02 Apr '11 Neither Sun Nor Death
The cosmos, such as the Greeks conceived it, was the totality of being imagined under the form of a great, perfectly symmetrical bubble. Aristotle and his followers were responsible for this idea of a cosmos composed of concentric, celestial spheres of increasing diameters, the majority consisted of a hypothetical material they called ether. For us, this model of the world is obviously no longer operational.
Microspherology begins as a theory of shared, animated space, and speaks of how reciprocal possession creates the bipolar and multipolar space known as the couple (or the primary group). Bubbles, the first volume of Spheres, is thus a general theory of the structures that allow couplings.
The "atmosphere" that envelops the ball we inhabit is the only cosmic sphere spoken of by the Ancients that has preserved a certain meaning for the moderns. The term (literally: "fog ball") designates this gaseous layer...
It was necessary to re-tell the whole story of our fundamentally changed relation to this atmospheric envelope.
Sloterdijk, Peter., Foreword to a Theory of Spheres.
Cynicism is enlightened false consciousness. It is that modernized, unhappy consciousness, on which enlightenment has labored both successfully and in vain. It has learned its lessons in enlightenment, but it has not, and probably was not able to, put them into practice. Well-off and miserable at the same time, this consciousness no longer feels affected by any critique of ideology; its falseness is already reflexively buffered.
"Enlightened false consciousness:" To choose such a formulation seems to be a blow against the tradition of enlightenment. The sentence itself is cynicism in a crystalline state.... Logically, it is a paradox, for how could enlightened consciousness still be false? ....
To act against better knowledge is today the global situation in the superstructure; it knows itself to be without illusions and yet to have been dragged down by the "power of things." Thus what is regarded in logic as a paradox and in literature as a joke appears in reality as the actual state of affairs. Thus emerges a new attitude of consciousness toward "objectivity."
Sloterdijk, Peter., Critique of Cynical Reason, translation by Michael Eldred; foreword by Andreas Huyssen (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), pp. 5-6. (Theory and History of Literature; v. 40) Original: Kritik der zynischen Vernunft, 1983.
I'm finally picking up some Sloterdijk in English, courtesy of Semiotext(e); Neither Sun nor Death. While we wait for Spheres, there's also interviews in Frieze & Bookforum, and this article from Latour in E-Flux.