----- Original Message ----
From: Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay <anekanta01 <at> yahoo.com>
To: silence <at> list.mail.virginia.edu
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 7:53:44 AM
Subject: [silence] Silenceme and absential quantifier
Silence itself is defined in relationship to words, as the pause in music receives its meaning from the group of notes round it. The silence is a moment of language; being silent is not being dumb; it is refuse to speak, and therefore keep on speaking. Jean Paul Sartre. 1948. What is Literature?
The act of speaking (non-silence) is constrained, appropriated, approximated by the unspeakable/ unspoken spacesso-called blank spaces are controlling the revealed
speech. These blank spaces are emitting different meanings in different situations and non-signs were endowed with the supposed sign-ness. That is the de-sign of silenceme as it is de-sign-ated within the sign-ness.
Silenceme is not absence of speaking, but it is a subjective perception of absence of speaking in relation to non-speaking.
Now I am trying to understand the ontology as well as phenomenology of silence as elaborated by cage by deploying an Indian philosophical tool called abhava or absence. In the Nyaya-Vaiseska (henceforth NV, Indian Logic) tradition, categories are distinguished based on their presence (bhava) and absence(abhava). They considered both the existence and non-existence as categories, which are subject to the knowledge or
cognition by means of generic perception.
Generally, in the English translations of the NV-literature, this category comes under the notion of negation and its subdivisions are translated as relational absence and mutual absence or difference (anyonyabhava). In the context of silence, I will mainly concentrate on the relational absence or simply absence rather than that of difference.
All relations are regarded in
Navyanyaya as dyadic relations between two terms: anuyogin (referend, qualificand, locus X) and pratiyogin (counterpositive, referent, qualifier, located Y). Relation (R) is always a property resident in the residence or referend. Thus, one can say X (R-Y) where X is the locus of absence of Y where R is a relata.
In case of relational absence, a qualifier qualifies a qualificand and by negating it we get an absence of that qualifier (which is another qualifier) qualifying the same qualificand, this silent-space X is qualified by speaking-absence Y. On the other hand, difference referred to this is not silence type of negation. Thus, absence of non-speaking-ness and difference from a silence are two distinguishable s
ub-categories of abhava.
These blank spaces may be perceived /cognized as a category called absence (absence is always designated in relation to something). One could perceive absence by assigning the absential qualifier/ counterpositive to the locus of empty locus/ referend, qualificand. Thus, the absence of speaking means perceiving the dyadic relations between two constructs: speaking and non-speaking in a certain locus. There is no absolute non-speaking silent zone---all silent zones are pervaded by the non-silence and vise versa, however, when, speaking/listening subject is perceiving something as silence is actually cognizing absence of stipulated non-silence in a lo
cus. Thus, in the terminologies of NV, the
speaking/listening subject perceives the absence of couterpositive (stipulated non-silence) in the locus of supposed/stipulated silence. And it is a case of Absential relation.
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