"We Have Been Waiting..."

Peter McDonald
Simon Fraser University

I: Pre-Face : Institution

Dear [first name]. Dear [first name / last name]. Dear Doctor [first name / last name]. This paper exists between an I-Thou and a we-you. The dash becomes paper and institution, or a paper-institution. A mad dash if you will allow it. Certainly this (paper) is a mad-dash to the finish-(of the institution)-line. Perhaps it even crosses the line. I only hope this (double)crossing is not too painful. Sincerely [first name]. Sincerely [first name / last name]. Sincerely Student [first name / last name].

II: About : Face

We have been waiting. We await through speaking and listening for the question that has long been posed to another. We are waiting still for the question that would make us speak about ourselves.

I never stop speaking of myself.

We realize that the 'I' is unable to ask the question. The secret of the 'I' is its being made to question itself, a questioning that is predicated on our silence. By now our confusion (your confusion over our confusion) will prompt the question whose answer is by no means safe: Who are we? The question echoes from the past and, as an echo of Heidegger wrings loudest, we will aim at opening this question in its full force.

...let us begin...

We must begin with the overwhelming clamour, the clamour of the 'I', which will declare its own corruption rather than turn to us:

I cannot do otherwise.

We smell a rat. But move on: are we a subject? A first-person plural? We hear the echoes of the subject's critique waiting in the wings of this question. Before we allow them in our midst let us listen to an earlier anxiety of the 'I':

The we is nothing but a ruse, an 'I' that seeks to cloth itself in a false universality for political gain. A white-male-bourgeois who seeks to speak for another. It must always be asked: who are the 'we'.

...let us listen again:

In a republic, the pronoun of the first-person plural is in effect the linchpin for the discourse of authorization. Substitutable for a proper name, We, the French People .  .  .  .  , it is supposedly able to link prescriptions (such as articles in codes, court rulings, laws, decrees, ordinances, circulars, and commands) onto their legitimation 'in a suitable way'...The construction of a homogeneous we conceals, however, a double heterogeneity. First, there is the heterogeneity tied to the pronouns. The normative phrase is We, the French people, decree as a norm that, etc; the prescriptive phrase is We, the French people, ought to carry out act a. ... On the one side, I declare; on the other side, You ought to. (emphasis in original, Lyotard 98)

Undoubtedly. The 'I' undoubtedly seeks its own effacement in the Proper (own /ownmost/ authentic) name in its very being. And yet, let us ask more.

...We recognize Lyotard's qualification "In a republic"; but has there ever been another determination?...

Does this structure determine the "we" in its subjectivity? Our first re-sounding (as of applause): why is the "we" necessary to support the proper name of "the French People"? And if the "we" supplements the performative statement, adds something to each proper noun, it cannot be identical with the proper nouns. Our second re-sounding (as of depths): if the "we" has never been anything but, strictly speaking, a duplicity how could it have the force of concealment? If the 'I' had never been initiated into the "we", not merely felt included but been included, why would it ever mis-recognize itself in "We, the French people".

Whatever we are, we must...

These two determinations show that we, as a subject, are the structural inversion of the testimonial 'I' whose genealogy Foucault outlines. Untestimonial other.

 ... we are a separate phenomenon.

To question ourselves upon this point, let us listen to the echo of our being as an object of investigation in various sciences – particularly sociology, psychology, and biology. The answer is uni-vocal: we are a group. The uni-vocal answer means multiple things:

  1. The group is determined as: a set united under certain properties, which in some determined or indeterminate way are both general and particular. The most radical formulation of this principle is Heidegger's conception of the 'oneself' (rendered "The They" in Macquarrie and Robinson). The 'oneself' represents the average way of living for the self and indefinite others, defined in its distance from how Dasein is.[1] As average, the 'oneself' represents the easiest path, to which Dasein falls prey. Thus Heidegger states: "Everyone is the other, and no one is himself" (Being and Time 165). Such is the manner in which Heidegger thinks inauthentic "being-with" as a necessary condition of every Dasein. Even this brief restatement should show that the oneself is not the concealment of an 'I' from a 'You'. The group is thought here in its basis as an average. The average functions as the general form of a group's property (name/trait/land). It is unclear how...other than by following Lyotard...one could determine the "we" as this averageness. The "we" has a specificity that allows it to function as the subject of speech acts and not only as the averageness of being-with. Only thus does the sentence in Heidegger make sense: "This Being-with-one-another dissolves one's own Dasein...We take pleasure and enjoy ourselves as they [man] take pleasure" (our emphasis, ibid. 164):
  2. At the same time the group is thought of as: a set defined by just these empirical members. The set consisting of three bears and Goldilocks. If we are determined as a group in this sense, it becomes an arbitrary set of I's. Let us listen to the first echo of our question in Heidegger and the scorn he puts upon this interpretation:
    But today it is the we that counts. Now is the "time of the we," not of the I. We are. What being are we naming in this sentence? We say also: the windows are, the stones are. We—are. Does this statement mean that a plurality of I's is present? And what about the "I was" and "we were"? What about being in the past? Has it gone away from us? Or are we exactly what we were? Are we not becoming just exactly what we are? (emphasis in original, Introduction 70).
    Within this all too defensive response to a threat,[2] and without seeking an answer, Heidegger broaches the ontological question of the "we": Not who (as we asked) but...what—are—we?

    ...let this question reverberate...

    Yet for the moment let us slow and ask: why not a collection of I's? How would such a collection function? Let us take a speech act as an example: "We are going to the store". How in this case would the "we" be constituted?
  3. Would it begin with an individual 'I' who looks around to take account of the situation, judging each other-I and their intent of going to the store as well? Such a hypothesis flies in the face experience, where we appear on the scene prior to all such reflection. Indeed we are the condition of such reflection. Further from the ontological standpoint Heidegger raises, this involves taking the Dasein of others as merely a present-at-hand object to be calculated, or a ready-to-hand relation to be exploited. We will not let the 'I' guide our direction.
  4. Could the "we" be a simple reflection upon the facts? Not a set constituted by a property communicating itself to the members, but simply just those people going to the store (judged perhaps in the monocular eye of god)? The condition of this would be that the set could be rigorously determined in each case. Two problems:
    1. The condition of addition: ie "going to the store"-ness must be given, and as a property of the 'I'.
    2. But to the extent that this is done it becomes a general condition, and the group becomes open in principle.
    We can represent this in the calculus:



The dominant interpretation of the "we" as a group is by no means innocent. We recognize in it the impoverishment of those political discourses that seek action from a collective standpoint – here we feminists are placed between an essentialized eternal feminine and an empirico-historico determination that renders politics as object.

...let us return to this...

III: Face-to-Face (-two-)

...what are we? What is the being of the "we"?

We want to answer – there-being. Dasein. We want to let the critique of the subject flow over us. But we slow and wait, has not this critique always been determined on the model of the 'I'? Of course it has shown how the 'I' is always outside of itself, given over to an unconscious or a 'Thou', to a 'being-with' the 'they' and a practical-everyday-blindness.[3] But the exorbitant relation to the Other remains based upon the model of the one-to-the-other, the alter of alterity, a monotheological-atheism.

Derrida identifies the "we" as the condition of Heidegger's discourse on being. Unlike our previous determinations, Derrida recognizes that Heidegger "has given up positing the we in the metaphysical dimension of 'we men,' ...has given up charging the we men with the metaphysical determinations of the proper of man (zoon logon ekhon, etc.)" ("Ends" 124). Yet despite this Derrida recognizes that in Heidegger:

in the absence of every other determination or presupposition, the "we" at least is what is open to such an understanding  [of 'Being' or of the 'is']...It automatically follows then that this we however simple, discreet, and erased it might be- inscribes the so-called formal structure of the question of Being within the horizon of metaphysics, and more widely within the Indo-European linguistic milieu. (emphasis in original, 125)

It is the ambiguity between the simple, erased "we" and structure of Dasein that allows Heidegger to provide a phenomenological/ontological foundation to being-there and project its possibility onto the human in general:

It is the proximity to itself of the questioning being which leads it to be chosen as the privileged interrogated being. The proximity to itself of the inquirer authorizes the identity of the inquirer and the interrogated. We who are close to ourselves, we interrogate ourselves about the meaning of Being. (Derrida, "Ends" 126)

Only as the "we" allows an (de)limited grouping of those beings which are close to themselves can the question of the meaning of being be elaborated. However Derrida moves on from the function of the "we" to the entity (Dasein) which it locates. The "we" is left to dwell in its metaphysical-rhetorical function as effaced presence whose various determinations we outlined above. As such it remains not only the condition of the question of being, but the condition of the question in general, at least as it is elaborated as the pedagogic function of rational discourse. We ask and answer questions together. Do we detect any irony when Derrida speaks:

The "we," which in one way or another always has had to refer to itself in the language of metaphysics and in philosophical discourse, arises out of this situation...What about this we, then in Heidegger's text?
This is the most difficult question, and we will only begin to consider it. We are not going to... (Our emphasis, ibid 123)

We are the condition of questioning. How are we to be determined other than as metaphysical co-presence of the 'I'? We must not only take the 'I' away from presence; more importantly we must also reintroduce a complexity, structure, and constitutive absence in the phenomenon of the "we-ourselves".

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii + iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii + iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii + iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii + iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

Let us listen again to Derrida, speaking this time of the first-person plural but here in a different mode – rather as the condition of testimony and of language in general.

This instant, at this very instant, I am speaking French, we are speaking French. This is a testimony.... Even if – hypothetically—no one here this instant spoke French, no one but me, well even then, my speech act in French would nonetheless continue to assume someone, however indeterminate or distant he might be, someone who could understand what I am saying and who would form a we with me, someone who commits himself to forming a we with me....This "we" without which there would be no testimony. (emphasis in original, Demeure 34)

We will soon see that the 'quot' of our quota of quotes will end. We will only let them reverberate. What does this moment of Derrida's testimony say to us, or rather, say with us? Undoubtedly it shows us the supplementary nature of the "we" to the 'I' (which hopes to do without it). The "we" always already precedes the 'I' through the speaking community who understands the statement. But is there a positive determination of the "we" in this "speaking French"? Something that would match with our insight into questioning? What can we call this understanding and committing? Despite its possible absence or indeterminacy it does not have the form of the oneself, precisely because it commits. Commit: com (together)-mittere  (to put or send), perhaps in this sending together we hear the safety or redundancy of the "we" – that a mission might be fulfilled beyond the death of the one or the other. Not only that the testimony might be given again in principle, but the assurance that there is another who will give it. The second of a duel would then be the prototype of the "we". The site of its duplicity and double-crossing. At the same time, as the mood of this safety in numbers, the "we" cannot count itself. In its very form it is forbidden from enumerating the isolated individuals who provide its redundancy because the calculus would render threat as a statistic to the 'I'. The x-plicity of the "we" cannot be made explicit. Such counting would replace the "we" with the proper name: "We two".

Therefore, in its uncountable safety, the "we" is a structural transformation of Dasein such that it cannot conceive of its own death. A radical formulation that causes the basic determinations of Dasein to tremble...

mination as the ownmost self as
oreign to the proper of property,
develop a concept of the our, and

which guarantees the structural
order for an analysis to find a
totality must be found. The im-
nts us is not death but the form
lute knowledge. The consolidation
sence, understood not in the myself
concept returns a radical bent to
a thought is not a simple program
absolute destruction of the "we".
thought in the "we". Rather it calls

replaced by utopian politics, all the
that Heidegger develops around de-
longer be applied to the "we". We

...Above all a Dasein without death is:
vii) Unable to be authentic in its deter-
the auto. The "we" is fundamentally f-
and the own of ownership. Rather it must
ourmost self.
viii) This is because death is the concept
totality of Dasein. Without death, and in
structure in the "we", a new principle of
possible possibility, the thought that hau-
of presence which Hegel identified as abso-
of all being-there as a utopian form of pre-
or the oneself, but as the ourself. Such a
Hegel and communitarian politics. Yet such
that could ever come to fruition without the
Nor, like death, can it present itself to the
as a promise of a politics to come.
ix) At the same time, and because it is
concepts of guilt and the call of conscience
ath as the return to authentic being can no
have no conscience.

I knew that all along, the mob is
destructive, has no morals, it is
born in violence and fear. Is this
not enough to condemn it?

Thus the moment of truth in bourge-
the speech act called political, an act
deed the 'I' must condemn us, but
has no bearing on our being.

transforms subtler determinations of
rethinking of space and time beyond
remains on the basis of the one-to-
between the hither and the thither, but
to a density. Such a density character-
the elevator" or "the hall is too narrow
lt concept, beyond our ability here. We
in time, a fabric of time, also a kind of
group skydiving...

ois sociology echoes. We are the bearers of
that of necessity destroys the individual. In-
what can such condemnation do? Surely it

x) Finally, the absence of death as a point
space and time for us. Heidegger's complex
their determination as presence-at-hand still
the-other. Dasein may already be separated
the "we" disperses both hither and thither in-
izes the "we" in the saying: "We can't fit in
for us". Similarly it disperses time; a difficu-
can only gesture at certain metaphors strands
wide-present: thrown/falling/proje-ction as

...As such, and unfortunately for the reader, we can no longer think the period...

IIII: I's Without a Face

If we now return to ourselves, it cannot be as a simple or effaced model of the human as it has been determined by the linguistic horizon of Europe, but as a there-being that does not know death... still, despite the positive phenomenon we have determined (safety, questioning, utopian politics, density) what we have in mind of ourselves has remained rather vague...we might return to the structure of Dasein that Heidegger develops and renew our critique, where at least the concept of mood (rather than affect) is mis-attributed to the I-Dasein....we might also keep the questions that Derrida has posed for us, not only the role of the "we" in the question of being- but also its role in the constitution of language.....perhaps what we lack is not only a theoretical foundation (whose material of critique can be taken from the various disciplines seeking to govern the group) but also a poetics that can sustain the "we" as a living possibility...

...until this point we have been using a set of metaphors associated with the echo, as our recourse against the narcissistic I, the auto-affection of the face reflected in the pool (or the structure of the voice which Derrida has criticized)– and yet the echo remains within the limit of the one-to-the-other.. even if it provides.. the structural inversion...a sense of ourself is lacking in the philosophical tradition, which privileges sight, hearing/voice, and touch for their ability to count, to locate, and to time.... even taste, when it has become discerning enough is allowed into bourgeois aesthetics.... [4]

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii + iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii + iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

....only smell has remained foreign to the metaphysics of the 'I' as auto-affection... is it a surprise then that smell should be the sense and scents of ourself?...What.. are.. these determinations?

  1. We cannot smell ourselves: we surround ourselves with our own odour and stink, perfume and fragrance, but our nose quickly becomes attenuated to these things as a kind of baseline so that it might detect the subtle differences of the environment; there can be no auto-affection by smell...
  2. The function of the baseline works equally for the one as for the many: not only can I not smell myself, but we cannot smell ourselves – the experience of living with another person is enough to test this hypothesis, the smell of the house is only experienced after returning from an outside; at the same time the scent of the other tells nothing of the predator's or prey's numbers...smell cannot count...
  3. Along the same lines, the scent of the other gives no guarantee of the other's presence in space or time...scent lingers, it directs, it gives way to a higher density (as sharks swarm blood in the ocean) but does not give way to a point...
  4. Smell, as it senses what differs from the body or household norm, functions as perhaps one of the clearest experience of the differential............
    ....we might speculate that a strong smell is the prototype of power and force...

Thinking smell is not of course an exit from the metaphysical determinations that govern experience in general – but it is a complication of them and can provide us with certain metaphorical and poetic tools to flesh out the ownmost-self...

.....beyond the stricter determinations outlined above, the figuration of smell must transform who and what comes to mind when we think of the nous....the human can by no means continue... continue.. as the model of perception because...because the human's sense of smell is nowhere as developed as a variety of other species – not least those which are often considered 'pet' species: dogs, cats, parrots, even goldfish put the human nose to shame...rub our nose in it...the nous cannot separate itself from the animal, and the related concepts of the group that are developed there: the pack, the kin-group, the hive, the herd, the flock, etc...these models are implicitly copied in sociology and group psychology....

...And yet, it is not enough to leave the nous to these various groupings as a metaphorical resource from which it would reform an image of itself as a group of human animals.........such a strategy returns the nous to the proper name......instead we must repudiate any such concept of species that would provide an effaced unity... in practice we can see that the nous is such a species crossing subject....we say: "we're going to the pet store" or "we're going to the vet", whether directing that saying to another or to the animal included in the nous...the worldly situation constituted by a set of everyday practices that is presupposed by this "we're going to the vet" cannot be simply interpreted as a false projection or false anthropomorphism...the possibility of this nous must be entertained even if it is revealed to be ideological in specific cases.......the sense of smell therefore brings forth a set of metaphors which crosses species boundaries, draws together disparate elements beyond all commonality.......the concept of species becomes at best a signal of the relative difficulty of forming a nous...

IIIII: The Scent of...The Other

...If the nous cannot be associated with the name of man.... if indeed the structure of the nous takes it beyond the set of languages that constitute both "the horizon of metaphysics, and more widely within the Indo-European linguistic milieu" because it includes those who cannot speak these languages, then....then....we must argue (against Derrida) that the nous inscribes the question of being beyond metaphysics.... how far beyond is always problematic, always based on those tentative and political formations on the ground, but................................we..........................................

................what about this history of metaphysics? how has it inscribed smell? surely such a question has more than a hint of laughter about it.... But rather a mocking laughter, one that refuses to see the seriousness of the question...(even in the contemporary focus on the body, has the nose ever been taken seriously?)...at least three moments can be highlighted:

...............) Heraclitus and smell as that which distinguishes between beings: "Heraclitus said that if all the things which exist were to become smoke the nose would distinguish them" (Aristotle in Barnes 62)

................) Nietzsche and the nose as the organ of judgment over decadence...if one thinks smell seriously in this recurring conjunction, decadence must be taken in its meaning as decay... as that which smells as it decays... not as the sick... but rather as the already the dead[5]...

.................) Proust and memory...linked to the various scientific determinations of smell as it influences memory in the limbic system...

...These three are not separate, indeed they are tied together by a very secret logic whose rigor(mortis) is hard to scent... let us begin by highlighting the theme of memory in Nietzsche and its ties to the eternal return in both Heraclitus and Nietzsche...let us then ask about how this memory determines the scent of decay of the dead in Nietzsche?... can it not be read precisely as the absent presence of ancestors in the midst of the living?...... a kind of cult of the dead that the nose knows?[6]........ such a reading of decadence (perhaps beyond Nietzsche's control) would challenge much in Nietzschean interpretation....finally let us think the role of distinguishing which runs through each system of smell: the reflection on the past as memory and return is set apart by smell in its alterity.........indeed the nous has its own form of alterity...the vous..........

...With this vous, smell returns us to the ontological determinations of the nous (mediated through a metaphorical and material expansion of its meaning).....we are returned to the question of utopian politics as the call of conscience transformed beyond death...........the vous, as that which stands out against the encompassing movement of the nous is not however a structural mirror of the I-Thou relation: the vous cannot be associated with something like another nous displaced in time and space because such an interpretation would necessarily posit the vous as a collection of present-at-hand subjects in the form of a group........such a transposition functions for the I-Thou because death assures an own-ness to each Dasein...in contrast the recognition of the vous always takes the form of a recognition of sharing (whether this is repressed as group division, or exploited as a tactic of cooption)[7] ...the premise of this sharing is the structural inversion of the nous' condition of safety...the nous cannot experience the safety of the other, but rather recognizes the other as subsisting in the process of coming apart...only in breaking down can the nous and the vous share, and only in this breakdown does the utopian politics of the nous recognize its possible fulfillment....becoming-decomposed is the condition of the vous as it is the condition of the dead...the dead and decay in general becomes the metaphorical extension of the vous..............the becoming-nous of the past.......in this rests the possibility of saying we are the dead...the past tense: we were.....

IIIIII: Post-Face

.......such a brief sketch of the metaphysics of smell is partial, insufficient and only suggestive....but tied together we have begun a multifaceted investigation of the nous....in this task we have been faced with the simultaneous necessity of developing a theoretical, metaphorical, bodily, and material practice....the investigation shows that the nous...

........far from being simple, is highly complex...
......far from being effaced, expands the face........
                                    .                       ..
            ....a nous between the I's.....
....the alter of alterity does not characterize the nous-vous relationship...
                               ........                               ...........
                        ....nor that of the nous to itself....
........a difficult kind of difference[8] ......
.                                               ..
.                                   .......a questioning and/in.....

...a series of puns:

 ............................the nose knows..............knows (Noûs)...........................
                        ....                                                       .
the nose no's......................the nous no's........................the nous' nose.............
            ...                                                                    .                             ...
.....................the nous knows no noose.......the nous Noûs..............................
                    .......                                                                                       .....
...................................the nous' nose knows no Noûs...................................
.                                                                                   ....
.           ....a series of adjectives and verbs: safety... duplicity (x-pliticy)... questioning...
.                                                   ....                                       ...
.                       understanding... committing... utopian... density.... threaded time....
.                                                                             ....                                     .
.                                               .......ourmost being..........                           .
.                                                                       ....                 .....                    .
.                       .... a series of negations........not ownmost ...not proper...undying...
.                                                                         .....                                        .
.........                        ... not conscientious....                                           .
...                                            ...                                               .
    ..                              ....not the false-I ..........not the group.....
      ..                                                    .............                   .
        ..              ....a series of ourselves...                               .
            .                                   ..          ..                                  .
            .                       ...animals... the dead...workers... political forces...
                        .                                   ...        ...                    .........           
                        .                                   ...philosophers of smell....     .
                        .                                               ...                                .
                        .                       ....a sense of ourselves.... a scent of our other....
.......a move to question....to write... to become ourselves.....

..................................................................a lingering odour...................



[1] D(sin) - i+i+i+i...in

[2] Communism is mentioned on page 49, perhaps we should not rule out the fear of national socialism here however.

[3] The problem that we touch on here is complex and deserves a full study in Heidegger's works. The critique is in many ways similar to both Derrida's and Adorno's critique of the proper or authentic in Heidegger, however with the aim of complicating or doubling the structure of Dasein. Being-with in Heidegger is determined as a necessary part of there-being because the referential totality of tool-use includes a variety of other people. These others constitute Dasein but always at a distance. To get a sense of this we can take a closer look at the list of other people that Heidegger enumerates: "an essential assignment or reference to possible wearers...its producer or 'supplier'...the field shows itself as belonging to such-and-such a person...the book we have used was bought at So-and-so's shop" ("Being" 153, H.117-8). The list is a summary of capitalist production: the consumer, supplier, owner, and vendor. And yet curiously Heidegger leaves out the co-worker, and in a section dealing with the workshop and production. We can see how Heidegger understands work in a sentence such as: "The Being-with-one-another of those who are hired for the same affair often thrives only on mistrust" (ibid. 159, H 122). While authentic being-with rebuilds something like a shared world (goals, work, etc), it is never primordially given in the way it is for an individual Dasein. Such is the meaning of Heidegger's assertion "The expression 'Dasein', however, shows plainly that 'in the first instance' this entity is unrelated to Others, and that of course it can still be 'with' Others afterwards (156, H 120). We wish however to provoke the space between the two determinations of 'there-being' and 'in each case my own'. The "we" is this possibility that the world opened up for there-being is not mine but ours. The factory experience of co-workers, elided in Heidegger in what seems to be apiece with a larger attack on Marx, would be one of the prototypes of this situation of the "we".

[4] Let us comment here on the question of style, in a round about manner, and also to introduce the nous. Along with the period, we must give up the form of quotation, as it belongs to the structure of voice and accent...(the nous displaces the "we")... we satisfy this double necessity with the ellipsis... an ellipsis that separates...but also which in the quotation "..." appears as the foreign working within the quote, as a way of bridging...of scenting out the text's movement... here we must also acknowledge our debt to Derrida, however not first and foremost for something like a poetic philosophy...rather the structure we are most indebted to in his work is the radicalization of the program...particularly the program of study, which within reach of the voice is determined in opposition to the call...the call for new work / the program at work and for work.........this essay is essentially such a program and the...poetical...necessity follows from this.........................a program of writing...........

[5] Such a reading of Nietzsche is by no means secure, but some of the material that we would draw on would be the thematics of ripeness, fruit, and insects that connect his decadence to a Baroque discourse on decadence.... On smelling:"the inmost parts, the 'entrails' of every soul are physiologically perceived by me-smelled" (Ecce Homo 233); "that I have to smell the entrails of some ill-constituted soul" (Geneology 44); Whoever can smell not only with his nose but also with his eyes and ears, scents almost everywhere he goes today something like the air of madhouses and hospitals" (ibid 122); "all these coquettish bedbugs with their insatiable ambition to smell out the infinite, until at last the infinite smells of bedbugs; I do not like these whited sepulchers who impersonate life" (ibid 158).... On conscience as an over-ripe fruit: "thus to possess also the right to affirm oneself- this, as has been said, is a ripe fruit, but also a late fruit: how long must this fruit have hung on the tree, unripe and sour!" (ibid 60)...

[6] Such an elaboration draws on the interpretation of the cult of the dead in Hegel, which represents the vengeful household law against the law of the state...(theme of revenge and the eternal feminine in Nietzsche)...it draws from, and critiques, Heidegger's consideration of the being-with of the dead in the world...Walter Benjamin's thinking on violence and time also elaborates these themes in a radical fashion....

[7] Therefore the vous may include the I-Dasein that undergoes a transformation into the we-Dasein, as well as a you, a Thou, or even the oneself....

[8] Here we would like to pose a final question in relation to the history of philosophy...one that we find the most difficult, and whose answer is far from sure...we ask: does the necessity of thinking the nous move beyond the concept of différance in Derrida? Here we can distinguish two questions: first, the movement of différance in relation to a single term, most recognizably the signifier...the other here determined as the signified which is also another signifier : this seems to remain within the movement of alterity....on the other hand, the movement of différance as the play of the system, as an articulation prior to the one-and-the-other...here we are less clear...perhaps this is what articulates the safety in the nous, and determines it beyond death....but in so far as difference is actually articulated it destroys the safety of the we....is there an unarticulated différance? We do not know....



Barnes, Jonathan (ed). "Heraclitus". Early Greek Philosophy. Toronto: Penguin, 2001.

Derrida, Jacques. Demeure: Fiction and Testimony. Trans. Elizabeth Rottenberg. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1994.

---. "The Ends of Man". Margins of Philosophy. Trans Alan Bass. Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1982. 109-136.

Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. Trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. New York: Harper and Row: 1962.

---. An Introduction to Metaphysics. Trans. Ralph Manheim. New Haven: Yale UP, 1987.

Lyotard, Jean-Francois. The Differend: Phrases in Dispute. Trans. Georges Van Den Abbeele. Minneapolis, MN: U of Minnesota Press, 1988.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. Geneology of Morals and Ecce Homo. Trans Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1969.