Gillespie/Woodard: the subject of speculation

Teresa Gillespie’s video/sound montage from body horror movies evokes the matter hell of an inhuman nature on which the human subject is asymmetrically dependent. As Ben Woodard observes in his commentary on Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, this can still be described as a rational acknowledger of norms; but to treat it as conceptually independent of its ground ignores the complicity […]

Reality Chunking: Review of DeLanda’s Philosophy and Simulation

Originally, written at the request of Deleuze Studies, who seem to have forgotten they asked somewhere along the way. Not to worry, it’s a great opportunity to show off this photo of a magnificent cumulonimbus (Thanks, by the way, to Craig Hickman for identifying said cloud). ********************************************************************* DeLanda, Manuel (2011), Philosophy and Simulation: The Emergence of Synthetic […]

German Sierra on Filth

I’ve just been reading through German Sierra‘s essay “Filth as Non-Technology” – a fascinating excursus in a “non-[dark?] -phenomenology” of excessive, dis-individuated bodies. Filth is the sticky, non-productive effluent of bodies and technology belying their clean functionality and functional cleanliness. It is the fecal trace of non-meaning fringing dreams of progressive self-mastery. It is technologogenesis contrary to finality, traumatic lava; […]

Bakker on Malabou on Life

Scott Bakker has written a fascinating and extremely timely interrogation of a recent article by Catherine Malabou on the implications of recent biology for biopolitics in Critical Enquiry “One Life Only: Biological Resistance, Political Resistance” Malabou’s piece castigates biopolitical theorists such as Foucault and Agamben for infusing their accounts of embodiment and life with symbolic and vitalistic conceptions […]

Iain Grant on "The Great Cake of Being"

A wonderful presentation by Iain Hamilton Grant which takes flight from the Kantian principle that we can only understand something if we can synthesise it. This is not a problem in geology or chemistry when we are dealing with the synthesis of particulars from other material components. But what are its implications for our understanding […]

Compulsive Freedom: Brassier and Improvisation

  Ray Brassier’s  “Unfree Improvisation/Compulsive Freedom” (written for the 2013 event at Glasgow’s Tramway Freedom is a Constant Struggle) is a terse but insightful discussion of the notion of freedom in improvisation. It begins with a polemic against the voluntarist conception of freedom. The voluntarist understands free action as the uncaused expression of a “sovereign self”. Brassier […]

Scott on the End Times

There’s a lively debate around Scott Bakker’s recent lecture: “The End of the World As We Know It: Neuroscience and the Semantic Apocalypse” given at The University of Western Ontario’s Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism here at Speculative Heresy.  The text includes responses from Nick Srnicek and Ali McMillan.