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100 4 Juggle This conflict between the form of a proposition per se and the unity of the concept which destroys that form is similar to what occurs in the rhythm between meter and accent. Rhythm results from the juggle and unification of both. In that way, in the philosophical proposition, the identity of subject and predicate does not abolish their difference. —Phenomenology, § 61 For Hegel, rhythm affects logic. What is more, logical necessity is constituted by the rhythm of the concept’s movement: “It is in this nature of what is to be its concept in its being thatlogical necessity in general consists. This alone is the rational and the rhythm of the organic whole . . . —that is, it is this alone which is the speculative” (§ 56, trans. modified). Yet, the rhythm of the concept is far from steady and predictable. It is a constant juggle. There is no preexisting concept of the rhythm of the concept; rather, its rhythm emerges contemporaneously with its fumbling steps of self-comprehension. Each phenomenological scenario compels the concept to (re-)create its rhythm in communication with its context. Because the “rhythm of the organic whole” thus changes constantly, it is quite difficult , if not impossible, to identify speculative rhythm. “When you think you have it, it evaporates and returns as a new rhythm” (Trinh 1999, 14). The situatedness of knowledge—even of absolute knowledge—that we discussed in the previous chapter returns here as the incessantly changing rhythm of the whole. We will discover in this chapter that speculative rhythm emerges from the divided method of philosophical science, which juggles contrary demands. This method is grounded in sympathy understood as a sharing of non-identity, a sharing that itself is shared. Every articulation of a new insight thus alters the rhythm of the whole. Like someone who dances to her own heartbeat. Every move she makes with her arms, her 101 J U G G L E legs, or her torso to accompany her heartbeat changes the rhythm of that beat, which in turn has an effect on her dance moves.1 Echolalia Speculative rhythm has often been constructed as a regular three-step. In that case, dialectics becomes a rocking movement that feels soothing. It assures that individual concepts come and go, and that thought departs and returns, while nothing is lost and nothing imposes itself forever. But Hegel’s analogy between logic and rhythm suggests something more disturbing. Hegel’s rhythm has an element of chaos. It is reminiscent of the description of rhythm by Deleuze and Guattari, who specify that “what chaos and rhythm have in common is the in-between” (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 313). Oscillating between different notions of the concept, between judgment and speculative proposition, and between philosophy and poetry, speculative rhythm introduces chaos and contingency into the realm of logic—and that can be a quite troubling thought. The elements of the two different logics of Hegel’s divided methodology do not join under the rule of a common beat. Not one of these dancers leads. Instead, they bring different rhythms to bear on one another, forming “a zone in which dissonant, differently tuned voices, discordant voices out of tune with themselves and with the times, may be heard echoing through one another” (to use a formulation of Michael Levine 1997, 111). Yet the different logics “unexpectedly click in, come apart, meet halfway, and so on; in other words, . . . they do and undo one another in their diversified movements” (Trinh 1999, 261). The self-actualizing activity of Hegelian concepts cuts across the clear-cut distinctions that traditional logic tries to enforce. For Hegel, language, thought, and reality overlap and are inseparable. Thoughtful statements are acts that alter reality. The “form of writing” must therefore be of great concern for Hegel when he embarks on the project of the Phenomenology, that is, of presenting spirit as it appears to itself (Hegel 2002, 251). It comes as no surprise, therefore, that he devotes an important part of the Phenomenology’s preface to his thoughts on the form of philosophical exposition (§ 56–66).2 Spirit appears (phainesthai) to itself in the logic and syntax of its language (logos). ThePhenomenology of Spirit mediates spirit with itself through writing. Nevertheless, as we have seen in the previous chapter, Hegel is much attuned to the fact that a dynamic truth cannot simply be written 102 E M O T I O N A L S Y N T A X down. In...


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