Heterology

Allen Stoekl in Bataille's Peak: Energy, Religion and Post-sustainability describes, "The 'science' of heterology, for Bataille, is the science of the force, the energy, that cannot be appropriated by science (or by an organized lawful society, organized under the heading of science or religion): an energy that cannot be given meaning by a higher principle that is itself useless, dead. Rational science, mathematics, physics, and, certainly, the social sciences reduces all questions, all phenomena, to quantifiable data that can be inserted into a “closed” system, one that solves all problems adequately. This is the ideal of science: even if problems cannot all be solved at once, the eventual goal is to leave nothing unanswered, to leave no mysteries. The sacred violence of matter is reduced to a timeless formula. But inevitably there are things that cannot be assimilated to any scientific understanding because by definition they are “heterogeneous”: they are the terms that underlie the scientific method, Bataille argues (in a proto-deconstructive mode), but whose exclusion is necessary for that system to constitute itself in its homogeneity, its coherence" (19).