Is there a relation between space and speed, on the one hand, and thought, on the other? I think we have to posit such a relation if we want to take seriously the notion that consciousness and intentional thought are “embodied.” It might matter then, the type of spaces in which we think and the speeds at which we do so.
I think a lot about the type of spaces in which we think and the speeds at which we do so. What happens to the brain and to the mind when it moves? And what does it matter when it does so at faster or slower speeds? Do these factors contribute to the types of thought and thinking we think?
Aristotle’s thought was said to have been “peripatetic.” Kant walked around Konigsberg. Moses Mendelssohn wrote about habit in terms of speed and its impact on reason. Merleau-Ponty wrote about the body schema and the way one walks around one’s apartment at night. Deleuzian thought moves all over the place, and it does so at great velocity.
We think at our desks as we write. Our thoughts shift as we move from inside to outside. They meander as we walk and they accelerate in the car. Literally and figuratively, we move back and forth between closed-in spaces to wide open spaces. On Shabbat, everything is supposed to stop or at least slow down, which they do if you make this your practice.
One of the worst things about academia and religion is dullness.
A quick peek today in Ammiel Alcalay’s After Jews and Arabs and I found this:
“But the ‘furrow,’ the ‘fold’ that might be ‘history’ and the ‘Jew,’ runs the risk of diffusion, dispersion, and, finally, inertia…and these furrow turn into drainage ditches that empty out into a stillborn swamp, final resting place for what is allowed to unquestioned, uninterrupted, and unrelated to social fact or present circumstance.”
In this passage, “the Jew” stands in for any figure