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Abstract

We are today agents of a peculiar reality, the global network or the system for automated information production. Our condition in the global network is that of agents of the real, since we all contribute to the coproduction of this ever-evolving process. Nevertheless, I will argue, this reality is but the effect of the adoption of a notion of instrumental pragmatic rationality which denies the existence of any other possible reality as the actualization of different determinations of Reason. While following Deleuze s notion of deterritorialization, I ll show that the real philosophical choice does not concern the introduction of new moves that create differentiations within a universal game, but that it is concerned with the possible abolition of the agency which is instantiated within the collective network.

Abstract

Alan Gewirth’s work on moral and political philosophy attracted a great deal of attention between 1978 and 2000, but has received very little attention since then. This essay aims to revive interest in Gewirth’s work by providing a more direct and straightforward version of his core argument for objective moral rights and duties and clarifying how a Gewirthian moral and political theory can proceed beyond the conclusion of the core argument.

Abstract

The tradition of Kant’s critical philosophy developed the concept of imagination rigorously and productively. In this article, I shall defend the suitability of placing this concept in a paleoanthropological frame and linking it to the cognitive practices – predominantly sensorimotor, interactive and those directed at the emergence of technologies – which preceded and prepared for the advent of articulated speech. Special attention will be paid to the internalization processes of these practices and their effects on human conduct. On the basis of this discussion, I shall defend the theory by which the advent of denotative articulated speech entailed a profound reorganization of the technical performances attributable to the imagination and the relative internalization processes. Moreover, the origin of articulated speech inaugurated a singular story, that of the relationship between word and image. In my conclusions, I shall describe a major outcome of this within the framework of the new electronic technologies.

Abstract

An important question in Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO) and its associated literature is how OOO relates to its competitor theories. This article is a meta-philosophical investigation into OOO and its grounding, which hopes to fully theorise this relation, deriving ultimately a “negative dialectic” that emphasises the irreducible differences between OOO and non-OOO. Beginning by analysing the use of OOO as a “starting point”, I consider Althusser’s various contributions to meta-philosophical debates. This leads me to focus on Harman’s notion of “hyperbolic reading”, and on how attempts to hyperbolically ground OOO force it to immanently include its competitors. Finally, I apply these insights to systematise both the negative dialectical relation between OOO and non-OOO and the becoming-OOO of thinking, by applying Laruelle’s Non-Philosophy.

Abstract

In his Prince of Networks, Graham Harman reconstructs Latourian critique of concepts of potentiality and virtuality with which he claims to agree. This seems striking because Latour’s arguments seem to be exactly those Harman rejects in his other writings as overmining. Furthermore, this critique of potentiality and virtuality creates a dividing line between Harman and Bryant’s Democracy of Objects, where the concept of virtual plays a central role. In this article, I will explore this debate, focusing on how the concept of virtuality works in the context of the ontological realism that Object-Oriented Ontology is. To do this, I will first present Bryant’s notion of virtuality focusing on the problem of the individuality of the object. Then I will explore Latourian–Harmanian arguments against virtuality and show that the main issue Harman has with virtuality has to do with the agency of objects. Therefore, I claim that the main dividing line between Bryant’s and Harman’s versions of Object-Oriented Ontology is the difference between the two notions of agency.

Abstract

The article presents the conceptual groundwork for an understanding of the essentially improvisational dimension of human rationality. It aims to clarify how we should think about important concepts pertinent to central aspects of human practices, namely, the concepts of improvisation, normativity, habit, and freedom. In order to understand the sense in which human practices are essentially improvisational, it is first necessary to criticize misconceptions about improvisation as lack of preparation and creatio ex nihilo. Second, it is necessary to solve the theoretical problems that derive from misunderstandings concerning the notions of normativity, habit, and freedom – misunderstandings that revolve around the idea that rationality is a form that is developed out of itself and thus works in a way similar to algorithms. One can only make sense of normativity, habit, and freedom if one understands that they all involve conflictual relationships with the world and with others, which in turn enables one to adequately take into account their constitutive connection to improvisation, properly understood. In outlining these conceptual connections, we want to prepare the foundations for an explanation of rational practices as improvisational practices. The article concludes by stating that human rational life is improvisatory because the conditions of human practice arise out of practice itself.

Abstract

Graham Harman’s Object-Oriented Ontology has employed a variant of occasionalist causation since 2002, with sensual objects acting as the mediators of causation between real objects. While the mechanism for living beings creating sensual objects is clear, how nonliving objects generate sensual objects is not. This essay sets out an interpretation of occasionalism where the mediating agency of nonliving contact is the virtual particles of nominally empty space. Since living, conscious, real objects need to hold sensual objects as sub-components, but nonliving objects do not, this leads to an explanation of why consciousness, in Object-Oriented Ontology, might be described as doubly withdrawn: a sensual sub-component of a withdrawn real object.

Abstract

This article contends that the central principle of modern philosophy is obscured by a side-debate between two opposed camps that are united in accepting a deeper flawed premise. Consider the powerful critiques of Kantian philosophy offered by Quentin Meillassoux and Bruno Latour, respectively. These two thinkers criticize Kant for opposite reasons: Meillassoux because Kant collapses thought and world into a permanent “correlate” without isolated terms, and Latour because Kant tries to purify thought and world from each other rather than realizing that they are always combined in “hybrid” form. What both critiques tacitly accept is the notion that “thought” and “world” are the two major poles of the universe. I claim that this stems from the post-Cartesian assumption that thought and world are the two basic kinds of things that exist. The name “onto-taxonomy” is introduced for this view.