TECHNOLOGICAL ANTI-HOLISM AND THE THINKING OF THE OUTSIDE

** This is a longer version of paper I presented at the Unlearning Nihilism conference in London, June 23-26 2022, jointly organized by Royal Holloway’s Centre for Continental Philosophy and The New Centre for Research & Practice ** Let’s begin with a  memorable scene from John Milius’ Conan the Barbarian (1982). Conan has been captured […]

Dark Panpsychism: Philip Goff and Pandemonism

In his Nautilus article ‘The Universe Knows Right from Wrong’, Philipp Goff argues that panpsychism – the metaphysical thesis that the intrinsic properties of reality are properties of consciousness or ‘feels’ (or proto-phenomena, proto-feels) provides a metaphysical ground for objective truth about value. He argues that panpsychism affords an explanation for our ability to discern […]

Alexander Wilson on Nonhuman Aesthetics and Disconnection

Alexander Wilson’s  paper ‘What Aesthetics Tells us About Posthumans’ (WA)  provides a synopsis of a challenging account of aesthetics developed at greater length in his new book Aesthesis and Perceptronium (AP). This is nothing less than an aesthetics generalized beyond the human phenomenology cited in philosophies of aesthetic judgement. I’m currently working through AP, so […]

On re-discovering the Analytic-Continental Divide

I’m currently in London following a three-day deep dive into continental philosophy at the Society of European Philosophy/Forum of European Philosophy Joint conference at Royal Holloway University in Egham (The text of my paper is available here). The quality of both panels and keynotes was extremely high, with some particularly impeccable scholarship on display. Adrian […]

Transgression as Erotic Technology

Over on Facebook my friend Chaim Mendel posted up a disarmingly good question about the relationship between desire and transgression which has been nagging me a lot recently: Why is the forbidden so erotic? what is it about transgression that is so central to the nature of desire? Transgression or perversion isn’t only an erotic […]

What is it like to be a bat blind brain?

From: Roden, David. 2015a. “Aliens Under the Skin: Serial Killing and the Seduction of Our Common Inhumanity”, in Serial Killing: A Philosophical Anthology, Edia Connole & Gary J. Shipley (eds). Schism Press. Phenomenology is, as I have argued elsewhere, striated with “darkness” – experiencing it only affords a partial and very fallible insight into its […]

Correlationist Spawn

  (Image from http://eden.rutgers.edu/~kmg215/425/ewp-final/ewp-background.html) Recall Well’s time traveller  on the terminal beach, billions of years in the future; his encounter with a tentacled creature on that dark shore. He learns nothing of it but only experiences an abject terror that results in his return to Edwardian Richmond. What if this entity is not only uninterpreted but, in […]

During on Speculative Aesthetics and Weird Co-existence

From an insomniac moment re-reading my notes for Elie During‘s challenging and thought provoking keynote paper: “Weird Coexistence or What Speculative Aesthetics Could Be” [Hotel air conditioning in England has its not-so-speculative noise aesthetic btw] at the 10th SEP-FEP conference, Regents University, London. Speculative Realism [SR] expresses a somewhat elusive taste for estrangement and the […]

New Substantivism in Philosophy of Technology

In the philosophy of technology, substantivism is a critical position opposed to the common sense philosophy of technology known as “instrumentalism”. Instrumentalists argue that tools have no agency of their own – only tool users. According to instrumentalism, technology is a mass of instruments whose existence has no special normative implications. Substantivists like Martin Heidegger and Jacques […]

Entering the Phenomenological Cul-de Sac

My last post ended with a modest conclusion about the relationship between pragmatist accounts of agency and world-hood: “For Davidson, and for pragmatists more generally, then, the ability to interpret and be interpreted in turn is a condition of intentionality and thus agency. But this requires both that each agent understand the other to believe […]