Darkly Vitalistic Nature

20Mar09

The aim of a speculative realist philosophy of nature is to construct a minimalist metaphysics by way of an ontological cascade mirroring the cosmological progression of forces and matters.

Dark vitalism, while not my own coinage, names the force of forces (or the One) not as a pure unification but the possibility of ‘isness’ itself as well as the resulting emanations, immanences, emergences and transcendences.  The ontological cascade moves from the Real, to Immanence, to Sense and finally to Transcendence.  Or from existence as only possibility, to the configurations of matter and energy, to the interaction of stimulus and sense, ending with the extension of ontic being via symbols, structures, technologies et cetera.

As Schelling knew, the core of a philosophy of nature is the relation or non-relation of human freedom to nature – discerning exactly how freedom ‘quickens nature.’  In discussing positive philosophy notes that humans are not the great culmination of nature’s powers but the point where nature allows for a new unfolding.  Humans function as the pivot between the natural and the unnatural.

The aforementioned positing of transcendence as human extension goes against Schelling’s identification of the transcendental with the passage from emanation to immanence.   Transcendence, for Schelling (as articulated by Grant) is the movement from the primordial mass of matter to identifiable forms of being.  This was opposed to Fichte’s ideal conceptualization of transcendence.

The question becomes then, for Schelling, what is the new chain of events brought about by the freedom of man following from the sublation of nature, if ridden of Christian spirit?  What becomes the metaphysical purchase of human  extension whether symbolic, technological et cetera, if that extension is capable of warping the transcendent production of nature?

Is the concept (as Toscano and DeLanda might aruge) the necessary bonding agent or is there another way of metaphysically codifying the technological which does not re-throne the human nor ignore the damages we can bring to  nature as such?

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2 Responses to “Darkly Vitalistic Nature”


  1. 1 Darkly Dreaming Subjects (Outside Looking In) « Complete Lies.
  2. 2 The Zuggtmonic Drive: (Dark) Intelligence Without Center « Frames /sing

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