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Hawk – A Counter-History of Composition: Toward Methodologies of Complexity

Introduction: From Vitalism to Complexity

Hawk claims that compositionists consider the term vitalism as an “anything goes” approach to writing and thinking, as an “ahistorical category that subsumes multiple divergent practices, and as an assumed negative counterpart to preferred rhetorical practices that establishes a binary between rhetoric and poetics” (3).  He also notes that vitalism is usually conflated with neo-Romanticism and expressivism.  In this work Hawk intends to disassociate vitalism from neo-Romanticism and expressivism in order to consider how the term/concept is relevant for contemporary pedagogies of invention (4).

In this work Hawk hopes to demonstrate that transforming the image of vitalism from oppositional (mystical/spiritual) to complex (materialist ontology) will transform rhetoric and composition pedagogy so that it is more attuned to contemporary contexts (6).  In so doing Hawk hopes to complicate the expressivist-social epistemic binary that characterizes much work in the discipline.  In so doing, he hopes to complicate the way we think about writing to pay more attention to the complexity associated “post-dialectical understandings of contemporary pedagogies of invention” that are made possible by digital technologies (7).  Kameen’s 1980 article “Rewording the Rhetoric of Composition” anticipates this position because “technology alters the historical and rhetorical contexts in which life operates” (ibid.).

Book Overview:

Chapter One:  Centers on Young’s “Arts, Crafts, Gifts, and Knacks” as a way to demonstrate how vitalism and romanticism were eschewed in the interest of rhetoric and rhetorical invention as strictly method-driven.  Young’s method establishes the dominance of (neo)classical approaches to process-based pedagogies.  The problem is that invention in this theorization expcludes informal methods as relevant factors in pedagogies of invention.

Chapter Two:  Centers on Berlin’s “The Rhetoric of Romanticism.” In this article Berlin redeems Coleridge’s conception of vitalism, but interprets it as a dialectical method that orients it toward social-epistemic rhetoric (of course!).  Because Berlin’s mapping of the field embraces a more Hegelian/Marxist interpretation, the field as a whole turns away from vitalism as bodily epistemology toward mind-centered pedagogies that focus on unmasking false consciousness.

Chapter Three:  Centers on Kameen’s “Rewording the Rhetoric of Composition” to explain how the field turned toward a more Hiedeggarian phenomenology that embraces the relationship between lived bodies and embodied situations (materialist perspective) and away from mind-centered pedagogies.

Chapter Four:  This chapter provides a historical tracing of vitalism from Aristotle through to Deleuze.  In this chapter the three forms of vitalism are discussed and argues that viatalism as a philosophy has always worked in concert with science and is currently evolving with contemporary models of complexity.

Chapter Five:  This chapter considers the shifting cultural terrain of the 1990s to argue that method is/has shifted away from traditional methods (Young-traditional, Berlin-Marxist) toward an “ulterior history of vitalism” (9).  This highlights Young’s reliance on static, formalist pedagogies and Berlin’s reliance on “mind-centered epistemological categories” to the detriment of network culture – or a new way of being that places importance on the ecology and immersion in networked, material systems (10).  This chapter also considers Heideggerian theorizations of technology to explain how techne in the context of complexity/networks provides a new way to think about rhetoric and method.  This embodied sense of vitalism is distinctly Vitanzan and allows for invention and rhetoric to embrace multiple methods, techniques and practices.

Chapter Six:  Considers how the theorization of techne in chapter five impacts rhetorical invention.  Relying on Kameen and Ulmer, Hawk shows that these new forms of invention link individual bodies to particular local contexts, situating student bodies in complex ecological environments as an “epistemological basis for invention” (10).

Chapter One:  Mapping Rhetoric and Composition

In the beginning of this chapter Hawk traces the reemergence of rhetoric in the field of composition post 1949.  H. highlights how Roots for a New Rhetoric provides two important developmental basis for the emerging discipline of rhet/comp: 1) it sets up C-T rhetoric as the category to be mapped and argued against (the hegemon to be argued against and complicated by the work of new rhetoricians like Burke , Richards, and the General Semanticists); and 2) it provides the foundation for Berlin’s social-epistemic rhetoric (15).  H. also highlights the Lauer-Berthoff debate to demonstrate how rhetorical invention was conceived of in two fashions: 1) teacheable via heuristics for the discovery of existing knowledge (Lauer); and 2) unteachable via any method and used for the creation of new knowledge (Berthoff) (18).

Working through Young’s NEH seminar on rhetorical invention, Hawk describes how Young argued for a new consideration of invention that moved beyond C-T’s lack of inventional consideration and viatalism/expressivism’s assumption (albeit incorrect via Hawk) that invention can’t be taught – only the conditions conducive to inventive thinking can be created by the teacher.  In other words, Young is looking for a formal formulation of invention rather than the informal descriptions of vitalism and C-T (23).  To do this, Young relies on classical rhetoric and studies in the formal arts of invention from classical times, creating a scientific study of classical rhetorical invention (neoclassical rhetoric).  Young does all this to formalize the discipline, legitimizing it by hitching it’s work to a 2500 year old history of rhetorical instruction.

H. next traces the movement  of invention from rhetorical invention (classical, Aristotle, topoi) à formal invention (18th century rhetoricians Campbell, Blair, Whately create a scientific method of invention) à romantic individualism (Coleridge – the mind is the central nexus for invention because it establishes a purposive goal for the invention as it not only reflects the method found in nature [the formal] but actually calls it forth, unifies it, and forms it).  Eventually this focus on the mind and method creates C-T rhetorical approaches to composition, or – put plainly – method marshaled by mind becomes the preferred way to consider the creation of texts (composition is a process of arrangement) (31).  Hawk rejects this movement: “What I am trying to do is read Coleridge outside this narrative of retreat and return, with its built-in scapegoat category for the demise of rhetoric, and instead read him from an ulterior narrative – the history of vitalism as a distinct paradigm” (34).

Chapter Two: Cartography and Forgetting

Hawk charges Berlin with making vitalism disappear in the field during the 1980s (because of his critique of it as a form of Romanticism and expressivism).  In the stead of vitalism or C-T, Berlin advocates a Marxist framework that preferences dialectical epistemologies of the mind.  Berlin takes up Coleridge in his work arguing that Coleridge’s dialectic isn’t dialogue; rather, it is synthesis of opposing forces in the world – in other words, Coleridge’s dialectic is generative of reality (57).  So Berlin recognizes the value of “romantic” dialectic as an exchange between writer, reality, the social, and language toward the discovery of knowledge, truth, and reality (61).

Hawk goes on to indict Berlin’s dialectics: “dialectics is always self-dialectics; the self’s interpretive framework is always to a certain degree reductive to that particular perspective; Berlin’s maps will let him see only what he wants to see and, therefore, will necessarily forget the Other, history” (74).  This rejection of dialectics asks for a philosophical program not founded on Hegelian dialectic; hence, the turn to Deleuze’s ontology of becoming; or, as Michael Hardt characterizes it in Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy, “to the dialectical unity of the One and the Multiple he poses the irreducible multiplicity of becoming” (XIV).

Hawk notes that Berlin advances the social-epistemic from historical to pedagogical, finally resting his teaching on a socialist politics that understands the formation of subjectivity as a “social construct that emerges through the linguistically circumscribed interaction of the individual, the community, and the material world” (qtd. on 78).  The problem with Berlin’s emphasis on social-epistemic socialist pedagogy is the deemphasis on the power of bodies or biopower to regulate bodies; in other words, Berlin’s socialist politics must rely on a notion of free, individual agency regardless of history or disciplinarity (83).  In practical terms, the reality of biopower to regulate bodies means that the first year composition class is subject to historical and ideological forces that prevent it from acting as a space that allows for emancipatory politics in the first place.

Chapter 3 : Remapping Method

Hawk first reviews the 1990s to demonstrate that the field called into question the mappings provided for itself by folks like Berlin and Young.  Instead of viewing the field as a restricted territory with attendant restrictive research practices, many scholars wanted to view it as a cluster of related ideas, texts, theorists and practitioners that can be recombined in numerous assemblages (90).  Hawk notes that a new model/map of the field can provide “a conceptual starting place outside the old typology that allows the more multidisciplinary and eclectic directions the field is taking to be connected to the emerging practices that do not fit within the old borders” (93).  To do this, he turns back to Coleridge.

From Kameen’s treatment of Coleridge, Hawk articulates a new way of considering the writing process that considers the interdependency between subject (mind) and object (lifeworld) (94).  This means that a dialectics of Coleridge is something of a misnomer as no genuine synthesis is ever achieved; rather the act mutual interdependency of subject and object is the continual act of composition; the kairotic moment of becoming – a post-dialectical model of writing.  We get this theorization via Coleridge in the notion of the “secondary imagination”[1. From Biographia Literaria: “The primary imagination I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.  The secondary I consider as an echo of the former, co-existing with the conscious will, yet still as identical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and in the mode of its operation. (167)] because it provides a method to unify polarity – and in so doing generates new products (99) wherein polarities are integrated, but not negated (like in the Hegelian dialectical move of Ablefung).

This results in a method that utilizes the “paratactic” or the operation by addition rather than subtraction, negation, or sublation (synthesis).  In other words, for scientific discover to operate in the spaces between the interaction of mind-lifeworld, the constant addition of new perspectives is the only principle that works with scientific discovery in the stage of invention (111).  This is what Feyerabend called “anarchistic methodology.”  Instead of heuristics functioning as a “mind-centered” way to discover, Hawk advocates understanding heuristics as an aspect of a larger method that is interested in seeing a constellation among heuristics, minds, bodies, texts, and contexts” (120).

Chapter 4 : A Short Counter-History

Hawk begins by highlighting how the Aristotelian term entelechy[3. Entelechy is literally the process of development through having the goal within.  Hawk appreciates this theory because of it’s claim that in nature things move from the potential to the actual.  There are many analogs between how Hawk is describing entelechy and how Deleuze describes the Virtual.  Hawk describes the basic thrust of Aristotelian entelechy thusly:  “The basic logic of entelechy is that the overall configuration of any situation, including both natural and human acts and forms, combines to create its own conditions of possibility that strive to be carried out to completion” (126). ]   is another iteration of vitalism or a preference for a non-dialectical consideration of being.  The logic of this term is that the overall configuration of any situation – including both natural and human – combines to create its own conditions for possibility that strive to be played out to completion (which is always delayed) (126).  Hawk next traces vitalism vis-à-vis Foucault through to the “modern episteme”[8. Hawk uses two epistemes to describe the different ways that human viewed the world.  In the classical episteme human beings taxonomized the world through external characteristics.  In the modernist episteme that focus was directed inward toward the biological or internal constitution of the world.] – here he divides vitalism up into oppositional (see notes at bottom), investigative, and complex [2. Vitalism – fundamental question is “What is life?”  or what drives self-organization and development in the world?  The term is taken up and deployed at different epochs to describe different complex contexts.  Often explorations of vitalism end up recoursing to ecological explanations of the life-world.  Hawk sees two forces at work in the various vitalist descriptions: 1) life is intensely complex; and 2) life is fundamentally generative (force, energy, will, power, or desire is central to complexity) (5).  Vitalism is made up – for Hawk – by three subgroups:

  • a.       Oppositional vitalism – these see polarity as the primary force of life (electromagnetic force in the sciences and polarity in philosophy).
  • b.      Investigative vitalism – these are the result of 19th century theories of life (both from science and philosophy) and are characterized by Bergson/Heidegger’s attempts to complexify life/being/time/ (evolution and cell theory in the sciences and phenomenology and time in philosophy)
  • c.       Complex vitalism – these are characterized by Foucault, Deleuze, and Hayles’ work in the humanities and systems/complexity theory in the sciences.  Often this approach considers body/desire/phenomenology in the materialist world as the connecting forces of complex systems.  (a materialist ontology a la Deleuze that understands the mechanical and the vital as a cooperative system turning force in science and power in philosophy into complex, co-emergent phenomena.)].  Recognition of complex vitalism is the final step in a twinned recognition of the posthuman (or the death of subjectivity toward a dissolution of the subject in a field of associations) (141).

Complex vitalism in the humanities is most pronounced in the work of Foucault and Deleuze.  The problem of Berlin – and Rhet/comp in general – is that it consideres theories of substance rather than events (the lived world); as such,  a focus on the individual will obscures the dynamic material context in which things actually happen (158).  This leads Deleuzian understandings of vitalism to theorize that the body – organic or inorganic – is not a whole but a constellation of parts that participates in multiple systems; as such, expression (invention is one element of this) can only be seen as an expression of the world, of the entire system as opposed to merely an element/function within it or the substance/intention of the will (which doesn’t exist, remember?).  As such, humans are best considered as “desiring machines” or assemblages of parts that produce desire (desire functions in much the same way here as entelechy does for Aristotle), which generates movement and production (159)[6. Hawk does a number on the sacred subject of the Modernist episteme here:  To posit the subject as the center of expression is to cut out and isolate or freeze one moment of the overall movement, which separates subject and object and then requires a molar theory, such as dialectics, for their interaction” 165].  These movements find their way in the molar (directed toward mass phenomena like human, nature, society, industry, capital) and the molecular (which push toward singularities) at the same time.    All of this points to the inadequacy of dialectical models – there is no subject (as in subjectivity) because that understands the whole subject as a unified aggregate; congruently, there is not object for the same reasons. . . there are only assemblages of desiring machines, constantly coalescing both molarly and molecularly to highlight the always emergent process of becoming.

Chapter 5 – Technology-Complexity-Methodlogy

Hawk begins by noting that networked culture calls into question Berlin’s mind-centered heuristics by highlighting the ecological role [10. Hawk explains the implications of the ecological role as one that situates agency and change as a product of complex systems – not their originator.  In the now these systems almost always integrate technology.  What human beings actually perceive in this ecological model is the formation of patters from randomness; or, via Deleuze, the virtual made actual.] that demands a phenomenological approach to composition.  This focuses the act of creating in digital environments now on the when and where rather than the how.  This new approach asks writers to consider technology not in the context of “who is controlling who” but rather asks us to approach technology in the sense of “dwelling within” it – being complexly coinhabited by/with it[12. This comes out of Heidegger.  Heidegger’s conception of techne revisions the human-machine interaction in such a way that human beings cannot actively “intervene” in complex systems; rather, they are a product of those systems.]  (a Heideggarian perspective on technology as ecologically embedded)[13. Hawk describes Heidegger’s view on technology thusly: Technologies are never distinct objects: they are only experienced in relation to other entities arranged in complex constellations to form particular environments.  What human bodies encounter is the room in it’s totality, and the room is not simply a geometric space but is experienced ecologically as ‘equipment for residing.’](169, 175).

Hawk claims that just as technology revealed an ecological model of the world, the development of digital information technologies create the conditions of possibility for a posthumanist conception of the subject (175)[14. This is particularly the case in the revisualization of technology away from a tool (the mode of technology in Fordist industrial economies) toward technology as culture (the mode of technology in information economies)] .  This conception operates on Deleuze’s conception of the “superfold” or a model of subjectivity that relies on complex vitalism[16. Hawk describes the superfold as a posthuman model of subjectivity that operates on a posthuman-unlimited finitued-superfold-co-responsibility-unlimited connections among finite beings drive life and let it continually emerge.]

In rejecting dialectic, Hawk then highlights how rhetorical systems that use opposition or dialectic must recognize that, ecologically, the co-productive[15. The co-productive features of ecological systems operate on the logic of emergence (from Heidegger): “The four ways (Aristotelian causes) bring something into appearance.  They let it come forth into presencing.  They set it free to that place. . . . The principle characteristic of being responsible is this starting something on its way to arrival”] features of dialectic/polarity can easily create a situation where the weaker/vilified position becomes the stronger position (181).  This means that rhetorical situations must be reconsidered to allow for the “and” or to allow for multiplicity.  This means a new rhetorical situation will 1) identify regularities in environment; 2) generate models that enable it to recognize these regularities; 3) have models/theories that adapt to changing circumstances as well as in relation to other models; 4) have models/theories that can predict environmental activity; and 5) tie into its environment through feedback or strange loops.  This means that all the elements of the rhetorical situation are effects of their place in an economy of differences (183).   Rhetorical situations are complex co-adaptive systems (or kairotic moments or moments when the rhetor can anticipate the change coming in the system/environment)[17. This change is what Mark Taylor calls the “moment of complexity” of the instance when the interaction and feedback loops of a complex system produce a qualitative change – the multiplicity shifts identity].  As a whole, this updates the notion of kairos by making the rhetorical act the moment when qualitative change over a co-adaptive complex system occurs.

Operating in this new “network logic” (composed of a structure of nodes, relations between nodes, and strength of the relations/connections) is what we need to advocate for our students when considering the rhetorical situation (186-7)[18. The implications for ethos are obvious – ethos isn’t the classical concept of character of a speaker; rather, ethos signifies the ethics that is relative to the rhetorical situation at any given moment in a complex, co-adaptive system – it is the product of delivery within a specific situation].  This means that understanding the ethics of relationality (or how nodes are networked and how those networked nodes effect the relationship between bodies via the affect of language and the nonlinguistic response of the body[pathos]) will be instrumental in understanding how we conceptualize ethotic appeals of rhetoric in networked cultures (189).

Hawk next indicts Berlin’s socialist pedagogy by highlighting how his cultural critique operates as a dialectical heuristic that poses counter-myths to existing myths (and relies on a predetermined politics).  Instead, Hawk advocates a networked sense of politics that embracing the becoming of the multitude – a coalescence/assemblage that instantiates itself based on a politics of becoming – a complex local politics serves as an entry point into complex global politics (198).  Here we’re back in the familiar territory of Hardt and Negri’s Commonwealth.

Engaging in this sort of heuristic means that the process of invention doesn’t need to be mapped beforehand (as in static topoi); rather, it must be mapped while being traversed.  A post-dialectical method then is diagrammatic because it looks at an assemblage in its entirety, in networks of relation (or association in Latour terms).  In summa, “Composition theorists should be striving to develop methods of situating bodies within ecological contexts in ways that reveal the potential for invention, especially the invention of new techniques, that in turn reveal new models for action within those specific rhetorical ecologies” (206).

Chapter 6 : Toward Inventive Composition Pedagogies

Hawk begins by highlighting how a socialist pedagogy (or any political pedagogy) considers the student as a consumer only and doesn’t take into account the ability of the student to also be a producer.  Critical pedagogy also falls victim to not operating from the specific contexts to which it should respond (but doesn’t in institutionalized contexts like the writing classroom) (210).  Hawk poses this problem in terms of process (a linear and predirected series of actions) vs. method (an open, circuitous path resulting in unpredictable outcomes) (215).  Hawk sees Berlin’s work as process-driven, with the inevitable end being the students coming to critical consciousness.  To turn away from the process-driven model of critical pedagogy, Hawk advocates turning toward a problem-posing pedagogy that allows students to build their own “desiring-machines” without the problem-solution logic attendant of critical pedagogies.  As Hawk notes, “Here is a set of texts, theories, arguments, ideas, technologies, contexts, desires, forces, subjectivities:  what can the student make with them?  What can the body do? (219).  This allows for student desire to mature and grow.

We get a nod toward ecocomposition as a rearticulation of paralogical post-process pedagogies of complexity (222-3); however, because social-epistemic rhetoric is the only real accepted paradigm beyond the traditional, they cannot ground their work on composition on a postdialectical approach (composition privileges language and the social and molar levels of explanation and operation).  Hawk describes why Berlin’s system didn’t work: 1) it operates on a privileged/oppressed binary that rewards only one way of reading (it has a telos); 2) it maps the students onto a global/molar narrative that effaces their local interconnectedness; 3) Berlin’s work emphasizes reading and interpretation of writing and invention because the “correct” interpretation (w/a socialist imperative) will yield the correct kind of writing; 4) Berlin’s work doesn’t take into account electronic spaces (244*8).

Hawk closes by noting that composition teachers need to build smarter environments in which to work – environments that consider the classroom as ambient interface (249); said differently, he wants teachers to situate student bodies in pre-existing situations in order to facilitate co-production with those situations (252).  An example of a paralogic assignment of smart environment: “Photoshop plus a detailed and insightful assignment plus a theoretical grounding in visual rhetoric plus the historical development of the internet plus open copyright laws establishes a constellation that creates a greater possibility for producing an image” (253).  Ethical paralogic pedagogies would create assignments that builds on and fosters relationships in order to increase student agency, power, or capacity to produce new productive relations (see question #4 below for Spinozan politics and ethics in Deleuze for background).

Definitions:

2.       Techne – knowledge necessary for producing preconceived results by conscious directed action (27).

3.       Another good definition of vitalist invention as he sees it here:  “Intuitionis not some mysterious, subjective phenomenon, but it is also more than a dialectic among static points on a communication triangle or a reduction to the social-construction of knowledge via language.  Intuition is grounded in the body and its complex relations with the world as they unfold with material situations” (107).

4.       Via Bergson we get a nice description of how bodily knowledge is different from mind knowledge – “the difference between knowing Paris from books and photographs and the ‘awareness of Paris possessed by somehone who has really been there and so has had an intuition of place as a unified whole’” (114).

5.       The Virtual – the qualitative potential within particular relations or events (117).  In other words, the material of space-time beyond our bodies ability to perceive it.

6.       Entelechy – the process of development through having the goal within or the end goal of development is the process of working toward the end goal.  (124)

7.       Posthumanism – the death of the subject as such and the recognition that all humans exist in a complex context of nature, technology, and language.  “Locating thought and action in the complexity of distributed cognitive environments” (177)

Interesting Quotes:

  1. A run-down of different histories of the field @ bottom of pg. 21.
  2. One consequence of the categorical history, then, becomes a dispute over the definition of rhetoric – is it more of a general theory (like a science) or is it an artistic practice (like most of the humanities)?  (39)
  3. Method is multiple and situational. . . . Writing is not the application of simple formalisms to all occasions.  It requires a broad-based education and being open to the multiple paths that can emerge out of any given rhetorical situation (47).
  4. Good recap of Berlin (55)

Questions:

  1. I don’t necessarily see how Coleridge offers something that ancient Greek rhetoric doesn’t: dynamism.  H. claims that C.’s method is “to examine the material context closely and tailor the arrangements of it to the conditions of possibility it offers” (42).  How is this any different from the kairotic moment or the dynamism of the topoi not as static rules of discourse but as rhetorical/situational starting points (or “dwelling places” in Carolyn Miller’s words)?  Maybe there isn’t a distinction to be made between the two. . . maybe the real import here is that the way that neoclassical rhetoric (science and formal method) was revived by composition was problematic. . . not the actual dynamism of ancient Greek rhetorical theory itself?
  2. I get a little hung up on Hawk’s claim that Marxist pedagogies advocated by Berlin were mind-centered because they were oriented toward language and ideology.  This seems to be a distinctly non-Marxist line of thinking.  It was Marx who took the Hegelian dialectic (with its emphasis on ideas) and inverted it to argue that the material realities of class struggle were the basis for dialectical evolution (in historical terms).  So . . . Marx’s dialectical materialism seems intimately concerned with the material.  Interestingly Hawk notes that Berlin’s work isn’t concerned with dialectical materialism explicitly; rather, it is interested in unveiling false consciousness.  This makes more sense as the ideological domination of the ruling class obscures the social relations of production, making commodities reliant only on their value in monetary terms.  The dialectical materiality that actually works against ideology (Marx once said “The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill society with the industrial capitalist”) is obscured in the domination of false consciousness; hence, Berlin’s work is “mind-centered” pedagogy because it seeks to unmask the false consciousness of ideology to demonstrate the realities of history as dialectical materialism.
  3. The criticisms that Hawk provides to Berlin’s program of emancipatory, socialist pedagogy are many of the same problematic that are engaged by Hardt and Negri’s Commonwealth (79).  These problems pose real questions about exploring an existing Marxist program instead of letting oneself go . . . to submit to the Multitude as it comes into being (because it can’t be marshaled into being).  If that is the case, how do we consider the relationship between social-epistemic pedagogies and political pedagogies; in other words, can we ever achieve anything by being political and “creating” a situation/happening in the composition classroom (or anywhere else for that matter)?
  4. If we accept Hawk’s description on 219 about a method-driven pedagogy of desire and affect where students are allowed to use the set curriculum as a place to connect to and work through their own political interest toward their own determination, is there a place at all for a progressive politics in this particular pedagogy?  This is a general question that is related to biopower and the becoming of the multitude toward a new politics of the common.  Hardt and Negri don’t really have an answer and Hardt claims that Deleuze develops a politics vis-à-vis Spinoza (“Spinozan politics, then, is oriented toward the organization of social encounters so as to encourage useful and composable relationships; it is ‘this art of organizing encounters” (Hardt 133).  “The freedom of multiplicity becomes the freedom of the multitude.  And the rule of the multitude is democracy: ‘This right, which is defined by the power of the multitude, is generally called a state.  And it is absolutey controlled by he who through common consent manages the affairs of the republic. . . . If this charge belongs to a council composed of the general multitude, then the State is called a democracy” (Hardt 110, qt of Spinoza Political Treatise II : 17).
  5. If we consider the post-dialectical pedagogy as “These movements find their way in the molar (directed toward mass phenomena like human, nature, society, industry, capital) and the molecular (which push toward singularities) at the same time” what can individuals and the multitude coalesce around to produce a politics?  THE COMMON – it exists at the molar and molecular level and motivates desire across all spaces.

Footnotes:

One Response to “Hawk – A Counter-History of Composition: Toward Methodologies of Complexity”

  1. Aristotle – On Rhetoric | epiphonema

    […] Again, relying on Hawk, the answer might lie in Aristotle’s conception of entelechy.  Hawk claims that Aristotle’s notion of “entelechy” is the immanent goal that lies in […]

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