Friday, September 11, 2015

Above Audience: A Critique of Intentionality

of Maxwell Clark

"If you don't understand what I am talking about then I am talking about nothing and it makes no difference, if you do then there's enough said."

—Gertrude Stein, Q.E.D

Intentionality involves the ruse of creating for others not merely external traces of who you yourself are, as all of creation is also this, but moreover creating traces of oneself that seem to have forgotten, in their attention being focused upon their audiences instead, that traces of oneself is all that one can ever create. Intentionality degrades the glory of the signal expressed by oneself unto others precisely in this forgetting of oneself, of caring more for others than for oneself—as if one could give them something other than oneself, something more like them and less like me.
Intentionality is the desire to control one’s relation to others, is a normalization of the self at the expense of others. But already I witness these critically referenced to forms of intentionality writhing so delicately into delineation before me as supermassively bleak. There can be no intentional abolition of intention, as the very act of its abolition would thereby also reaffirm its own endurance. The most I may do is witness myself, as herein, performing an otherwise unintentional mode of social relation—witness myself making this testament to you.
                Intentionality isn’t even actual. In the absolute flow of creation, it doesn’t exist—the psyche is infinitely determined by its exteriority without exception. Intentionality signifies, not anything of reality, therefore, but rather its confusion in the psychic world.


  1. -- Thank you, Max. I am thinking about this in relation to von Kaam's approach (see some seminar essays in "Moral Imagination in Personal Formation and Character Development" - Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change Series VII Seminars on Cultures and Values, Vol 4 - Moral Imagination and Character Development Volume II, ed. George F. McLean and Richard Knowles.) Onward!

  2. Note to self: re-read all of Joseph Conrad.