By Catherine Malabou
Within the traditional order of items, lives run their path and finally one turns into who one is. physically and psychic alterations do not anything yet make stronger the permanence of id. yet due to critical trauma, or occasionally for no cause in any respect, a subject’s historical past splits and a new, exceptional personality involves dwell with the previous individual - an unrecognizable character whose current comes from no previous and whose destiny harbors not anything to return; an existential improvisation, a sort born of the coincidence and unintentionally. Out of a deep reduce opened in a biography, a new being comes into the realm for a moment time.
What is that this shape? A face? A mental profile? What ontology can it account for, if ontology has regularly been connected to the fundamental, ceaselessly ignorant of the aléa of changes? What background of being can the plastic energy of destruction clarify? What can it let us know in regards to the explosive tendency of lifestyles that secretly threatens every one of us?
Continuing her reflections on harmful plasticity, break up identities and the psychic results skilled via those that have suffered mind damage or were traumatized through conflict and different catastrophes, Catherine Malabou invitations us to affix her in a philosophic and literary experience within which Spinoza, Deleuze and Freud pass paths with Proust and Duras.
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Extra info for The Ontology of the Accident: An Essay on Destructive Plasticity
In reality, the destruction only applies to later acquisitions and devel opments. The essence o f mental disease lies in a return to earlier states o f affective life and o f functioning. An excellent example o f the plasticity o f mental life is afforded by the state o f sleep, which is our goal every night. 44 Plasticity thus refers to the possibility of being trans formed without being destroyed; it characterizes the entire strategy of modification that seeks to avoid the threat of destruction.
Here again we are talking about a loss of “good” plasticity. It does not occur to anyone that another plasticity might be at work when the “good” plasticity leaves the scene. It seems that two competing conceptions of ageing counter one another obscurely, inviting us to re-examine, in the light of both creative and destructive plasticity, the definition of ageing as change and thereby to understand how ageing can be subsumed to illness as event. The first, most widespread conception of ageing, both in general opinion and in the scientific community, is a ideological concept in which ageing is the natural end of life, the decline that necessarily follows maturity.
Indeed, just like the appetite, the tendency to persevere is quali tatively and quantitatively variable, more or less open, more or less intense. The hunger to live is not always equal to itself: it changes, increasing or decreasing accord ing to affects, depending on how one feels. For Spinoza, the affects manifest a range in which joy and sorrow are two opposite poles. Joy increases the power to act, increases the intensity of the conatus, widens its scope. Sorrow, on the other hand, dampens, diminishes and restricts this power.