s self critique – if there are universalities where do they come from?
  • st. augustine – philosophy and time outside of God
  • in physics/mathematics – e.g.: looking for the higgs boson.  is this ‘real’ or because we seek it, it will be found. 

st. jerome

  • what can we learn from animality 
  • are we first human as humans
  • the animal as the witness – the otherness of the animal
  • Derrida – pictures the eyes of his cat – imagines what the cat is looking at – otherness, the lion’s presence 



  • host: hospice and hostile – an impossible 
  • animality to phantoms – are we hospitable only to our own species 
  • the body doesn’t lie – maybe the animal body doesn’t lie either
  • jonah and the whale: jonah was asked to convert a people, denied god’s request, was brought back to the land by the whale, but fails at the conversion.  god doesn’t punish the people.  


  • Plato’s mistake – why would what we look at (shadows) not be reality? 
  • “platonician” in french
  • conversion and teaching – the ‘ah ha’ moment.  the radicality of learning 
  • conversion as related to trauma, something that can’t be said
  • psychiatry joke:  patient leaves the doctor’s office, ‘you know you’re not a grain of corn, right?” – patient comes back, ‘i met a chicken,’ doctor: ‘but you know you’re not a grain of corn, right?’ patient: ‘yes but does she?’
  • technicity as distancing from the body – the organ that cannot lie. e.g.: in war
  • psychic shift – conversion – baby shifting from breathing water to breathing air
  • learning as transformation
  • surveillance and technology – technicity as representing another animicity?
  • Roshomon 

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