One of the major themes which has crept into my dissertation (largely due to Reza’s influence) is that of space and, by connection, motion. The obvious reason for this is the fascinating work of geometrical-cognitive theorists (Bailly, Longo, Berthoz, Magnani, etc) which argues for geometrical articulations of deep natural processes whether mental, biological, physical or otherwise. By tying motion and space to such concepts, one is able to construct speculative theories which avoid over-emphasizing the discretizing regime (again, borrowing from Reza) as the fundamental explanatory engine.
For myself, space and motion discussed in these ways gives better tools for explaining Schelling’s meontological concept of nature (neither strictly being nor strictly becoming) as a asymmetrical dialectic of the churning of space-time. More specifically, since Schelling is always ungrounding and removing the purported ‘necessary’ conditions of any given thing, thinking in terms of space-time as evolution and involution, as a tension between creation and inhibition, allows one operational (or we might say skeptically epistemological) ways of talking about possible grounds.
Filed under: art, cognitive science, nature, Schelling, Speculative Realism | 5 Comments
Tags: cognitive science, dance, Metzinger, paf, Schelling, vestibular system, xavier le roy
PAF was more than an amazing experience as it forced me to really push myself mentally in numerous ways (as only 15+ hours of presenting your thinking in front of a diverse room of intelligent people can do). This was particularly useful as I am going into my focused dissertation writing stage and I am struggling to outline what exactly I think it is Schelling does and what I think that he can in turn do for contemporary philosophy.
On the third day I tried to outline what I think Schelling’s project is all about which, essentially, outlines the central concerns of my dissertation:
/1/ – Schelling’s Thought
-For Schelling, Nature is skeptically constructed as a dynamics, an activity that produces the apparently inactive through its own self inhibition. Or, in other words, for Schelling philosophy cannot rely on simple being or becoming.
-This self inhibition of Nature occurs because productivity, as such, cannot be a pure productivity or else it would diffuse into nothing.
-This self-inhibition of nature, can also not be absolute and therefore nothing would happen.
-Nature then is an oscillation between inhibition and production and this oscillation we experience as the world of products.
-Our experience with these things suggests to us that they are active (because we can interact with them at all) and therefore we must always look to their activity or beyond the illusion (or schein) of their apparent inactivity.
-This knowledge, or form of experience which itself is active (as productive intuition) leads us to further deaden the object to the extent that I can then extrapolate its potential dynamic activity as well as investigate its potential effects on me.
-Formally, we can say that Nature is the continuous action of the spatial and temporal; a imperfect synthesis (or perhaps asymetrical dialectic)
-This spatio-temporal tension, as discussed yesterday and the day before, is grappled by us as a kind of flux between ground and unground always revealed both through the discovery, intentionaly and unintentionally, of the grounds and ungrounds beneath us.
Filed under: Deleuze, Iain Hamilton Grant, Kant, Schelling, Speculative Realism | Leave a Comment
Now that I’ve made it through my PhD comprehensive exams I will be able to update the blog more regularly though it will most likely take the form of working out some of the issues I will be dealing with in my dissertation. On an Ungrounded Earth is in the last stages of proofing and hopefully will be available shortly!
But for now here is an update post of talking commitments:
1-I’ll be in Dublin March 1-3 presenting at “Weaponizing Speculations” organized by D.U.S.T. My talk is on the importance of spatiality in regards to Naturphilosophie as it is articulated by Longo and Bailly, while also dipping a bit into sheaf theory. Speaking of sheaf theory there is a great post on it in relation to continental thought here.
2-Right after Dublin I’ll be hopping over to London to present at the Speculative Aesthetics Roundtable organized by James Trafford. The other presenters are Ray Brassier, Mark Fisher, Robin Mackay, Reza Negerastani, Benedict Singleton, Nick Srnicek. James Trafford, Alex Williams, and Amanda Beech. My presentation is on the difficulty of having a useful aesthetics in relation to ecology as it’s currently dominated by either eco-disaster sublime-ness or cute-animal ‘practices.’ Yes, I’m going to ramble about the evils of cuteness.
3-In early April I’ll be giving a three day seminar for the Performing Arts Forum in northern France. Tristan Garcia and Denise Ferreira are also presenting. The poster will the details is below:
Filed under: Brassier, Deleuze, Hegel, Iain Hamilton Grant, nature, ontology, Schelling, Speculative Realism, transcendental materialism, video games | 2 Comments
Tags: Brassier, mark fisher, On an ungrounded earth, reza negarestani, Slime Dynamics, Speculative Aesthetics, Tristan Garcia
FWJ von Schelling closes his essay on human freedom in the following way:
“We have the greatest respect for the profundity of historical investigations, and believe to have shown that the almost universal opinion of man only gradually arose from the dullness of animal instinct to rationality it not our own. Yet we believe the truth lies closer to us, and that we should first look for solutions to the problems stirred up in our day at home, on our own soil, before we wander to such distant sources. The time of mere historical faith is past when the possibility of immediate knowledge is given. We have an older revelation than all written ones-nature. It contains prototypes that no man has yet interpreted, whereas those of written revelations have long since received their fulfillment and interpretation.”
Take also the following quote from Peirce which Lorenzo Magnani uses to open his text on abductive cognition and epistemology:
“How was it that man was ever led to entertain that true theory? You cannot say that it happened by chance, because the possible theories, if not strictly innumerable, at any rate exceed a trillion – or the third power of a million; and therefore the chances are too overwhelmingly against the single true theory in the twenty or thirty thousand years during which man has been a thinking animal, ever having come into any man’s head. Besides, you cannot seriously think that every little chicken, that is hatched, has to rummage through all possible theories until it lights upon the good idea of picking up something and eating it. On the contrary, you think the chicken has an innate idea of doing this; that is to say, that it can think of this, but has no faculty of thinking anything else. The chicken you say pecks by instinct. But if you are going to think every poor chicken endowed with an innate tendency toward a positive truth, why should you think that to man alone this gift is denied?”
Filed under: cognitive science, Hegel, Iain Hamilton Grant, ontology, Schelling, Speculative Realism | 1 Comment
Tags: abduction, accerlationism, electromagnetism, Faraday, German Idealism, Gilles Chatelet, kant, Maxwell, nature, nick land, Schelling, Sellars, spatiality, Zizek
This post is largely jumping off from a string of comments between Reza Negarestani, Benedict Singleton, and Alex Williams amongst others from several weeks ago. Also Liam Sprod discusses some similar issues here. It is also jumping from from Reza’s two recent lectures in NYC.
It started with this quote from Giuseppe Longo:
“In this sense, there are no laws that entail, as in physics, the becoming of the biosphere, and a fortiori, the econosphere, or culture or history, or life in general. In the same sense, geodetic principle mathematically forces physical objects never to go wrong. A falling stone follows exactly the gravitational arrow. A river goes along the shortest path to the sea, it may adjust it by nonlinear well definable interactions as mentioned above, but it will never go wrong. These are all geodetics. Living entities, instead, go wrong most of the time: most organisms are extinct, the majority of fecundations, in mammals, do not lead to a birth, an amoeba does not follows, exactly, a curving gradient — by retention it would first go along the tangent, then correct the trajectory, in a protensive action. In short, life goes wrong most of the time, but it “adjusts” to the environment and changes the environment, if possible. It maintains itself, always within an extend critical interval, whose limits are the edge of death, by changing the observables, the phenotypes, that is the very nature of the living object.”
In the most general sense there is a discussion of spatiality here which is generally lacking in Naturphilosophie (something I have mentioned in a few talks on Schelling) and other Naturphilosophie practitioners generally do not have a good concept of space. This is particularly problematic given the fairly convincing account of German Idealism as functioning as various means of heterogeneous monisms. This difference between Hegel and Schelling in this regard would be that the connectivity of substance is more ideal (what exactly the objects of objective idealism points to numerous conflicting readings) whereas for Schelling objects are the instances of colliding powers.
Filed under: Brassier, Harman, Iain Hamilton Grant, nature, ontology, Schelling, Speculative Realism | 1 Comment
Tags: Bertholz, Brassier, Chatelet, German Idealism, Longo, Negarestani, Oresme, reza negarestani, Speculative Realism, Zalamea
Updated yet again!
Feb 14-15, 2013
Keynote: Jack Halberstam
The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference at U of W Milwaukee
300w abstracts by Dec 1, 2012
Labyrinths: Navigating Complexity Across the Humanities
Keynote: Cary Wolfe
McGill English Graduate Student Association
150w abstracts by Dec 1, 2012
Duquesne Graduate Conference in Philosophy (Philosophy and Nature)
Feb 23, 2013
Keynote: Adrian Johnston
3000 word papers due Dec 1, 2012
Fallout: Visions of Apocalypse
March 9, 2013
250 w abstract due Dec 3, 2012
March 15-17, 2013
300 w abstract due December 5, 2013
May 2-3, 2013
Independent Colleges Dublin
Abstracts due: January 12, 2013
May 10-11, 2013
Keynotes: Adrian Johnston, Dorothea Olkowski, Michael Naas
Papers Due: January 15, 2013
The Return of Speculative Philosophy
April 5-6, 2013
Keynotes: Rebecca Comay
University of Ottawa
Abstracts Due: January 30, 2013
Villanova Philosophy Conference (Apocalyptic Politics)
April 12-13, 2013
Keynotes; Dolar, Zizek, Zupancic
Abstracts or papers of 3500 words due Feb 1, 2013
Filed under: Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
I am coordinating the next annual North American Schelling Society Conference which will take place at my home base of Western University. The theme of the conference is Futures of Schelling. The CFP is below. Also, if you are a graduate student interested in attending and want to do things on the cheap please let me know and I can try and arrange free places for you to stay with other Western Students.
Futures of Schelling: The Second Conference of the North American Schelling Society
Western University London, ON Canada – August 29- September 1, 2013
With the recent resurgence of interest in Schelling he is no longer just a “vanishing mediator”
(in Žižek’s phrase) between Idealism and Heideggerian or postHeideggerian thought. Schelling is being read in interesting ways both within this tradition and outside it. The North American Schelling Society’s second annual conference seeks to address the broad theme of the futures that Schelling opens up, in his own work, in the work of contemporaries or predecessors that he helps us to reconceptualize, and in the way his work informs or can inform subsequent and future philosophical, theoretical, and interdisciplinary work. Possible topics might include:
- How Schelling helps us rethink the work of contemporaries (such as Hegel) or predecessors (such as Boehme)
- Schelling and subsequent theorists and philosophers who have taken up his work (such as Habermas, Žižek, Heidegger, Nancy)
- Schelling’s impact on and significance for the style of philosophical thinking and writing
- Schelling as a returning and retreating origin for disciplines other than philosophy (e.g. psychoanalysis, aesthetics, anthropology)
- Trends in Schelling scholarship
- The significance of the analytic utilization of Hegel (by Brandom, McDowell etc.) for Schelling scholarship
- Schelling’s relation to emerging technologies
- How Schelling can help us think about the environmental crisis
- Schelling and the sciences
Good papers that are simply on Schelling are, of course, also welcome. Please send either 1000 word abstracts or completed papers of 3000-5000 words to Tilottama Rajan (firstname.lastname@example.org) AND Sean McGrath (email@example.com) by February 1st 2013.
Submissions will be blind-vetted, so please remove all identifying information from the actual paper or abstract.
Filed under: cognitive science, Hegel, history, Iain Hamilton Grant, Kant, nature, ontology, politics, Schelling, Speculative Realism, transcendental materialism, Zizek | 3 Comments
Tags: Brandom, Fichte, Future, Futuristic German Idealism, fwj von schelling, German Idealism, German Philosophy, Hegel, Iain Hamilton Grant, Naturphilosophie, Objective Idealism