The Event

WIlliam Connolly has a new piece up at The Contemporary Condition about “The Politics of the Event”:

Each of these moments embodies the essential characteristics of an event: it happens rather rapidly; it throws regular institutions into turmoil, uncertainty or disarray; its antecedents often seem insufficient to explain the course of its expansion and amplifications; its settlement, when underway, is uncertain; it makes a real difference in the world, for good or ill.

I’ve recently worked through Connolly’s recent A World of Becoming, which obviously fits well with my own project on re-temporalizing philosophy (hmm: I guess that “re” is too strong–rather, emphasizing the temporal movements philosophy has been witnessing at least since Nietzsche and Heidegger). And Connolly’s book is relatively good on focusing on various movements in systems theory and biology that do more than or as much to challenge previous conceptions of temporality as anything Heidegger wrote. But I would add that thinking the event is not an event itself these days (Isn’t there a TV series of that title as well?), and moreover, it’s quickly becoming indistinguishable from something like an instantaneous now-point. But of course an event, if there is such a thing, would have a horizon well beyond the 1/10 of a second, or rather, may not happen so rapidly. In fact, an event may be the most patient temporal horizon of them all.