ambivalence

by Arran James

In a previous post I made a slip of the tongue. I wrote that Cosmos is absurd. What I had meant to write was that Cosmos (the assemblage of all that exists; the material set of all sets, if you like) is ambivalent.

Cosmos is ambivalent. This ambivalence is a feature of all our meaning production, or of our consciousness that our meanings are produced and therefore that they seem to lack any foundations; it is a feature of the ontological Illusion, the way in which even as Cosmos presents itself it does so only by remaining occluded; ambivalence is a feature of all things, in all times, in all places. It is the abyss that gives itself concretely as things, including ourselves.

Ambivalence is the name for the sense that Cosmos- or world as we call our experience of it- refuses to be pinned down to any particular ontological system. Ambivalence is what marks the impossibility of systematic philosophy and also the partial truth that is found in all systematic thought. Ambivalence is thus both ontological condition and epistemological concept. It is, therefore, like a fragment; complete unto itself but denying any possibility to ever being finally finished.

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