Tags: academia



"Why have philosphers always spoken of love? That's how philosophy started - No, no. It's not possible. I have an empty head on love in general. And as for the reason philosophy has often spoken of love, I'd either have nothing to say or I'd just be reciting cliches.

One of the first questions one could pose... I'm just searching a bit... is the question of the difference between the who and the what. Is love the love of someone or the love of something? Okay supposing I loved someone. Do I love someone for the absolute singularity of who they are? I love you because you are you. Or do I love your qualities, your beauty, your intelligence? Does one love someone, or does one love something about someone? The difference between the who and the what at the heart of love, separates the heart. It is often said that love is the movement of the heart. Does my heart move because I love someone who is an absolute singularity, or because I love the way that someone is? Often love starts with some type of seduction. One is attracted because the other is like this or like that. Inversely, love is dissapointed and dies when one comes to realise the other person doesnt merit out love. The other person isn't like this or like that. So at the death of love, it appears that one stops loving another not because of who they are, but because they are such and such. That is to say, the history of love, the heart of love, is divided between the who and the what."
- Jacques Derrida

I just want to remember this. I couldn't find it online, so while watching it, I typed this out. There are some things that I don't agree, some philosophies of his that I frown upon and don't understand, but that's what philosophy is about anyway right? I'm fascinated with this idea of love, and how philosophers try to construct, deconstruct and reconstruct it. Intellectuals tear it apart, shred it up and analyse it, but commonfolk just angst over it and make stupid love notes. The contrast is slightly hilarious. The philosophy of it makes my head hurt a little, but I think it makes the entire idea of love a little more fun. I remember when it began and I don't think I will ever forget it.

(no subject)

In the nineteen and early twentieth centuries, through an interlocking network of unequal treaties imposed on China by various foreign powers (including Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan and the United States), extraterritoriality ensured that foreign diplomats, troops, merchants, and missionaries living in China were not subject to the same laws (Chinese laws) to which Chinese people were subject - even if they committed crimes on Chinese soil against Chinese citizens. Extraterritoriality also meant, in effect, that the Chinese government itself was never fully sovereign within Chinese territory

Serving to legitimise (by force) the double standard that allowed the West to act in China without being subject to Chinese jurisdiction but not vice versa, extraterritoriality thus gave Westerners the privilege of having to submit exclusively to their own jurisdiction - that is, the privilege of having to being (judged) outside China even when they were acting in China. This privilege was henceforth internalised in Western attitudes toward China and Chinese people as an unexamined, because naturalised, assumption. And even when Western actions directly affected, subjugated, or injured Chinese citizens within the territory that was supposedly theirs, the West remained in essence not only the agent but also the sole, patronising arbiter of such actions. China continues to this day to be put in the position of a lowly, uncivilised other on whom the West can act and pass judgement without having to worry about being acted upon or judged itself. The reverse, of course, is not the case: When China acts, even within the bounds of its own territory, it is always subject to the value-laden arbitration of the West.


All the criticisms of the P.R.C. are made from the vantage point of an inherited, well-seasoned, condescending perspective that exempts itself from judgement and which, moreover, refuses to acknowledge China's sovereignty even when it has been officially re-established over Chinese soil. Instead, sovereignty - and with it, proprietorship (over judgement as well as political actions) - continues to be imagined and handled as exclusively Western. Sovereignty and proprietorship here are not only about the ownernership of land or rule but also about ideological self-ownership, that is, about the legitimating terms that allow a people to be.

Chow, Rey. King Kong in Hong Kong.