The Unnatural Natural
In a recent post Reid writes:
“If the difference between nature and artifice is itself artifice, then it seems in vain to probe into uncontaminated nature, which itself exists in its distinction only on behalf of artifice, and as itself artifice.”
Reid writes that this does not lead to social constructivism but instead that:
“Nature, rather, means necessary or of necessity, whereas artificial means unnecessary or contingent. The ‘nature of being’ speaks of what is necessary or essential in being, whereas ontical artifices could either be or not, without affecting being itself.”
The central question of nature still remains what is nature (as Iain puts it what is the ground of ground) and what exactly is the nature of the relation between thinking and being while vitating any appeal to the natural.
Reid goes on:
“The distinction between ground and grounded, nature and artifice, is preserved, with the simple adjustment of emptying the former of any content – the ground is not some metaphysical thing (God, Nature, World, etc), but rather only groundlessness or facticity itself.”
The issue then is dividing nature from the natural where the natural takes nature as what is and transforms it into what is supposed to be. This also seems to be the essential problem with politics in relation to nature and ontology. Calling something unnatural is a political move – queer politics is an obvious examples where forms of desire/identity. Reid’s connection of nature to groundlessness advocates, I would argue, a process philosophy emptied of anthrocentric guarantee via the virtual, the eternal, the logical. Meillassoux’s weakness in regards to nature is that, as Martin Hagglund pointed out, he relies on a transcendental skyhook or thinkability of nature which approaches, or perhaps even emulates, virtuality.
Paradoxically then politics is unnatural but is not unaffected by the processes of nature itself. As Mark states here, a return to nature is a naive political gesture (following Zizek) since nature is not a thing (or state) to return to – any purported return to nature is actually a return to the natural – an arrestation of progressive nature that transmogrifies nature in itself to nature as such which sneaks in a thinkability of nature in with it.
Filed under: Meillassoux, nature, ontology, politics, Schelling, Speculative Realism | 4 Comments
Tags: ecology, martin hagglund, nature, Speculative Realism