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Short Description of the 15 modes of existence
Reproduction/Reproduction (REP) This mode explores the capacity of an entity to subsist by running the risk of continuing its existence through the gap that separates two instants of time. It is often confused with the world of objects and even nature. Since it has been hard to recognize in our tradition, we are looking for examples where it emerges by itself without being gauged by another mode. Métamorphoses/Metamorphosis (MET) This mode tries to capture “metamorphosis”, that is, a type of being responsible for what Europeans have called “psyches” but which other cultures have endowed with different ontological weights. We are looking for documents where encounters with such beings are not immediately judged according to the question: are they object or subject? are they inside or outside? do they exist really or are they pure figments of our imagination? Habitude/Habits (HAB) This mode directs attention to the many ways through which the apparent continuity of entities is obtained. What are the occasions that highlight the distinction between habit and routine and where the fragility of the continuous appearance of existence is made visible? Technique/Technique (TEC) Technique is a mode not easily captured by looking at the result -object, machine, tool, trick. It needs to be grasped, rather, by the detours that break the course of action. The technical act is difficult to focus on because once the action is set up its original hiatus vanishes from view. Hence the importance of documenting the technical detour. Fictions/Fictions (FIC) Beings of fiction are recognized as having special status, half subjective and half objective. But their specific ways of remaining in existence need a benchmark designed for them. It is by looking at the process of producing and evaluating works of art that this benchmark may be found. Références/Reference (REF) This mode captures the original chain of inscriptions that give access to the far away by multiplying the intermediary steps transforming objects into documents in a cascade of data recording. When the chain is backgrounded, it gives the impression of a free floating “knowledge” about an independent state of affair. But when the chain is foregrounded, it offers a great occasion to observe the practice of knowledge making and to redescribe the institution of science. Politique/Politics (POL) Although the world of politics is made up of many threads, it carries within it one specific type of being able to produce groups, wills and autonomy. To learn how to recognize them we try to become attentive to the tone in which political utterances are emitted. The performativity of political speech can be imaged by following a circle through its many resumptions. Droit/Law (DRO/LAW) Everyone recognizes that law possesses its own truth conditions. Yet the specific gap that the passage of legal action has to overcome is very difficult to focus on. We try to document this specific type of establishing connections through an attention to what ties words with deeds. Religion/Religion (REL)
The mode of existence of religious beings has always puzzled theologians, philosophers, believers and unbelievers alike. It is clear that they have to be understood with their own template. This is especially difficult because religious beings are confused with what science, morality, law or politics has to say about them. To detect these beings, one has to focus attention on the very specific speech form that is able to generate the very person it addresses. Attachement/attachment (ATT) As a domain, economics implies a world of subjects calculating the relative value of goods. But we are interested here in the growing entanglement of goods and possessions without using the benchmark of subjectivity or objectivity. We wish to document as closely as possible the passionate interests that exist before the emergence of calculating subjects and evaluated goods, and to focus on the instruments that make this emergence possible. Organis/zation (ORG) Strangely enough, the ubiquitous phenomenon of organizing activity has not received much attention because it is always confused with its consequence: the organization, the corporate body. Our interest is in extracting the highly specific mode that defines a totally original way of being simultaneously above and below the same “script”. It is then possible to understand the upscaling of economic phenomena without reference to the notion of different levels (micro, meso and macro). Morale/Morality (MOR) Even though each mode has its own inner normativity —that is the difference between felicity and infelicity conditions— the question of morality reappears with a new urgency whenever the question of the optimum is raised. This question at the center of economics is also at the center of morality where it appears as a gnawing scruple concerning what, for each entity, is a mean and what is an end. Réseau/network (RES/NET) Whereas it is difficult to define domains, it is better to start by deploying networks that map the many heterogeneous connections that make up courses of action. This is what Actor Network Theory (ANT) has undertaken to do. This way of following actions is effective for following connections but less effective for specifying the type of connection. Préposition/Preposition (PRE) Since each mode gauges all the others according to its own template, no inquiry is possible without one mode that guarantees the pluralism of all the modes. It is through this mode that one learns to be especially attentive to the keys necessary for interpreting the other modes. This mode allows the detection of category mistakes when one mode misinterprets another. The guardian of all the modes. Double Clic/double Click (DC) I am your enemy, your nightmare, I am the power that transports truth and information without needing transformation, translation, mediation, I speak straight, I am transparent, I am the gauge, the template, the benchmark by comparison with which all the other modes are shown to lie.