Philosophy of Everyday Life

10 Outlines for a Philosophy of Everyday Life/the Quotidian

1. The estheticizing of the world and the phenomenology of the quotidian

The world we are living in proves to be more and more obviously a world of information, of different and, more or less, controlled events set on scene that build up our reality, a world whose life consists in a volcanic permanent movement of images and sounds that strike/break in all fields.

So, what appears to be the end of philosophy (M. Heidegger), poison (farmakon), can be converted into a remedy: the reality (daily) assumed as basic for philosophical projects.

The first chapter follows up the paradigmatic changes, analyzed amid historical continuity from the supremacy of the Thing in ancient time towards the one of the Idea during modern times, turning to a domination of the Sign as the institution of meaning in post modernity.  Nowadays, world´s existence has a final meaning as aesthetic fact (Fr. Nietzsche) and the authentic human existence research builds up through studying existential determinations given as phenomena, as what appears to man in quotidianity ( M. Heidegger)

The quotidian becomes an existential architecture of human and requests an interdisciplinary way of study.

2. The temple of profane inhabitation or about the quotidian space

Once the “spell” of the world and its secularization is broken, we face an increasing valorization of the profane as “place before the temple/the sacred”. The profane acquires soteriological valences that were specific to sacred space topography in the past.

In the essence of a phenomenological lecture the space is seen as process which builds up progressively, by grounding relations in the context of daily experience, of leaving “here and now”. Subjectivization sent out through the space “between us” creates a homogeneity which does not involve a solid space representation. That is what gives room to an ontologically inconsistent model and to a volitional manifestation in the context of a commitment with “you” or “he” as the only hierophany granted to us. We will follow up the revelation of the alterity in everyday life because the fascination of the limit and the seduction of the transcendent changes from mundane-extramundane to private- public, natural- artificial separation.

We will follow up the process of home, working place and public space “inhabitation”, namely we will scan the biotope´s construction amid houses’ privacy, of a “revitalized shelter” (A. Ioan); we will follow the man passing through the private domain (the street, the zebra crossing, the underground etc.) and how one enjoys himself amid transpersonal habitations from workplace or ludic spaces, for entertainment).

“City is called a place where something other than place takes place” (Jean-Luc Nancy). We will determine this way the “place” not only as a special element, but also as a result of technology and narration integrative, between concrete and imaginary, utilitarian and meaningful. In the urban show, of the public space as “bearer´s nothingness” will be followed by a dissection of town´s epidermis, bringing up in discussion the centralization of suburbs, the cultural geographies specific to great urban concentration, the “non-place” (Marc-Auge), the mall as a profane recovery of paradisiacal myth. Eventually we will circumscribe the heterotopias of the abundant poverty, monstrosities and the artificial which joins what Ioan Augustin called space “intoxication”.

The town metamorphosed into a “gallery-office-laboratory-production market” (C. Mihali) becomes this way an “exhibition of existential design”. After the communism, it was about time to learn how to live in the public space, the commonplace, and to meet the others and accept their diversity.

3. The dream factory or about cinema

We live more and more in a world of music we listen to on walkman or CDs, a world of TV´s advertising recipes, of heroes and movie odysseys into which we project our own personality mutilated by post-industrial civilization. It is only this way that we can insert rationality into our world, no matter how fragile it might be. We are trying to reacquire our verticality and authenticity through a creativity by hook or by crook of languages (resonant, visual, poetical, gestural etc.).

The image, associated with a social “cancer” uses certain shock rhetoric (P. Valery), something that surprises, the sensational, the “exciting”. The image offers to watcher´s avidity the poison that once in the nerve centers produce wish reflexes, desire. This is a replacement of human´s intelligibility with a human sensation, with metaphysical shock (Rene Huyghe).

In a harsh eulogistic education of I believe only what I see we pretend not to need God anymore in a scientific era, hiding our salvation need due to the vanity of our own hands civilization´s creation even through this infusion of Hollywood´s yarns infusion.

The screen, the writing becomes a palimpsest where it is played the destiny of transcendences- origin and source to all openings. Image´s dementia produces a complete transcription of universe´s signs and history, offering a visual oxymoron: the freedom of media communication suffocates individual freedom.

The new postmodern confessors- media producers present us a wonderland through world´s screening and candidly unleash the imprisonment of fantasy on the retina, in a real “over-exposure and transparency before the world” (J. Baudrillard).

In this chapter we will discuss the techniques of evasion in the imaginary which the cinema works with: the representation of the topic, the representation of the past, the narrative self relaxation and the intertextuality, the collage, the parody, the simulacrum etc.

We will also observe the philosophical and theological movie valences (in “Matrix” and “Passions of Christ”), then we will propose “perverse” effects upon new generation´s education (e.g. the violent imaginary of cartoons, the erotic imaginary, the new human models- e.g. the creation of a new femininity- brought up by the discursive architecture of the movies, the books civilization´s replacement with the audio-visual one, the self destructuralization of the new man- “homo videns” etc.).

4. Media messianism or on the entertainment communication´s ecstasy

If “happiness means an everlasting trick” (J. Swift) surely entertainment should make us all happy, being an important component of symbolical therapy in social practice.

Imaginary worlds induced in advertising speeches brought out to us through media interpretative intermediaries, mainly through television,  offers itself to a mass limited to passivity as being surrogates, ideologies, stimulating urban folklore which unveils the imaginative structure of contemporary being. In essence, through sensation’s shock, through images that have a great impact on one´s eye, the man forgets its condition. We do assist therefore to a messianic media that works based on advertisement´s cheating principle: challenge the buyer to realize the lost paradise, the only way of finding it again being to buy and consume; paradisiacal disappoint and festival of consumption. Advertising has thus a messianic role to influence individuals to believe that their whole socio-cultural life can be satisfied by consumption: it is enough to…, all you have to do… It gets to accomplishments that never accomplish.

This chapter´s topic is based on the analysis of a symbolical valorization of certain processes working on symbolical valorization of advertisement speech (the tautology of the pseudo-real image, the order´s destruction of real world´s evidences, the attraction into the eroticized product´s trap etc.) and the results of imitating the media (“That´s what I saw on the web!”, the craziness of “Life Style” etc.).

5. Disneyland seduction or on the architecture of the show and the violence

Postmodern society is a society of show (Guy Debord) that prefers hyper primitivism and the invasion of the image. It is carnival time, Dionysus´ time, images’ time to such a great level of hyper abstraction that Jean Baudrillard stated that the real is what can procure us an equivalent reproduction.

Our era is one of powerful cynics, of death of the social, of the triumph of a language of meanings. It slipped from a theology of the truth and the secret to one of simulacrum and simulation.

Describing the society´s performance we will study the its language, the signs and the images as their production´s final purpose taking in consideration the simulacrum´s valences (J. Baudrillard), the symbolical economy and the self-representation, the narcissism which hides the identity´s fundamental deficiency. We witness the embedment of demagogy with television and the one of technology with irrationality (Alain Duhanel). Let´s take for example the September 11th, 2001 event in New York and Washington: the presentation of atrocity is demanded as a drug, live if possible!

Above all a show society and thus a favorite inclined towards cultural dissection, America represents a death simulacrum, a perfect denture compensating the lack of an identity (J. Baudrillard).

News reports prove to be actually evil pedagogies (catastrophes and violent events´ preponderance), entertainment shows and interactive games as genuine bulldozers of conscience and family values (compatibility games, Big Brother etc.) and of reality (computer games, virtual reality etc.). Consumption bliss is packed and offered together with despair!

6. Misrepresentation of natural, corporality abuse and technological civilization or on the new humanity

Unquestionably, technique is humanism´s crisis. In this chapter the phenomenology of the new joins the one of the otherness. Leaving the past abandons us in a helpless present time and the ignorance of the moment is the one allowing the mutation of human´s normal existence just on the line, in extreme manifestations leveling thus through gradual  loss of decadent linear, conservative normality.

In a continuous search of the lost identity, daily experiences forcedly involve us into a self-dramaturgy generating impressions concealed in their obvious lack of intentionality. We are playing a “game” with the help of a biological hard and a community´s soft (A. Codoban).We play a “social dramaturgy” understandable under the notion of the impression´s administration art. Amid this game of impressions we bid with a human´s deconstruction and a mutant technologized construction of self-corporality. We bring up some of otherness´ pathologies: the tattoos, the piercings, skaters, esthetic surgeries, sexual manipulation by sex changing surgeries, body-building, human body´s hybridization with technology, new ecstasy techniques: party-culture trance through dance, music, hallucinogenic substances etc..

7. The gospel of McDonald´s or on the consumption obesity

We do live in the captivity of invention, even the one at any price which builds, at its turn, an over-weighted society through an unlimited offer-consumption process (J. Baudrillard).

McDonald´s isn´t just a company who is becoming an obsession for fast-food addicts, but a company creating culture, selling symbols, existential matrixes and social habits. Life itself became a slave of now and here imperatives and here is where diachronic meditation is suppressed: a life identifying itself with ´the satisfaction of new middle-class consensus. For these people, the main culture is just a careless, unlimited consumption, a culture whose contributing role is to being´s earthly welfare- a remodeling of terrestrial paradise myth in a late modernity ´style. In this new social habit, culture itself transformed into pure merchandise on a giant market obeying the empire of value and profit.

We will note more interpretation of the consumption, e.g. becoming a McDonald´s society (G. Ritzer), George Bataille´s potlatch and J. Baudrillard´s talk on consuming overweight.

We will proceed with many other interpretations of postmodern consuming process, e.g. shopping, sports, tourism, spare time, brand´s pure inhalation etc.

8. Idol´s coliseum or on the new religiosity

In the new existential pattern´s generation, after the world´s disenchantment (M. Weber) and religion´s apparently clinical death generated by positivism and by the masters of distrust (Marx, Freud and Nietzsche), we witness a noisy resuscitation of the religious phenomena. From religious phenomena´s analysis in postmodern reading as saturated phenomena (J. L. Marion) and as passion for the impossible, as religion without religiosity (J. Derrida) – our chapter here will tackle the problem of secularization and, also, the death of secularization seen as neutrality- apparent in the ways they are transposed in everyday life. We will thus describe the religious marketing (e.g. “cathodic church” phenomena), the globalization of intolerance (e.g. the non-iconoclast war in Romanian schools), the political correctness and Christianity (e.g. “re-branding Christian celebrations, re-writing the Bible into a feminist version etc.), religion and the corporatist spirituality. There will be also present the new popular forms of religiosity: superstition, sorcery, occultism´s rebirth, Gnosticism and spiritualism. Counting the appetency of excess (G. Bataille) we will proceed with everyday´s putting into good of ecstasy techniques and religious rituals (in secularized forms, as for example “rave culture”, “gay festival” etc.) and the (new) millenary prophetic attitude

Is religion “just another hobby” or a way to heaven, rediscovery of an amputated soul and of a God hidden behind quotidian´s curtain?

9. Happy Babel or on new education

Education´s demagogical democracy produces unlimited stocks of students gifted with exegetical culture, ready-to-go interpretations, agglutinated commentaries. Under late modernity´s ethic imperialism, under speech´s inflation about glitzy democracy, humanist sciences are under stress due to ordered speeches  that target human dignity´s transformation into that of consumer and an educated misguidance of identity amid freedom and buying potential (C. Kaurnouch).

Within this framework we will present few dimensions of contemporary education: original innocence loss and its replacement with politically correct “innocence”, cybernetic education, desire´s cultivation, metanarrative´s end- distinguishing new cultural policies and future´s geography.

10. The utopia or on silence´s panic

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