What Derrida is Realist About

There’s an instructive debate going on between Graham Harman at Object Oriented Philosophy (henceforth OOO) and Levi Bryant over at Larval Subjects (henceforth LS) about whether Derrida’s work is serviceable for realism. OOO is emphatic: not only is Derrida not a ‘plug and play’ realist, his work has no realist application at all. Unlike Heidegger – whose account of […]

Derrida’s Realism

There’s an instructive debate going on between Graham Harman at Object Oriented Philosophy (henceforth OOO) and Levi Bryant over at Larval Subjects (henceforth LS) about whether Derrida’s work is serviceable for realism. OOO is emphatic: not only is Derrida not a ‘plug and play’ realist, his work has no realist application at all. Unlike Heidegger – whose account of […]

Dark Phenomenology and the Enactivist Response

Some naturalization strategies for phenomenology are hostile to the assumption that there is an ineffable richness or ‘grain’ to the phenomenal field that can never be captured in mere words. However, a powerful naturalization gambit can be developed from an inflationary position: a super-hard realism with respect to the phenomenological grain. I want to show that […]

Assemblages: Downward Causation and Upwards Dependence

According to Manuel Delanda an assemblage such as an organism or an economic system is an emergent but decomposable whole. Unlike a totality, an assemblage’s parts can follow independent careers: Pulling out a live animal’s heart will surely kill it but the heart itself can be implanted into another animal and resume its regular function. […]

Remarks on Delanda on the Virtual

  Gilles Deleuze famously replaces the traditional modal distinction between actuality and possibility with a distinction between actuality and virtuality. This is introduced to block the claim that reality can be fully or adequately represented. If the actual is just the instantiation of the possible, then an actual thing resembles the thing as conceived or […]

Donald Davidson

  [Here’s an unpublished dictionary entry on Donald Davidson (from 2004). A modified version is to be found in the 2005 Edinburgh Dictionary of Continental Philosophy (John Protevi ed.)] Donald Davidson (b. 1917, d. 2003), American philosopher whose essays on language, mind and knowledge extend Quine’s attack on the reification of meaning and epistemological foundationalism. In […]

Harman on Patterns and Harms

Quentin Meillassoux’s  coinage ‘correlationism’ refers to any position which holds that thought can only think the relation between thought and its object; never the object as an absolute without relation to cognition. Kantianism and transcendental phenomenology are correlationisms. They conceive objectivity as an invariant structure of possible experience. Husserl conceives physical objectivity in terms of […]