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Showing posts from July, 2012

Sellarsians and the correlate

I was fortunate earlier this month to spend four days in Bonn during the first week of Markus Gabriel´s summer school on the speculative turn. It is interesting to see where the movement is going. For example, to see how Meillassoux´s book is being (deservedly) taken as the starting point of the whole thing, at least in terms of introducing a suitable vocabulary to organise discussions concerning the 20th century with hindsight. I think the distinctions between weak correlationism, strong correlationism and metaphysics of the subjectivity open up new ways to distinguish the absolute from the relational and the relative. I was particularly pleased to see Sellars, Brandom and McDowell being discussed. I always thought that these people had grand projects that had a strong speculative flavour to their advantage. McDowell, as I read him, fares as a good and sophisticated version of metaphysics of the subjectivity as the world is re-enchanted and access to it is through fully conceptualis

Abesences, negations and oppositions

Tristan Garcia (Forme et Objet) seems to be proposing a kind of monism of things with nothing but things in a plan de n´importe quoi . Whem he goes on about nothingness, he seems to point at a dissolution of oppositions. In pages 55-58 he criticizes a notion of absolute nothingness which results from a conflation between what he calls the contrary of a thing (or its negative) - that seems to amount to the complement of the thing - and the absence of a thing. The latter is the product of an event while the first is something that always appears in conjunction with the thing. Then he summarizes his position in three lessons: Premier enseignement: rien ne préexiste à quelque chose qu´autre chose ; deuxième enseignement : le négatif d´une chose ne peut ni la préceder ni la suivre, mais est inséparable de son existence ; troisième enseignement : l´absence d´une chose ne peut que la suivre. If we take the absence of something to be a thing (as I considered in the post on abhava in this bl

Composing ontographies

Coetzee is good at pointing out the price of writting. It is the price of inspiration but it is also the price of possession and it points at the ethics of inspection. The last pages of The Master of Petersburg bring the point home explicitly: Dostoyevski had to turn the habitat of his stepson upside down to be able to see through (of course in the process, all his corners were tried by Nechaev). If inspecting the world cannot be an act of inconspicuous voyerism - but at least more like going to a peep show where the world undresses in a job shift and being compensated for it - it is not clear that contemplation could provide any sort of landscape ontography nor that it is open for us to investigate things without instigate them. Ontographies, in this sense at least, come out from plots we get involved. Speculation affects the world by its products - this is why the stakes are high for a text like Meillassoux´s L´inexistence divine - but also by the means employed to produce it. The

Abhava, Millnong project, abstraction: descriptions and negation

In the Square of Oppositions conference last month in Lebanon, Mihir Chakraborty considered absence to understand negation and as a positive concept. The idea is central to the notion of abhava in Indian logic. Then there are objects and absences of objects over which, supposedly, once could quantify. I asked him how close Abhava was from a Meinongian theory of objects. His first reaction was to say that to think of the absence of something as an object was not a Meinongian move. In fact, it could seem that one can refer to absences using the original objects - and not descriptions - allowing them to have a modally open horizon of life (as I defined previously in this blog (for example, and The name of an absence would be designed through the name of the lacking object. If this were so, I thought absences could be a way to