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Memories of the Future

On Countervision


Edited By Stephen Wilson and Deborah Jaffé

What is a memory of the future? Is it a myth, a fiction of a severed arm, a post-human debate or a broken time machine? In an increasingly insecure future-world there is an urgency to consider and debate these questions. Memories of the Future: On Countervision addresses these concerns by speculating on the connections between memory and futurity in fields such as counter-histories, women’s studies, science fiction, art and design, technology, philosophy and politics. This book reveals how these subjects regenerate at the intersections of vision, counter-cultural production and the former present. The volume links the re-imaginings of memory into the present with topics such as the fever dream allegory of the adolescent social experience, soft technologies of future dress, reinventions of monetary exchange, rekindled subjectivities of school days, and technics and human progression. These countervisions argue against the homogenizing status quo of the present in order to challenge the customs, traditions and conventions of the past and propositions of the future.

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7 The Blackening of Epekeina Tes Ousias: The Death of the Sun and the Death of Philosophy (Liam Sprod)


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7   The Blackening of Epekeina Tes Ousias: The Death of the Sun and the Death of Philosophy

The image of the sun has a prestigious philosophical pedigree. This stretches back to Plato’s Republic and the famous allegory of the cave in Book 7, which compares the world of things to flickering shadows cast upon the wall of a cave, and the truth to the sunlit world above, which stands in for the Platonic realm of the forms, all ultimately united in the form of the good. Earlier, in Book 6, Plato directly elaborates the form of the good through the metaphor of the sun. There, through the voice of Socrates, he outlines how ‘The sun … not only gives visible things the power to be seen but also provides for their coming-to-be, growth, and nourishment – although it is not itself coming to be’. And thus, through the extension of the metaphor, ‘you should also say that not only do the objects of knowledge owe their being known to the good, but their existence and being are also due to it’. Immediately after this important insight into the form of the good Plato adds an important qualification, he writes that, ‘although the good is not being, but something yet beyond being [epekeina tes ousias], superior to it in rank and power’.1 It is because the form of the good, and by extension of the metaphor, the sun, is beyond being (which I...

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