Paracaesural Activity: Culture in Contemporary Political Philosophy

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2017 Annual Meeting and International Conference of the Consortium for Research in Political Theory (CRIPT), “Political Theory and Cultural Studies: Other Voices and New Perspectives”, pp.14, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


This paper introduces the term paracaesural activity not only as a potential framework for rethinking cultural studies in line with the current debates in political philosophy but also as a key component of understanding the complex transformation of life from sublime dispositions of exactitude as Being to the aporetic circuits of becoming. As an anti-hylomorphic proposition, paracaesural activity implies the hyperepokhal experience of suspension and suspicion, which transforms three permutations of the dialectic vortex of identity as idem (necessity, reciprocity, and negation) into an aporetic system of dis/individuation in the in-between (undecidability, spontaneity and irreducibility). Drawing upon the shifting patterns of culture and ‘the political’, this paper interprets the new organology of dis/individuation as the pre-sign of a paracaesural revolution as a radical pause.

Paracaeasural activity is introduced by reference to two specific markers of transformation throughout the paper. First, the paper argues that the caesural impossibility of generating any regime of stability or exactitude might be read as an outcome of a widespread conversion in technical, social and economic systems. The paper accordingly interprets the cybernetic vortex of new programmatologies and accelerated circuits of assemblages as a critical milieu for the emerging mutation of cultural encounters within which paracaesural activity prospers. Second, the paper argues paracaesural activity as a response to the foundationalist logic of decisionism and as a reaction to hylomorphic dispositions of cohesion or exception. Paracaesural activity, in this sense, is interpreted as a reflection of the radical shift from the actual and metaphysical violence of representation to the pharmacology of suspension.