Sunday, December 21, 2008

I’m really blown away by After Finitude

Jodi Says: December 19, 2008 at 3:25 am
I apologize in advance if this is a stupid question (I’ve not been keeping up…) have you read After Finitude? I’m reading it now and am really blown away (not that I have anything interesting to say about it yet; my excuse is grading…)

larvalsubjects Says: December 19, 2008 at 4:57 am
I read AF a while back and it had a similar impact on me. I’m currently putting together an edited collection with Nick Srnicek and Graham Harman on realist and materialist trends in contemporary continental thought which will both include a piece by Meillassoux, as well as responses to his work by Nathan Brown, Peter Hallward, and Hagglund. It will also include contributions from Badiou, Zizek, Latour, Isabelle Stengers, Manuel DeLanda, Ray Brassier, Alberto Toscano, Adrian Johnston, Francoise Lauruelle, Cahterine Malabou, Ian Hamilton Grant, Nicole Pepperell, and John Protevi. While I don’t ultimately share Meillassoux’s position AF is certainly a remarkable book and a challenge to all constructivist orientations of thought.


On After Finitude: A Response to Peter Hallward
Posted on November 16, 2008 by Nick
Courtesy of Nathan Brown’s generosity, we’re pleased to offer his detailed response to Peter Hallward’s recent critical review of After Finitude (published in Radical Philosophy 152). The response ranges over the metaphysical, mathematical and socio-political aspects of Meillassoux’s work and comes highly recommended!
Undoubtedly one of the great benefits of Meillassoux’s clarity of prose and his rigorous thought is precisely its ability to spur debates such as this one (although perhaps that’s my naive faith in reason showing…). Too often continental philosophy has avoided direct debates like this (unlike analytic philosophy), but here’s hoping it continues into the future.


For this reason, After Finitude will certainly play a central role in ongoing debates on the status of philosophy, on questions pertaining to epistemology and, above all, to ontology. It will not only be an unavoidable point of reference for those working on the question of finitude, but also for those whose work deals with political theology, and the status of the religious turn of philosophy. After Finitude will certainly become an ideal corrosive against too rigid assumptions and will shake entrenched positions.
Although the book is written with clarity and consistency, it presupposes a familiarity not only with dogmatic metaphysics, post-Kantian critical philosophy, phenomenology and post-Heideggerian philosophy, but also and above all with Alain Badiou's materialist ontology, and more specifically, with his ontological re-formulation of post-Cantorean set theory, as well as his conception of the event as what exceeds the grasp of an ontology of being qua being. Contingency, Meillassoux's crucial concept, is inextricably linked to Badiou's conception of the event. Reviewed by Gabriel Riera, University of Illinois, Chicago [Quentin Meillassoux, After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency]

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