Posts Tagged ‘vitalism’

In chapter five of Vibrant Matter Bennett turns her attention to vitalism in order to flesh out her project of a vital materialism. As with the previous chapter, Bennett notes the importance of annhilating  distinctions. What kinds of distinctions are being dissolved and in what fashion is a problem obscured in the term materialism. As […]

Outline After using a bit of Kafka Bennett begins to discuss how life fits in between the organic and the inorganic registers of existence. Bennett states that life is a “biological category” but one with traditionally humanist characteristics such as “the capacity for emotion, sociality, and reflection” (52). While animals are surely capable of these […]

As Peter, Anthony, and Adrian have already posted there will be a cross-blog reading group of Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter. The reading schedule will be as follows: May 23-29 Host blog: Philosophy in a Time of Error (Peter Gratton) Under discussion: Preface & Chapter 1, “The Force of Things” (and overview/interview). May 30-June 5 Host […]

Levi has an interesting post about quantum mechanics and Speculative Realism. A whole slew of issues arises surrounding epistemological versus ontological realism particularly in regards to the issue of observation and the uncertainty principle. As the Dailykos post he references makes clear, decoherence does not assert that everything depends on observation, but that at some […]



The limit or non-limit of darkness is its terrifying feature – if  the darkness is expansive and not invasive (oil or plague like, creeping inside organisms) then it is its formalized bound that must be decided which also allows for the possibility of a darkness within darkness. Take the following from Ligotti’s “Flowers of the […]

Repeatedly I have formulated Dark Vitalism as the description of the cosmological cascade or emergence of varying modes of reality schematized in the following way. Real—Immanence——Sense——Extilligence With matter as the operator between the first and second, life as the operator between the second and third, and pathology/drive as operating between the third and fourth. The […]

Kvond and Michael at Complete Lies have both written on Dark Vitalism which has become the formal name for half of my (and possibly others’) speculative realist naturephilosophie (the other half being a darkening of Lacan, Henry and Zizek).  One point that Kevin makes is that vitalism assumes a living substance and not a particular […]

Marcus Aurelius, 2nd Meditation: “Of human life the time is a point, and the substance is in a flux, and the perception dull, and the composition of the whole body subject to putrefaction, and the soul a whirl, and fortune hard to divine, and fame a thing devoid of judgement. And, to say all in […]

Dark Vitalism


In What is Philosophy? Deleuze and Guattari describe vitalism as split between an Idea that acts but is not and a force that is but does not act (p. 213).  The recently coined dark vitalism or mechanistic vitalism (dark as in nihilistic but also as attached to the chemical darkness of Schelling’s  unground and mechanistic […]