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TitleArchitecture as Metaphor: Language, Number, Money (Writing Architecture)
PublisherThe MIT Press
ISBN 139780262611138
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size16.7 MB
Total Pages124
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Writing Architecture

A project of the Anyone Corporation

Earth Moves: The Furnishing of Territories
Bernard Cache, 1991r
Architecture as Metaphor: Language, Number, Money
Kojin Karatani, 1991r

mbridge, Masachusens London, England

Number, Money

Page 2

Second printing, 1997

O 1995 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in

any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including

photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval)

without permission in writing from the publisher.

Translation from the Japanese was made possible by a grant

from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine

Arts.

This book was printed and bound in the United States of

America.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Karatani, KGjin, 1941-

[In'yii to shite no kenchiku. English]

Architecture as metaphor : language, number, money / Kojin

Karatani ; translated by Sabu Kohso ; edited by Michael

Speaks.

p. cm. - (Writing architecture)

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 0-262-61 113-9 (pbk. : alk. paper)

1. Speaks, Michael. 11. Title. 111. Series.

AC146.K3213 13 1995

895.6'45-dc2O 95-18602

CIP

Introduction: A Map of Cvises,

by Arata Zsozaki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

Tvanslator's Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . Introduction to the English Edition .XXX'

Part One: Making
one

The Will to Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . .
two

The Status of Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
three

Architecture and Poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
fiur

The Natural City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
five

Structure and Zem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
six

Natural Numben . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Part Two: Becoming
seven

Natural Language.. 61 . . . . . . . . .
eight

Money.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
nine

Natural Intelligence. . . . . 73
ten

khismogenesls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
elmen

Belng . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
twelve

The Fonnaliotion of Philosophy. . . . . . .l"l

Part Three: Teaching and Selling
thilteen

Solipsism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , 1 0 9
foulteen

The Standpoint of Teaching IIX . . . .

I2F fifteen Architecture as Metaphor . . . . . . . . .
sixteen

On Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I33
seventeen

Society and Community . . . . . . . . , 1 4 3
eighteen

The Llngulstlc Turn and Cogno . . . ,149
nineteen

Selling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I f 9
mlenty

Merchant Capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,169
twenty-one

Credit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177

Aftmuord 185 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I89

Illt~rt~ation Credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,200

Page 62

outside. One might say that each of these behavioral
patterns corresponds to a mode and stage of schizo-
phrenia.

Schizophrenia, after all, occurs when the type
categorization of the formal system, which is originally
self-referential, is destroyed. In psychoanalysis, this typ-
ing-the prohibition of self-referentiality-is called cas-
tration or foreclosure. Moreover, it is this prohibition
that constitutes the formal system (the Symbolic order
in Lacanian analysis); however, the Symbolic order is
essentially ungrounded-it is riddled with holes that
cannot be filled. According to Jacques Lacan, the failure
of the foreclosure o r symbolic castration induces psy-
chosis. Psychotics live, as it were, within the self-refer-
ential paradox.

My intention is not to connect Lacan and Bateson.
Bateson's critique of Russell by way of the "psychology
of communication" shows that Bateson was unwittingly
confronting the Godelian problematic. Bateson's analy-
sis of schizophrenia is provocative for two reasons. First,
far from the conventional phenomenological accounts
of schizophrenia, he shows that the behavior of schizo-
phrenics is organized as a strategy to confront the dou-
ble bind in communication. Second, he points out that
the communication between doctor and patient forms a
double bind. Psychoanalytic therapy should position
itself to use such situations positively rather than avoid-
ing them.The central o r pivotal problematic faced by
Lacanian analysis is linked to the same point: not only is
the analysand being analyzed by the analyst, but the
relationship between analyst and analysand must also be
analyzed. T o extend the point, this meta-analysis never
ends, resulting in interminable analysis. W h a t Lacan
attempted to formalize in his discussion of the Mobius
s t r ip and o ther mathematical figures need n o t be

restricted to psychoanalysis precisely because it is for-
malized-I myself do not acknowledge the necessity to
participate in such esoteric language games.

In criticizing the Lacanian school, Gilles Deleuze
and FClix Guattari affirm schizophrenia. T h e rhizome
that they posit as an alternative to the tree, however, is a
radicalization of Alexander's semi-lattice.' N o matter
how complex and manifold it may seem, the semi-lattice,
as developed by Alexander, is a compound created from
two or more trees. Despite its appearance, it is orderly
and centered. T h e semi-lattice thus hides the transcen-
dental cogito. In spite of the fact that it accommodates
overlapping and indeterminacy, it is based upon the law
of contradiction (this or that) or upon the distinction of
class and member (logical types). What happens then,
when the semi-lattice is broken? Both "this and that" are
realized; transverse communication between categories
occurs incessantly, and multiple centers (on the meta-
level) are simultaneously established as a result of the
dissolution of logical type. If the tree and the semi-
lattice can be seen to correspond to the structures of
order in a set, Deleuze and Guattari's rhizome comes
into play when the paradox of the theory of sets is intro-
duced to the structures. W e might say that the rhizome
is akin to what Bateson calls schismogenesis. Indeed, the
rhizome is modeled after the cerebral nerve center-nat-
ural intelligence is taken into account. Yet, as we have
seen, we can approach natural intelligence only by the
"making" of artificial intelligence, and by its impossibil-
ity-which we have already witnessed in Godel's proof.
W e can now see, then, that many of the problems that
we have been discussing are problems of formalization.

Page 63

categories of work, no matter how
one may analyze the categories. Only in
s tagnant economies does work stay
docilely within given categories."*

Jacobs says that when D (the division of
labor of a work) is added to A (a new activity),
increase (diversification) occurs; it is formulated
as D + A = nD and its diversification is illustrated
in figure 6.l She analyzes the "logic" of this event as
follows:

T o be sure, the process is full of surprises and is hard to pre-

dict-possibly it is unpredictable-before it has happened. But

Jane Jacobs views the limitations of city planning in a
way different from Alexander. First of all she auda-
ciously asserts, "Cities first-rural development
later,"' against the idea that the development of
agriculture or rural villages gave rise to cities,
an idea that has been dominant since Adam
Smith. Jacobs's thesis is not about the his-
torical order of development: for her, the
city is not a form that has existed sub-
stantially, but the formal attribute of
"cityness" that characterizes a city as
long as it is a city.

For Jacobs, cities name the Ten Schistnogenesis
development of the division of
labor tha t is caused by t h e
addition of new work to old
work. New work is always
produced by combining
one's own work with some
other kind of work. She writes,
" T h e point is that when new
work is added to older work, the
addition often cuts ruthlessly across

Page 123

2 . This kind of critique would not understand the later
Wittgenstein as an exponent of this language-centered
approach; i t should be remembered that in this period
Wittgenstein attempted to criticize formalism in the broadest
sense. For him, a "linguistic turn" no longer made sense; the
Tractatus, which came from his early period, had already
attempted such a turn. It was his self-determined task in the
later period to criticize it.

3 . Rescher, Dialectics, 58, 94-95

4. Ibid., 60.

Nineteen Selling
1. Sigmund Freud, The Complete Introductory Lectures on
Psychoanalysis, trans. James Strachey (New York: W. W .
Norton, 1966), 447.

2. Marx, Capital, vol. I, 166-167.

3 . Ibid., 151. Marx quotes from Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
(London: Loeb, 1926), bk. 5, ch. 5,287-289.

4. Marx, Capital, vol. I, 15 1.

S . Ibid., 147.

6 . Ibid., 139-140.

7. Ibid., 140.

8. Ibid., 149-150.

9. Ibid., 187.

lo. It is important to note that Marx's theory of the fetishism
of commodity is qualitatively different from the idea of "reifi-
cation" developed by Georg Lukbcs, which continues to be
important for many contemporary thinkers. Unlike reification,
which derived from Marx's concept of commodity-that i t
"reflects the social relation ofthe producers . . . as a social rela-
tion between objectsn-Capital scrutinizes how such a "rela-
tion" works. There is no rational basis for exchange, and thus
the selling position constantly requires a "fatal leap." For this

reason, the theory of "reification" as such cannot access the B
totality of Capital, in particular the dynamic movement of capi- E

tal that is instigated by crises.

Twenty Merchant Capital
1 . Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 176.

2. Max Weber emphasized the difference between merchant
and industrial capital, stressing that the "rationality" of indus-
trial capital had once been motivated by an irrational "asceti-
cism" (Protestantism).

3 . Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 2 11-2 12.

4. Kojin Karatani, Marx: The Center of His Possibilities (Tokyo:
Kodansha, 1978).

5. Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 254-255.

Twenty-one Credlt

1. Marx, Capital, vol. I, 236237.

2. Snren Kierkegaard, Practice in Christianity, ed. and trans.
Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1991), 36.

3 . Marx and Engels, The German Ideology, Part One, 56-57. In
the English translation, "abolishes" was used for the term
aufhebt. Although i t represents one aspect of the term, i t
excludes others, such as "to pick up something from the
ground, to stop or undo something, and to synthesize." In
English it is most often translated as "sublates."

Afterword
1. Karl Marx, "A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's
Philosophy of Right," Early Writings, trans. Rodney
Livingstone and Gregor Benton (New York: Vintage, 1975),
257. Here the same term as above, Aufiebzmng, is translated
"transcendence."

2. Ibid., 244.

3. Ibid., 243.

Page 124

lllustratlon Credltr,

Page 30: Redrawn from Christopher Alexander, "A City Is Not
a Tree, Part 2," Architectural Forum, 122, no. 2 (May 1965), 60.

Pages 32, 33, and 35: Redrawn from Christopher Alexander, "A
City Is Not a Tree," Architectural Forr~m, 122, no. 1 (April
1965), 59, 62.

Page 62: Redrawn from Kojin Karatani, Introspection and
Retroqection (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1988), 13 5.

Page 82: Redrawn from Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities (New
York: Vintage, 1970), 58.

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