Ontic Philosophy Forum

Ontic Philosophy Forum
Ontic Philosophy Forum


Come and join my new forum! I hope to create an awesome resource of philosophy, economics, politics, feminism and spirituality topics there.


We can make it in to whatever we want!



Happy new year 2017! This is a brand new forum. Please feel free to post and open threads. This is mainly a philosophy related forum. The more topics that are discussed, the more sections will be opened and the forum will begin to form it’s own identity. Ontic Philosophy Forum encourages the creation of threads and posts that are in the form of beginners guides. If the topics are more complex, please be as informative as possible. You can either start a debate, discussion, conversation or you can watch as others do so.

Welcome to Ontic Philosophy Forum.

I’m Nemus and I am the admin for the site. I am interested in philosophy and I was kind of fed up with discussions on YouTube, twitter, Facebook etc, as they either descended into irrelevance  and were not enjoyable anymore and I was looking for a medium that was more about writing and text as a means of conveying what I thought. I find forums to be much better for finding like-minded people.

Please make suggestions! Form groups that I can create in the admin control panel, if you want to create a group, please specify what the groups name is and what it’s about, how members can join and then get to it!

The main qualities I am looking for from this forum-

  1. Active members
  2. Quality threads that resemble beginners guides to philosophy, economics, politics and sociology (some psychology too)
  3. Quality conversations (it’s not always a debate you know!)
  4. A helpful community of members

What you can expect from me

  1. I will always remain impartial and indifferent when it comes to moderation
  2. I will discuss whatever is on the forum with any member
  3. I will protect the forum from spam attacks
  4. When the situation arises where conflict may lead to an unhappy mood on the forum, I will try to handle it in a civilised manner
  5. Warnings will be verbal, if problems escalate, then a suspension will be implimented, then a ban.

What constitutes bad behaviour?

This is usually an arbitrary thing to define on a forum. Basically – don’t annoy people! No one likes a sea lion troll – the sort of person who makes it everyone else’s job to spoon feed them day and night, coming across with ‘concern’ but being passive aggressive. It’s not cool. Don’t threaten members, don’t reveal personal information about yourself or others here, don’t share anything that you shouldn’t, like illegal material, copyrighted shit etc, etc.

Also, this should be obvious – no spamming. This will lead to an instant ban.

I will always try to explain the best way to resolve the problems when they arise – it usually involves taking a few days off from the forum – that usually does the trick. Talking about philosophy can seem personal sometimes, if you feel agitated, just relax and take some time to reflect. The forum will be here when you return.

I mostly want to see members sort out their own conflicts, I will only intervene if the threads descend into irrelevance. Unless you can prove a point while being provocative, then you will be warned about your actions.

On a lighter note

I think most forums go wrong by not analysing this behaviour – I think these sorts of interactions should be dicussed and I hope we can review the way people behave in an intellectual way.

Most of all though – be a secret gardener. Don’t worry about people not responding to your posts, most people who like your stuff probably have nothing to add, so when youget a thread with what seem like negative comments, just remember that they are not representitive of everyone on the forum. Please don’t make a ‘I’m fed up with this forum and all the people in it’ kind of thread, it’s very painful to read those sorts of threads and they never go anywhere.

Enjoy the forum!

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Language as Writing | Derrida | Philosophy

Derrida’s deconstruction of Husserl and Phenomenology

Superstructuralism builds on a key field of language theory. Husserl is an ‘I’ philosopher. He’s after an especially ‘true’ level of language from an ‘I’ philosophers point of view, he says it is necessarily and exclusively human and draws an absolute distinction between human signs and natural signs. True language then to Husserl is in terms of expression, where meaning is willed and intended by the utterer.  Derrida, on Husserls behalf says –

Expression…is conscious through and through, and intentional.

Meaning thus understood is not just meaning in the sense that words mean, but in the sense that someone means them to mean. This orientation towards ‘expression’ tilts Husserl’s theory of language inevitably towards the use of Voice. But what could have caused the idea that anyone else has a mind in the first place, if not their words, their signifiers?

It is because of these inter-subjective problems in Husserl, that he relegates person-to-person speech to secondary status and discovers ‘expression’ most purely present in the intra-subjective use of Voice, in interior monologue. When one talks to themselves, they understand perfectly and directly the intention that animates the words.

Derrida explains on Husserl’s behalf:
My words are “alive” because they don’t seem to leave me: not to fall outside me, outside my breath, at a visible distance; not to cease to belong to me, to be at my disposition “without further props”.

The inward voice takes place in time, but does not take place in space.

Husserl even admits that what is required for his conception of interior monologue is that one already knows everything one is going to say to oneself before starting to say it. Language has in effect been reduced to a mere appendage and has no real reason for continuing to exist at all.

Husserl’s insistence on all ‘true’ language is necessarily and exclusively human has enabled him to dissolve the existence of objective verbal signs entirely in favour of subjective human ideas. This is good for an ‘I’ philosopher, but highly unsatisfactory from the viewpoint of anyone who wants to consider language as an important reality in its own right.

Derrida and writing

Derrida wants to do exactly that. For Derrida, ‘true’ language is not language at its most human but language at its most language-y, language at its most self-sufficient – even to the extent of being independent of human beings.

Derrida Wrote:
The structure peculiar to language alone, which allows it to function entirely by itself when its intention is cut off from intuition.

Husserl points to an extreme interior monologue of Voice, Derrida tilts all language towards the opposite extreme of Writing.

Writing is language at its most self-sufficient because it is language at its most spatial, writing exists, not insubstantially in the mind, nor briefly and transparently in sound-waves of the air, but solidly and enduringly in marks upon a page. Such marks do not need to be propped up by the presence of their marker; on the contrary, their marker is always essentially absent, and may even be dead. Writing is orphaned and seperated at birth from the assistance of its father.

Writing represents the passage of thought out of consciousness. Derrida has to turn the common-sense way of looking at the world completely upside-down.

Derrida does not deny that the use of speech comes before the use of language for every human. He denies the assumption that we ordinarily make without even thinking about it: the assumption that the original form of a thing is somehow its ‘truest form’. Thus we tend to assume that we could finally explain language if we could only rediscover its most rudimentary beginnings in primitive communication. This assumption comes very naturally to us.

Derrida proposes a radical seperation of historical and conceptual priority. The fact of writing follows from the fact of speech, but he non the less asserts that the idea of speech depends upon the idea of writing. Or to put it another way – writing is the logically fundamental condition to which language has always aspired.

No doubt this is a difficult position to grasp. Consider this analogy-

A tree rises and flourishes by virtue of some deep and inwardly hidden source of life. We tend to imagine a single essential center which was there from the earliest stages of growth. But a tree lives on the outside, by the circulation which flows through its green bark and sapwood, and its center is mere dead heartwood, endlessly supplanted and left behind.

We could consider the language of mathematics too, that if we trace all later developments back to counting with sticks or stones or beads or whatever, we will arrive at the purest and truest form of mathematics as a language. But these have all been supplanted and left behind in the real world in modern times. The square root of minus one does not exist in real world terms at all. Rules have to be made up in order for that to exist at all. In a sense, mathematics reveals its ‘truest’ form in its ‘unnatural’ and most supplementary developments.

The logic of supplements

This is a new centrifugalist way of looking at the world.

The strange structure of the supplement appears…by delayed reaction, a possibility produces that to which it is said to be added on.

Structuralists vision of superstructures, is that culture has become so fundamental to human existence, that there is no possibility of delving down under it. Culture can predominate over a nature which existed before it.

Derrida goes all the way with the seperation between historical and conceptual priority, he overturns our assumptions about origins and culture no less than our assumptions about origins in nature. The logic of supplements also applies to thinking about language itself, as we shall see shortly, but also applies to our way of thinking about meaning within language.

What is in the writers mind has no special priority over the meaning of his words. The writer discovers the meaning of his words upon writing them. The written sign is not only sent it is also received, even the writer is just another reader. There is a surplus of meaning with written words.

Philosophical zombies

Can a something have two meanings at once that make it contradictory? A philosophical zombie is a term or concept that is both dead and alive, it is an undecidable – the Greek word ‘Pharmakon‘ means both ‘remedy’ and ‘posion’, for example. According to Derrida, the Greek language is saying two quite different things about Plato’s text, two very divergent things about writing, simultaneously and undecidably. He finds many more remote meanings with this word, such as perfume, dye and even a scapegoat for the good of the community! The centrifugal movement of meaning within language could not be more plainly demonstrated.

For Derrida, the centrifugal movement of any single word ultimately spreads out across every other word in the whole language.

Derrida refuses to allow any meanings in any mind at all. He gives a very simple answer to a philosophical problem that goes like this –

When we try to look at the meaning of a word in our minds, we never seem to encounter any decisive mental content or image but only absence and emptiness.

Derrida’s answer is – the signified does not exist.

This is very much like David Hume’s statement –

“For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception…. If any one, upon serious and unprejudic’d reflection thinks he has a different notion of himself, I must confess I can reason no longer with him. All I can allow him is, that he may be in the right as well as I, and that we are essentially different in this particular. He may, perhaps, perceive something simple and continu’d, which he calls himself; tho’ I am certain there is no such principle in me.”

The signified is merely an illusion that human beings have invented because they feared to face up to the consequences of a materialist conception of language.

There is no movement from signifier to signified, but there is movement from signifier to signifier. Signifiying is signifiers in motion. What’s more – the movement is unstoppable. In the ordinary conception of meaning – the signifiers points away from itself but the signified does not, the signfied represents a terminus where meaning grinds to a halt. In Derrida’s conception – one signifier points to another and another and another ad infinitum.


Derrida describes this state of language as dissemination, no rich harvest of meaning, but rather spillage and waste, endless loss. Language manages to avoid social responsibility and individual irresponsibility, it’s anarchic and unpredictable level of functioning subversive of all rigid proper meanings on the ordinarily socially controllled level. This is the Post-Structuralist mode of language – the mode of the Sign’s real being.


Derrida dispenses with a simultaneous totality of a system of language (as if langauge fell from the skies ready-made) by saying words are not self-identical or fixed in the same place. It’s endlessly unbalanced and out of equilibrium. Derrida’s theory of language still works with differentiation – with a difference, or to be more precise – with différance.

On the one hand, différer indicates difference as distinction, inequality, or discernability: on the other, it expresses the interpretation of delay, the interval of a spacing and temporalising that puts off until ‘later’ what is presently denied.

Différer in this sense approximates to the English verb ‘to defer’, and like the English verb, it brings into play the notion of an action in time.

Oppostions of words do not exist by virtue of their opposition, but rather by the virtue of deferring of the meaning. The meaning is put off only for the present, it still impends, still awaits and in time the meaning that defers will have to flow over into it.

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Abjection | I stray in order to be |

What is abjection?

The general usage of the term ‘abject’ is an adjective for the most depraved, low, disgusting forms of ways of life, or individual and societal acts. We might say ‘the crime in that particular area is abject’; or ‘those people live in abject poverty’. In any case, wherever it is used, it is referring to something outside of a norm of goodness.

In it’s philosophical usage, it denotes a state of ‘being cast off’; or ‘excreted’ and ‘rejected’. Language informs our reality, it represents it and so abjection defines a boundary between two states of being, the pure and the impure, me and not me.


Liminality is a key term when describing the abject. To be liminal is to relate a transitional or initial stage of a process, like a ritual. It also explains an occupied position at, or on both sides of a boundary and a threshold. Liminality is the process of ‘in-between’ moments in space between an inciting incident and a solution. The term is most commonly used in literature, the solution is from a protagonist.

It is often a period of discomfort, of waiting, and of transformation. Your characters’ old habits, beliefs, and even personal identity disintegrates.

The term sub-liminal refers to existing or operating below the threshold of consciousness; being or employing stimuli insufficiently intense to produce a discrete sensation but often being or designed to be intense enough to influence the mental processes or the behavior of the individual: a subliminal stimulus; subliminal advertising.

When we talk about abjection, we are talking about an ordering of boundaries that leads to a transformation of both sides, it operates in-between the boundary and the boundary between self and other, even the boundary of subconsiousness. The abject is something instinctual, primal and prior to language itself. It can be manipulated and reshaped through emotions.


The abject is niether object or subject. It occupies the liminal space between the two. It subverts and perverts boundaries. It is ‘the me that is not me’. We define ourselves and others through the abject, we cast off a part of ourselves in order to redefine the new boundaries and identity of either side.

Abject as a protection

It’s biological expression is one of nausea and disgust, anxiety and spasms. It protects us from what we loathe. We spit ourselves out. Food loathing is perhaps the best example of the abject. Jellied eels are a common delicacy in some London pubs, just watching others scoff and swallow those slimy, gross eels with a pint of lager makes me wretch and purge. When I can’t hide my repulsion from others, they seek to proffer the loathed food and I refuse. ‘I’ do not want to listen.’I’ refuse to assimilate it. ‘I’ expell it.

To each ego it’s object, to each superego, it’s abject.

A corpse is another way of understanding abjection, a corpse shows you the boundary of life itself, what we push aside in order to live.

Formation of individuality

If we think of desire (want) as something prior to signification, preliminary to being and object, we can understand abjection as something intimate and unapproachable. It means that lives are not sustained by desire, but through exclusion. It is how territories are formed. The abject is phobia and the splitting of the ego. We are not subjects, but rather, dejects, we place ourselves, seperate ourselves and situate ourselves and therefore stray.

Strayed to salvation

Whenever we become disgusted with our own actions and thoughts, we begin to deject and stray, we are literally beside ourselves. We refuse to assimilate the part of ourselves that provokes such nausea and phobia, we protect ourselves from ourselves and form the ‘I’.

When we cross the threshold of individual territory into society, we can see the abject forming borders, casting-off that which it does not tolerate and loathes, yet the deject also finds the others in those groups counter to their desires and so excludes themselves in order to grow as an individual.

I stray in order to be. Shakespeare’s famous line from Hamlet best captures the abject – ‘to be or not to be, that is the question’, as Hamlet is cast-off and dejects what he finds repulsive within his family, ‘something is rotten in Denmark’. Thus, Elizabethan England was a time of revolt against old traditions and rebellion, it was the birth of the individual in modern literature.

One could argue that Odysseus was the first individual, as he was cast-off and excluded only to return with a solution to reorder the changes while he was away with violence.

What is abject is in constant battle and revolt with what it excludes and rejects it. It cannot be assimilated, it establishes itself and protects itself from the shameful.

Bodily fluids

The abject is that which is excreted from a body, be it a social body or an individual deject/subject. These excretions are me, yet not me. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is the best example of this rejection of the other that reordered liminal space. The 80’s were a time of hysteria about bodily fluids as they were percieved as diseased and so people who were ill and dying were rejected from society. This extended to anyone who was outside of the territory of norms and customs in general, punks, drug users who shared syringes, black people due to a racist view of the genesis of the virus, homosexuals, queers, transgender and many more out-casts were in constant revolt against the exclusion.

We can think of the abject as a power of horror that works in a ritualistic way, it’s sole desire is to save itself from what it considers intolerable. It reveals a subliminal power in the horror that power is a two way street and the abject produces symbols and actions of defiance, re-turning, detournment and revolution as it subverts these hidden boundaries.

Situationaist International thinker, Guy DeBoor used French Detournment. It gave a name to what youth sub-cultures had always been doing, taking a style, symbol or form of life and hacking it, subverting it, perverting it from it’s intentions. For example, Teddy boys took Edwardian fashion and turned it into working class machismo, while punks and queers took derogatory labels and turned them into symbols of defiance.

His intent on using this ‘re-turning’ was to address the assimilation of capitalism into our thoughts and desires, since advertising took off in the 20th century, it replaced thoughts with a collection of images that enclosed the subject body into a consumer society.

Domination and resistance

Wherever there is domination there will always be a continuing resistance. The abject is the dark revolt of the soul.

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Incorporation | You are the world around you |

What is incorporation?

We all like to believe that we are original and autonomous individuals, soveriegn individuals that are authentic. This is an impossible occurence and the concept of incorporation describes the process of our ‘thrown-ness’ into existence. It’s sometimes referred to as a ‘ready-to-hand’; ‘present-at-hand’ or ‘readymade’ quality that affects our ontical-ontology in existence. We are born into a world of history and talking about incorporation is a study of historology (history of being) and historciality (ontical history of a being). Incorporation is a process we can’t avoid, it is a heteronomous will, a determinism of our being in being.

To incorporate something means to take it from the world around you and then make it part of your own body.

For example, when we ingest food we extract nutrients from it and some of these nutrients are transformed into cells in our bodies. In a similar sense, we are educated in society and we pick up ideas, beliefs, norms and practices from other people around us and then make them ‘our own’.

Parasitic and Symbiotic

From the example of ingestion and nutrients in the body, incorporation is not strictly harmful in and of itself. Some forms of incorporation are symbiotic, which means that two bodies co-exist in a way that is beneficial for both bodies. For example, there is bacteria in our bodies that helps to break down food and remove harmful toxins, without them we would not be able to survive. A tic however, which feeds off our blood, is a parasite. The tic needs me to live, but I can live without the tic.

Some of these ideas are dug in very deep in our subconscious and may seem like instincts, they become emotional, unconscious and unthinking, ‘physical’ reflexes and ‘gut feelings’, or knee-jerk reactions. This is usually apparent when what we have incorporated is challenged or violated and a cognitive dissonance occurs.

There are four main processes of incorporation – mimesis, performativity, normativity and the formation of subjects.


Human beings have a strong and largely unconscious tendency to imitate each other, especially from what they consider to be ‘role models’. Some philosophers and psychologists use the Greek term mimesis to describe this phenomenon. Children start to imitate the people around them within hours of them being born, starting with facial expressions. After a few months, it gets more complex and they copy and repeat practices and routines that they are shown.

Mimesis or ’embodied unconscious imitation’ is a very early and powerful way in which we incorporate values, desires and actions of those near to us. The drive is for power – we have an unconscious desire to have more and more control over our bodies and we copy routines and practices, ideas and values from others in order to get the ball rolling. This doesn’t stop after childhood however, it continues through the rest of our lives.

There are even earlier ‘transmission processes’ for appetites that are passed on while we are in the womb, what our mothers eat determines what our tastes are.

Mimesis can sometimes be referred to as a ‘herd instinct’, ‘chameleon effect’ and subconscious ‘priming’.


One way in which we incorporate values, norms and practices is by repeatedly performing and practicing them. When we learn a new song or dance, we start off awkward and rigid, but eventually through practice and repitition, the moves and sounds flow more naturally until it is like a ‘second nature’.

Developmental Psychologists studied how children learn ‘scripts’, or repeated patterns of social interaction. There are determined scripts for bedtime and dinnertime, or ‘going to the park’. Like a theatre script, it can include a typical sequence of events or scenes and can feature and number of roles (mummy, baby etc).

Built into it are expectations of what happens next, desires and emotions about what is happening and values, of right and wrong actions and responses. Basic structures of human memory seem to favour learning through scripts. Infants have little memory for particular objects and one-off events, buthave strong memory for repeated sequences.

Like mimesis, script learning is not something that stops when we grow up, it continues throughout our adult lives too.


Norms and practices – also interpretations, values, desires, or even whole scripts combining a number of these – that people in a group feel to be normal or expected and to be right. Norms are supported through rewards and punished through sanctions.

Norms are unofficial rules, often unwritten that are enforced by nieghbours, informal groups, as opposed to laws, which are more formal rules that are enforced by the state or other ‘specialist’ agent. We don’t have to make the distinction here, some official laws work like norms, if they are accepted as right and normal.

Many norms are implicit, rarely put into words, perhaps even entirely unconscious. Many Developmental Psychologists think children start to learn norms before they can speak. They are ‘moral feelings’ that we learn and then later rationalise into ‘moral concepts’. So they are largely unconscious and can go unquestioned, even when we consciously rationalise and justify them.

It’s another aspect of the ‘herd instinct’ – that we cling to groups seeking approval and belonging.


The traditional way of training people into a groups’ norms is through humiliation and violence for norm-breakers. By contrast, rewards of status for conformity.

Note how norms involve a number of different people in different roles, they depend on the type of encounter. The norms, or what you are expected to do in certain situations – and want, and value, and expect, how you are supposed to interpret the world, will be different depending on how you are identified, what role you are expected to play.


Humans become subjects – who can reflect on themselves and their actions, make conscious plans and projects over time. We can become self-governing or self-policing. For example, I measure myself by what I ‘should be’, strive to become more like the ideal and feel inadequate or guilty if I fail.

This is a paradox of subjectivity – while we seem ‘free’ to make and re-make ourselves in new ways, persuing our chosen projects, what we choose doesn’t come from a pure source ‘inside of us’: we have incorporated these choices, too, from the cultures around us.

You might be a strong, commited and independent subject, but the ideal you aim for comes right off the shelf of norms and stereotypes, let’s say from capitalism, or patriarchy for instance – ruthless money maker, model worker, family guy, housewife, object of desire, gangster, consumer, or playboy.


Thinking about and working on yourself as an individual is an important form of social domination in modern life. Think about how we are sold ‘aspirational lifestyles’ or the need for ‘self improvement’ to name a couple of examples.


Mimesis, performativity, normativity and subject becoming don’t mean that the subject is ‘doomed’ to cultural slavery. Having ‘care of the self’ is a vital starting point for developing new cultures and forms of life, freer ways of living. But just being a ‘soveriegn individual’ is not all there is to being free. Subjectivation, or techniques of the self can be used in a number of ways, they can be used to defend or reinforce forms of life dug deep into our bodies (such as capitalism and patriarchy), or they can be used to destroy and overcome them.


  • We incorporate values, desires and practices of the cultures around us through a range of processes
  • Some of these processes are deeply unconscious, they work on us even when we are not aware of them and without conscious effort on our part
  • These unconscious incorporation processes start in early childhood and continue throughout our adult lives
  • This doesn’t mean we are unthinking slaves of the cultures around us where we grow up and live. We can learn to understand these processes that shape us and use our self-consciousness to help transform our ways of life.

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Darwin lived – we don’t need philosophy | Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins – Darwin lived so you don’t need philosophy?


“Philosophy and the subjects known as ‘humanities’ are still taught today as though Darwin had never lived.  No doubt this will change in time.”

-The Selfish Gene, Chapter I ‘Why are people?’


This troublesome sentence is a good starting point for addressing Dawkins’ dualistic point of view of scientific naturalism and social sciences. To iterate, this sentence literally dismisses philosophy and all of the social sciences, or explanation from art. Later in the same chapter, Richard Dawkins begins to explain what he means by altruism and selfishness, but the purposes of this essay are not to debate about whether or not Dawkins should change the name of his book, The Selfish Gene, it is to focus on the growing influence he has on modern atheism. To my knowledge, he has not rectified or clarified whether he still stands by this sentence, as we shall see Dawkins has added a few prefaces and introductions over the years to same book to address any criticisms and this line was not re-addressed. I will argue that science and philosophy are two sides of the same coin and will use Alfred North Whitehead and Henri Bergsons’ concepts of first and second order process, constructs or realities to bridge the gap Dawkins states is irreconcilable post-Darwin. I will end the essay with Dawkins and some of his intellectual friends ridiculing some post-modernist philosophers through ignorance rather than integrity.



I am going to give some examples of apparently selfish and apparently altruistic behaviour. It is difficult to suppress subjective habits of thought when we are dealing with our own species, so I shall choose examples from some other animals instead. First some miscellaneous examples of selfish behaviour by individual animals.


-The Selfish Gene, Chapter I ‘ Why are people?’


Dawkins’ split between subjective and objective qualities when taken with the opening quote context, becomes problematic. He can’t deny that there are two orders of experiencing reality, but only one of them can be put into textual form. It is this textual form that he privileges as the best possible representation of that which he calls ‘objective’.

A general reading declares an awareness of human values being imposed onto other animals’ behaviour and a recognition that the way humans think and act, may not be the case for other animals. A closer reading reveals a dualist split between nature and society. Later in chapter 3, The Gene Machine P53, Dawkins becomes more monistic by describing a ‘time-lag’ problem from gene to phenotype.

My focus is on whether biology, or more generally science, when it comes to asking and answering a factual or evaluative or an interpretative question, can represent reality in those terms. It is more generally known as the ‘why or how problem’ within science. It opens up the stakes of the boundaries of philosophy, how questions are produced and policed. What belongs ‘inside’ philosophy and what has to be expelled? What counts as a properly philosophical text? What form should it take? What kinds of language should it use? Being able to answer why we exist, why something does a particular thing can only ever be a representation of the thing, a trace that is remote from the direct experience of the thing. The thing is a contingent mass of lineages and encounters that make up what we say is its ontology.


A ‘why’ question is always a ‘how’ answer and the search for the purpose leads to another tangent within science and philosophy – to find a universal foundation. In Dawkins’  genecentric theory, the foundation is survival through selfishness or altruism, ‘whether the effect of an act is to lower or raise the survival prospects of the presumed altruist and the survival prospects of the presumed beneficiary’ (introduction to the 30th anniversery edition). In a more general outlook of science informing ethics, we usually end up with negative utilitarianism. One should act if and only if they reduce harm and suffering, which makes suffering the foundation for all existence. I will argue later in this essay that these are answers with presumptions that probably are not necessary and are just convenient explanations for a non-participatory (in the act of gathering and observing information and the methods used to reach conclusions) audience.

The genes […] control the behaviour of their survival machines, not directly with their fingers on puppet strings, but indirectly […]. All they can do is set it up beforehand; then the survival machine is on its own, and the genes sit passively inside.

Dawkins describes a time-lag problem in the form of an analogy from a science fiction novel, A for Andromeda by Fred Hoyle and John Elliot. A civilisation many light years away wants to expand their culture to distant worlds and they created a highly succinct broadcast that was encrypted. Once deciphered it would reveal plans for a dictator-type technology. The point Dawkins is making by analogy is that although the Andromedans had created the plans, they had no direct part in the manipulation of events on Earth and this is the same time-lag problem between genes and gene machines (phenotypes). This is monistic and not dualist, it explains a whole complex system that contingently/neccessarily expresses itself as seperate elements and it must be described/represented in a such a way also.

He also uses the analogy of a computer chess game. The computer is not able to participate in the same way you are participating, it has some general rules that it uses to execute moves. This is clearly philosophical and not scientific, the point being that we can’t exclude one order of reality without including a privilege of the one we include. That being metaphor through textual representation. He has also used a method within post-structural philosophy that uses art and literature to define phenomena. In chapter I page 3 (ibid),

Statements Dawkins apologised for

Dawkins gives caution of ‘the gene’s law of universal ruthlessness’ and that if we wish to extract morals from his book, ‘you can expect little help from biological nature’. He then says a line that he utterly regrets and given its deplorable literal construction and how long Dawkins took to clarify his error, it is legitimate to call this statement into question.

Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish.

He clarifies in the 30th anniversary edition introduction that ‘born selfish’ is misleading and then pleads for us all to mentally delete that ‘rogue sentence’ and others like it. He then also has to apologise for the ‘anthropomorphic personification’ of genes. His explanation is based on something a molecular biologist once said where in order to think through a chemical problem, he would ask himself what he would do if he were an electron. Explanations are then based on ‘behaving like it, just as I would/are, is doing such and such’. The problem for me in regards to this explanation is that it implies function declares purpose. ‘A light beam behaving as if trying to minimise the time taken to travel to an end point’ imagined as a ‘lifeguard racing down a beach (because they can run faster than they can swim) to rescue a drowning swimmer’ comes from a question of ‘why does it (electron or light) do that?’

Science can show how already existent phenomena behaves, but why is a question for philosophy. This is not to say that philosophy can answer this particular why, it just means science can’t answer that question without violating Dawkins intentions of describing reality and find it hard to ‘suppress subjective habits of thought when we are dealing with our own species.’ Asking ‘why’ immediately begs a question of finding an explanation, without first asking whether this presumption is even necessary. Given that text is remote from phenomena, we can’t possibly transcend the problem of ‘subjective habits’ as Dawkins has already retrojected a foundation of survival through selfishness and alturism.

First and second order constructs

I want to introduce a concept from thinkers like Alfred North Whitehead, John Dewey and Henri Bergson about first and second order constructs. To simplify, ‘second order constructs, ideally based upon the first ones, arguing that all facts are interpreted facts, both for common sense and for scientific thinking.’ (Europe and the other and Europe as the Other, P235, footnote 16). A first order construct, or reality, or process is the material thing we observe and the second order construct, reality or process is the interpretation of that thing, the meaning of it. The second order is more importantly sensation or the actual action of observing the phenomena. Monism is the only way to avoid relegating particular forms of langauge, representation and direct experience. Or trying to do the impossible of seperating subjective habits while trying to answer a why question. A match is struck and it lights, but that’s due to the encounter of two objects. A constant conjunction, which has no why answer.

Let us turn back to Dawkins’ molecular biologist friend and his ‘light-guards’, we must now turn to Dawkins intended spirit of The Selfish Gene where he quotes W.D. Hamilton, ‘let us try to make the argument more vivid by attributing to the genes, temporarily, intelligence and a certain freedom of choice.’ The opening quote of this essay ‘Philosophy and the subjects known as ‘humanities’ are still taught today as though Darwin had never lived.  No doubt this will change in time.’ Is it even possible to answer ‘why’ when dealing with different forms of being? In which case, naturalistic science is informed by social science, the difference is that naturalism has more quantitative substance to work with and social science is more qualitative with abstractions. His representations cannot be separated from the second order, as they are the only means of trying to answer a question of interpretation. Hume and Smith were the liberal influences of the time and we can see these same influences in todays modern evolutionary liberalism. This means that philosophy came before the science and influenced the explanations, which brings into question the problem of conventions, rather than ultimates in the representation.


Dawkins has a social responsibility to explain to the general public and will have to in a sense, ‘dumb down’ those explanations for those outside of the academic circle to grasp. It is incorrect to state that Dawkins is prescribing a natural law, but given that the anthropomorphic personification of genes is starting with a question of ‘why’, which will inevitably always be wrong in the way it is representing reality and is not as Dawkins claims in chapter I, ‘Living organisms had existed on earth for over three thousand million years before the truth finally dawned on one of them.’ That one being Darwin. So Dawkins presumes there is an ultimate truth to reality, in this instance ‘evolution tells us why we exist’ and the best way to reach this is through economic conventions that come from our own subjective habits. Incorrect, it tells us how we exist. We only know the functions (behaviour) of genetic phenomena, we don’t know ‘why’, outside of agreed cultural articulations.

Of course I am not arguing that Dawkins is being literal, ‘no sane person thinks DNA molecules have conscious personalities’, but whether the answer to a why-type-question that only requires a how-type-answer is ‘right’, is the debatable element that Dawkins may have overlooked. Dawkins, in a Q&A was asked whether or not science can answer a ‘why’ question. This does not relegate one field of study to being subdued by scientific naturalism, which we can see is one of the central embodiments within modern atheism.

“Well, what I would say about the question ‘why’ is why do you think you have any right to ask it? It’s not a meaningful question, except unless you specify the kind of answer you’re expecting. As a biologist, it’s very easy to answer the question ‘why do birds have wings?’ for example; we can do that in Darwinian terms. If you say however, ‘why do mountains exist?’ there are some questions that simply don’t deserve an answer. You could give an answer in terms of the geological processes that give rise to a mountain, but that’s not what you want is it? You want something that is about the purpose of mountains, which is a silly question.”

Before we go any further, a ‘why’ question/answer is interpretative and ‘how’ is factual and evaluative.

Let us examine his first assertion that biologists can answer ‘why do birds have wings?’ Birds have evolved many features to make flight possible. The skeleton is strong but light, with a large breastbone to support powerful muscles for flapping wings up and down. The wings themselves are curved on top, flatter beneath—air travels faster over the upper surface, producing lift. The long tail helps with direction and balance; strong legs assist with takeoff.

Birds have wings because they can take off from the ground, fly to another place, or hover above a fixed point and they can dive and land again. That is what defines a bird, what it is. It is factual and evaluative; it does not explain why they have wings. We have observed them perform these behaviors. Birds of prey eat other animals too, they eat for the same reasons other animals do, to relinquish hunger. Is that really a why answer? Was that an interpretation, or was it evaluating and factual?

The second assertion is that a geological explanation of how a mountain came to be is not the same as the why question for birds. Is it possible that due to birds having a similar form of conscious experience to humans and other animals that we think we can ask or answer an interpretative question? Birds having wings are the result of many contingent processes and as they are contingent, not necessary, we could question whether or not survival is a ‘why’ outside of the universal/particular points of view when it comes to describing phenomena.

We can say it appears to use wings to do this and that, in a conventional sense, but saying that is ultimately why is giving representation too much tenability.

If I were to stand next to you and we watched this phenomena as it happens, we can only see what is. If I were to listen to you speak about what is happening, or you to me, we would have a slight trace of what is there as we begin to explain and evaluate. When we get to text however and we begin to have an emphasis on interpretations of factual and evaluative statements, we no longer see any changes in habits, or anomalies, we have a trace of what once was. The question ‘why’ becomes unnecessary.

Biologistic explanations of ‘why do humans have sex?’ for example, have many errors from this experience-thought-speech-text problem. Science can certainly answer how we have sex and it can explain how we have children from having sex, but it can’t accurately answer why we have sex at all. Sex can be for fun. After all ‘Our brains have evolved past the point where we are capable of rebelling against our selfish genes. The fact that we can do so is made obvious by our use of contraceptives. The same principle can and should work on a wider scale.’ (Selfish Gene, xiv, Introduction to the 30th anniversary edition)

Here and now

Is that really a foundation of survival as the principle? Or could we say that organic life from micro to macro levels is a phenomena of encounters, that seem to subdue and resist each other? Survival implies an ending, a teleology, a neccessity. If we were to be factual and not interpretative, we see from moment to moment domination and resistance with multiple contingent changes that both include and transcend themselves, constantly going beyond what they are. If we are to represent reality as foolish, a mindless mass of flux, then survival can’t be included without transferring the subjective habits that go beyond the genes.

I argue that a mountain can be experienced just like the birds, a mountain can serve as a home for many animals, although it may at first glance appear to be a ‘useless tree’ in terms of Chuang Tzu, the mountain can be explained in the same way a bird has wings. We can explain how it became and how it will go beyond what it is now, how it is used in multiple contingent ways and how it provides life to animals and plants that don’t grow lower down for example. As function seems to imply purpose, a mountain cannot be treated in isolation. Destroying a mountain can mean extinction for many forms of life and any minerals we humans like to mine for various purposes would not be obtainable. We can agree that this does not answer why a mountain exists, but we can also accept that mountains are part of an assemblage of multiple contingent encounters for it to become what it is and to go beyond what it is now. A mountain is not just a large rock; it is a number of functions and particulars. Asking why would give you a how answer, the same with a bird, or any other thing in existence. As Thich Nhat Hanh puts it, ‘The cloud is in the piece of paper.’

A view of encounters and interactions go beyond the factual and evaluative/interpretative problem. The reference to Chaung Tzu and ‘the useless tree’ is a short tale of a man saying a tree in the middle of a desert is useless. Chuang Tzu then explains that one day you may be looking for shade and then the tree would no longer be useless to you. Daoism, or ‘the way’ goes further to say that all existence, all things within existence are without inherent value, or rather without fixed value, function and meaning. It is through encounters that we begin to define existence and the factual, evaluative and interpretative, not as separate categories, or as something dual, but as a dialectical monism. This is why we end up with the various sciences from naturalism to social.

Dawkins attack on post-modernism

Why the humanities become such a problem for Dawkins is moot due to how these reasoning skills come from philosophy. To add a further note on Dawkins abjection of philosophy, we can look towards Alan Sokal and Jean Birchmont in their book critiquing post-modern thought, Fashionable Nonsense, 1997. Their main objection was towards Luce Irigaray discussing the phallogocentrism of E=MC2 as a ‘sexed equation’ focusing on rigid substance and not fluidity. ‘Irigaray alleges that women have been traditionally associated with matter and nature to the expense of a female subject position. While women can become subjects if they assimilate to male subjectivity, a separate subject position for women does not exist. Irigaray’s goal is to uncover the absence of a female subject position, the relegation of all things feminine to nature/matter, and, ultimately, the absence of true sexual difference in Western culture.’ (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The name of this video implies that science is the only language used within intellectual discourse.

The rationalists refuse to see beyond equations and their privilege, but in a wider scope, Irigaray was stating in a nuanced way how ‘everything said is said in the context of and received through the lens of the prevailing cultural norms’. It’s very easy to misunderstand feminist\post-structural thought. Dawkins, along with his elite intellectual friends refuse to understand and so the opening quote of this essay holds many subliminal truths. Liminality is the way we ritually order ranks in society and Julia Kristeva, another prominent French feminist focused on abjection of this sort. E=MC2 is a sexed equation as it is associated with masculine intellectual superiority. This is a social fact and this was more what Irigaray meant. You would think that an intellectual, who came up with a whole theory of memes, would be able to grasp things like patriarchy and male privilege, intellectual privilege. What we end up with is a defensive denial of power relations within the scientific establishment, who thinks science can explain everything we need to know and that we don’t require philosophy. He doesn’t do this with magnanimity or intellectual integrity, he instead sets an example of ridicule debunk which has proven to be a dominant obstruction within discourse of feminism and other social sciences. The power Dawkins denies is ironically being abused, knowledge is power.

What relevance the teaching of philosophy and the humanities has to do with Charles Darwin having ‘lived’ is in Dawkins mind, is anyone’s guess. My aim in this essay was to find habits within his texts that are dualist and contingently hierarchical when it comes to knowledge.

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What is Capitalism and how can we Destroy it? New Series!

Reference Guide to Capitalism

Continue reading What is Capitalism and how can we Destroy it? New Series!

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Black Pigeon Speaks | Transgenders are NOT Mentally Ill Video

Black Pigeon Speaks


The difference we observed between the 1989 to 2003 cohort and the control group is that the trans cohort group accessed more mental health care, which is appropriate given the level of ongoing discrimination the group faces. What the data tells us is that things are getting measurably better and the issues we found affecting the 1973 to 1988 cohort group likely reflects a time when trans health and psychological care was less effective and social stigma was far worse.

Continue reading Black Pigeon Speaks | Transgenders are NOT Mentally Ill Video

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Patriarchy | What is it? Paid Employment

Visit the forum to discuss this in depth:



There are three main empirical features of gender relations in employment that feminist writers have addressed.

  1. Why do women typically earn less than men?
  2. Why do women engage in less paid work than men?
  3. Why do women do different jobs from men?

Objectors to claims of structures of Patriarchy often list these features as reasons, but seldom ask why. They are put forward as reasons and not as questions. The reason why the wage gap is presented as one of the first, if not the very first, presentations of the existence of patriarchy, is because it is the easiest and simplest way for everyone to see it. It requires a historical context too, something that will become more and more important to understand when we progress towards post-structural feminists like Judith Butler who speak of repeated performance.

Note that some of the figures in this post will be out of date, the purpose of this post is to demonstrate how we can show Patriarchal structures in paid employment. Please feel free to post updated figures in the following posts. I will add them as this thread progresses.

In 1986 women earned 74% of men’s hourly rates. The gap widens if we consider average gross weekly earnings, when women earn only 66% of men’s pay. This increased gap reflects men’s longer working hours and greater likelihood of shift and overtime premia. The disparity is even greater for part-time women workers, who earned only 76% of full time women’s rates of pay in 1986.

In 1988 women constituted 46% of the paid workforce. That percentage rose steadily since WW2. However, if we go back to the middle of the 19th century, we find that the female activity rate (the percentage of women employed or unemployed as a percentage of the total number of women) was which in 1861 as it was in 1971, at 43%.

Employment trends in Great Britain, 1961-88

Employees in Employment 1961 1966 1971 1976 1981 1986 1988
All male 14,202 14,551 13,424 13,097 12,278 11,643 11,978
All female 7,586 8,236 8,224 8,951 9,108 9,462 10,096
% female 34.8 36.1 38.0 40.6 42.6 44.8 45.7
% full time female 25.3 24.3 24.7 25.2 26.2
Part-time female as % of all female 33.5 40.1 41.9 43.8 42.8

Unemployment rates for both men and women are approximately the same. 1984-6, 10% of women and 11% of men were unemployed which is higher than what was shown in the official government statistics, since the latter includes only unemployed people who are also claiming benefits, this excludes many married women who are only allowed to access benefits via the claim of their husbands.

While male unemployment continues to fall from its high point in 1965, female employment, especially in part time, continues to rise.

Different jobs

Men and women typically do not work in the same occupations or industries.

Socio-economic groups by sex, 1981

SEG Men % Women %
Employers and managers 78 22
Professional 89 11
Ancillary 44 56
Supervisory non-manual 52 48
Junior non-manual 29 71
Personal service workers 13 87
Skilled manual 68 32
Semi-skilled manual 68 32
Unskilled manual 58 42
All employees 61 39

Source: Census of population 1981.

Changes in vertical segregation by sex, Britain 1971-81

SEG Men % Women %
1 41.88 101.98
2 10.08 35.10
3 2.78 22.99
4 6.33 12.59
5 28.21 40.45
6 -22.28 8.17
7 11.49 5.19
8 -0.75 19.85
9 -14.34 -28.58
10 3.63 -10.21
11 -25.87 -0.33
12 16.93 2.51
13 -13.68 -18.19
14 -21.04 -35.23
15 -20.26 -12.59
16 -1.71 50.04
17 98.21 9.46

Horizontal segregation shows an extreme segregation of men and increase in extent of mild horizontal segregation of women.

Ethnicity and of women show significant divergence in both economic activity and unemployment rates.

There are considerable inequalities between men and women in relation to access to paid work and the wages received.


The schools of thought that attempt to explain these inequalities:

  • Functionalist (economic and sociological)
  • Liberalism
  • Marxist and Marxist feminist
  • Dual systems theory
  • A small amount of Radical feminist analysis

Functionalist explanation 

  1. Women get paid less due to less skill and labor market experience relative to men
  2. Women have less ‘human capital’ than men because of their position in the household
  3. The household is the unit of rational choice in decision making

The theory predicts certain outcomes for differential wages for men and women and for the extent of women’s and men’s comparative participation in paid work. Women are the home-makers, so are less likely to earn as much as men, or acquire experience on the market. They are more likely to take jobs with less hours and so certain jobs, such as in the cleaning industry and seen as a ‘woman’s job’.

The main problem is that the theory of human capital rests on the assumption of a perfect labor market in which employers pay employees according to their worth. This assumption has been challenged in a number of ways. It is both technical and social. Unions and powerful workers are more likely to get to get jobs designated as highly skilled despite their actual skills.

Women might be skilled in the technical sense, but in the social sense, they are disadvantaged, as they may not be recognized in the same way a man will be for better paid jobs with longer hours.

This is the simplest way to understand the pay gap/wage gap – over time, we have repeated a performance that sees certain jobs as acceptable for men but not for women, even though they are just as capable.


Liberal approaches focus on small-scale processes which differentiate women’s position in work from those of men. They draw on role analysis, broad cultural differentiation of men and women. They analyse dual roles and the relationship between paid work and the family. Women play the role of mother and paid worker. They expose the conflicting demands of motherhood and their time and labor.

the sexual division of labor becomes its main subject. Women face disadvantages in corporations and they describe the proximate mechanisms through which this takes place. The cultural pressures and organisational features which lead to the less success of women than men in reaching the upper echelons of these institutions. Liberals perceive the management ethic as masculine, job hierarchy is the ideology that determines decisions of available job slots, which are gender specific. Male friendship in workplaces were shown to exclude women for instance.

Marxist and Marxist feminist

True to all Marxist analysis – capitalist relations are the determining factors which explain the pattern of women’s employment. Lower pay and lesser participation are shaped by the capital-labor relation. Women are seen as subordinate and marginal as a category of worker whose greater exploitation benefits employers, although a sub-group of this school sees women’s position in the household, rather than paid labor, as an achievement rather than failure of the working class.

  • There is the progressive ‘de-skilling’ of jobs in contemporary monopoly capitalism and that women take most of these new less-skilled jobs
  • The household tasks shift to the factory, reducing the amount of labor to be done in the home and releasing women for waged labor

De-skilling is supposed to increase profits at the expense of the workforce. The amount of housework has decreased as a result of the household buying from the market goods it would previously have produced itself. This is considered to release women from the household to waged work.

Although this has consequences where men are supposed to become more unemployed and housework was supposed to decline, only the latter came true.

Reserve Army Theory

Women are long term labor reserves which is now being bought into employment by the development of capitalism. The function of a reserve, according to Marx himself was to prevent workers from bargaining up their wages and conditions of employment. Married women suit this idea, as they have somewhere to go when employers no longer need them.

There are other elements to Marxist feminism which we can discuss later in this thread, but for brevity, I will quickly cover the other explanations.

Radical Feminists

Only a small amount exists on their literature on this subject. Their answer is that women are subject to sexual discrimination and harassment on workplaces. This has an adverse effect on women in the workplace.


This combines capitalism and patriarchy and they focus on job segregation by sex. Men have an organisational ability to exclude women from better kinds of paid work and keep them at a disadvantage. Trade unions historically, have excluded women.

In the next thread, I will discuss the more recent new approaches towards paid work.

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Patriarchy | What is it?

Basic Definitions

When I ask people what Patriarchy means, some basic definitions come up. Here are just a few of them:

  • Sexism towards women (Misogyny)
  • Wage gaps
  • Rape Culture
  • Expropriation of womens’ labor by men in the household
  • Segregation of the work force
  • Man of the house
  • Denial of right to own property for women

So with that in mind, let’s see if we can better define Patriarchy. The most general definition if we turn to Wikipedia is.

  1. a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line.
  2. a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.

Both of these form of Patriarchy exist today in society. Jewish families are not Patriarchal by the first definition when it comes to descent, they have a Matrilineal form of descent, but other than that they are still Patriarchal as are other religious, tribal and secular communities.

The most recent definition of Patriarchy in terms of Third Wave Feminism:

Quote:Patriarchy is a social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. In the domain of the family, fathers or father-figures hold authority over women and children. Some patriarchal societies are also patrilineal, meaning that property and title are inherited by the male lineage.

Usage in social science prior to feminism

Max Weber in 1947 used it to refer to ‘a system of government in which men ruled societies through their position as heads of households’. This usage has a historical context and, the domination of younger men who were not household heads was as important as, if not more important than, the element of men’s domination over women via the household.

The definition has evolved since Weber as some radical feminists who developed the element of the domination of women by men and who paid less attention to the issue of how men dominated each other, and by dual-systems theorists (a mixture of Marxist and Radical Feminism) who have sought to develop a concept and theory of Patriarchy as a system which exists alongside capitalism (and sometimes racism too).

Incorporation of generational element

The practice of incorporating a generational element into the definition of Patriarchy is viewed by some to be a mistake. It implies a theory of gender inequality in which this aspect of men’s domination over each other is central to men’s domination over women. Heidi Hartmann, one of the proponents of this theory, uses a definition which incorporates generational hierarchy among men, this is not central to her theory of Patriarchy, which focuses upon men’s organisational ability to expropriate women’s labor in paid work, and hence in the household. Inclusion of generation in the definition is confusing. It is a contingent element and best omitted, according to Sylvia Walby.

Walby defines Patriarchy as :

Quote:A system of social structures and practices in which men dominate, oppress and exploit women.

The use of the term social structure is important here. It implies the rejection of both biological determinism and the notion that every individual man is in a dominant position and every woman in a subordinate one.


Patriarchy needs to be conceptualised at different levels of abstraction.

Most abstract Least abstract
System of social relations. Patriarchal Mode of Production.
Capitalism. Patriarchal Relations of paid work.
Racism. Patriarchal relation in the state.
Male violence.
Patriarchal Relations in sexuality.
Patriarchal Relations in cultural institutions.

More concretely, in relation to each of the structures, it is possible to identify sets of Patriarchal practices which are less deeply sedimented. Structures are emergent properties of practices. Any specific instance will embody the effects, not only of Patriarchal structures, but also of capitalism and racism as well.

The six structures have causal effects upon each other, both reinforcing and blocking, but are relatively autonomous. The specification of several rather than simply one base is necessary in order to avoid reductionism and essentialism.

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one.com and mybb | File Attachment Undefined Fatal Error | Format of memory_limit

MyBB Attachment Fatal Error Fix one.com

As a new forum owner, I was excited to use the cheap domain and hosting site one.com with mybb 1.8.10. I was dissapointed when I kept getting this error whenever I tried to upload some png and jpeg/jpg files:

How to fix undefined attachment error mybb 1.8.10
How to fix undefined attachment error mybb 1.8.10

Or, when I wasn’t using my Multiple File Uploader and used mybb’s normal file attachment uplader, I got a white screen and it said this:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 2097152 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 12288 bytes) in /customers/a/4/e/ontic-philosophy.com/httpd.www/inc/functions_image.php on line 52

The problem is down to how one.com expresses the max_post_size in php info:

Got to ACP>Tools and Maintainence>View PHP Info

Scroll down or CTRL+F memory_limit and post_max_size:

max_post_size one.com php info mybb fix
max_post_size one.com php info mybb fix
memory limit one.com php info mybb fix
memory limit one.com php info mybb fix

As you can see, the format of the memory limit is 536870912 when it should be in the format of 128MB (that’s not the equivalent here I don’t think, but the point is how it is show in this PHP info section that is the problem.)

You don’t have to call one.com and ask them to change the way this variable is laid out, which you probably have done already and they told you ‘no’.

Don’t worry, there is a fix.

If the post_max_size is less than the size of files you want to upload and you have not altered the attachment sizes in your ACP>Configuration section, then either the file you are uploading is too big, or youhave not set the sizes in the ACP.  If you have changed them and the file you want to upload is smaller than 96MB (or whatever your post_max_size is) then here is the way to fix this problem.

The fix

Note: I was having problems with uploading png and jpeg/jpg files, if you have problems with files of a different type, find the same lines that correspond to the file extentions in the functions_image.php file and use the same methods you see below.


Open your FTP and download root/inc/functions_image.php and then open it using notepad.

Got to lines 52 and 59, which looks like this:

$im = @imagecreatefrompng($file);
elseif($imgtype == 2)
$im = @imagecreatefromjpeg($file);
elseif($imgtype == 1) 

Remove all the @ symbols.

This will stop the screen from just whiting out, instead it will show the fatal error text. if it looks the same as mine above, then do this:

Open the functions_image.php file again and change line 167-169:

function check_thumbnail_memory($width, $height, $type, $bitdepth, $channels)

To this:

function check_thumbnail_memory($width, $height, $type, $bitdepth, $channels)
 return false;

Now try to upload your file(s).

This worked for me, mybb is currently discussing whether or not this should be changed in the next version, A few people have left one.com because of this problem, so I thought I would share the fix.



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Foucault and Discourse


Foucault is what is known as a Genealogist and Archaeologist type philosopher. In his Genealogical phase, he looks at discourses throughout history, mainly around the time of the enlightenment up to the secular movements of humanism and discovers how there is always an episteme that preceeds our existence, or a knowledge structure, a truth that is sought after or aspired towards in the time of our lives, that we incorporate into our bodies.

Unlike the existentialists, who transformed Will and Desire into free will and subjective desire, as they were ‘I’ Philosophers, Foucault like Derrida is much more centrifugal, but instead of thinking about signs and how they endlessly and restlessly signify in meaning, Foucault looks at bodies in the same way.

According to Foucault, our sexual instincts are not so natural, unlike the conventional view of sexual instincts. He prioritises culture over biology.

Quote:We believe in the full consistency of instinctual life and imagine that it continues to exert its force indiscriminately in the present as it did in the past. But a knowledge of history easily disintegrates this unity, depicts its wavering course… We believe, in any event, that the body obeys the exclusive laws of physiology and that it escapes the influence of history, but this too false. The body is moulded by a great many distinct regimes.

Sexual instincts are not fundamental. Take child sexuality, which Foucault argues was ‘discovered’ in the 18th century. This is evidenced by the whole new literature on the topic, with precepts, medical advice, clinical cases, outlines for reform and plans for ideal institutions. Great measures were taken to eradicate masturbation, but it had completely the opposite effect, it intensified the desire for our own bodies. In short, the sexuality of the child was created by 18th Century discourse.

He has the same view of homosexuality. While discourse on sex had previously dealt solely with marriage—what one could and could not do within and without the bonds of marriage—discourse on sex came increasingly to focus on those who fell outside the category of marriage: children, homosexuals, the mentally ill, and so on. A distinction arose between violations of marriage bonds, which were seen as violations of the law, and violations of what was considered natural practice, which were seen as sick or demented.

Foucault sees the modern concept of homosexuality arising from a desire to see sexuality as a fundamental aspect of who we are. Before the 19th century, sodomy was simply regarded as a criminal act. Since the 19th century, sodomy has been regarded as just one manifestation of a person’s homosexuality. “Homosexuality” ceased to be associated with certain acts, and became associated with a person’s identity, with his soul. One’s sexuality became a key to interpreting one’s personality and one’s behavior. Rather than work to eliminate homosexual acts, the growing discourse around homosexuality saw these acts as constitutive of a person’s identity.

Instead of sex being a desire, the desire for sex as an object was born out of discourse, out of truth. Instead of thinking of bodies and their pleasures, we should instead think of pleasure and its bodies.

On the one hand, the body does not exist like an idea, but it’s also not like a thing. It’s always being pulled out of itself, toppling forward into newly opened spaces, being drawn across boundaries. The body is not solidity, it is more of a force. Foucault, like Derrida, is a materialist, but in a very special sense.


There is a deeper reality to which can be true, rather than langue, or an epistemic framework, one that is not a thinking force. He is of course, talking about power. Power is not strictly only about wars and battles, for Foucault there is power over bodies and power of bodies.

Power over bodies is the power that invests in power relations, forces it to carry out tasks, perform ceremonies whereas power of bodies is the body’s own power, the source of Will and Desire.

Foucault observes the penal system and questions whether or not the ideal of reform is actually occuring, or if delinquency has emerged, prisons seek to grind meaning out of bodies, it normalises bodies. Just like the quest against masturbation, prison succeeds even though it fails to eradicate crime, there is a mastery of the body’s forces that is more than the ability to conquer them.

He rejects the Marxist view of progression through history towards an ideal and instead uncovers an anarchistic proliferation of forms over and above anyone’s deliberate aims or goals.

Foucauldian Feminism

Foucault’s work on power has been used by some feminists to develop a more complex analysis of the relations between gender and power which avoids the assumption that the oppression of women is caused in any simple way by men’s possession of power. On the basis of Foucault’s understanding of power as exercised rather than possessed, as circulating throughout the social body rather than emanating from the top down, and as productive rather than repressive, feminists have sought to challenge accounts of gender relations which emphasize domination and victimization so as to move towards a more textured understanding of the role of power in women’s lives.

Some feminists have also found Foucault’s contention that the body is the principal site of power in modern society useful in their explorations of the social control of women through their bodies and sexuality.

One of the distinct advantages of Foucault’s understanding of the constituted character of identity is, in Judith Butler’s view, that it enables feminism to politicize the processes through which stereotypical forms of masculine and feminine identity are produced. Butler’s own work represents an attempt to explore these processes for the purposes of loosening the heterosexual restrictions on identity formation. In pursuing this project she argues that Foucault’s characterization of identity as constructed does not mean that it is completely determined or artificial and arbitrary. Rather, a Foucauldian approach to identity production demonstrates the role played by cultural norms in regulating how we embody or perform our gender identities. According to Butler, gender identity is simply ‘a set of repeated acts within a highly rigid regulatory frame that congeal over time to produce the appearance of substance, of a natural sort of being’

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For Those at Odds with the World and Who Care with Courage